Sun04202014

Last updateFri, 18 Apr 2014 10pm

Articles

Support for High Springs dispatch

LTE2012  I’ve known Jimmy Troiano since he was a kid; watched him come up through the ranks of the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office (ASO); listened to him explain problems with Sadie Darnell’s “regime” with him being vilified, and lamented with him as a promising career with ASO ended.  Then, Jimmy became Chief of Police in our little “back woodsy” town…he knew the people…they knew him…life was good, right? Concerns about nepotism with his wife also working in City Hall were there, but no problem.

If you simply read his column, you may take everything at face value.  People should only believe about half of what they read and maybe about a third of what they hear…unless they are willing to do a little research.  What you may not know is that by going to the Combined Communication Center (CCC), the City of High Springs only saved a few thousand.  Shortly after handing us over to the CCC, equipment in our call center was dismantled and equipment was given to Alachua County - by whose authority?

Oh…did I fail to mention that shortly after our dispatch center was given away, Chief Troiano asked to hire an assistant for over $30,000?  Maybe, this money would have been better spent upgrading our “backwoods” dispatch center?

An informational town hall meeting with commissioners was held.  I don’t recall seeing Troiano there, although he could have spoken at that time along with Officer Shepherd and retired Officer Hines who support the CCC. Former Mayor Travis did take a jab at Ms. Travers.  However, I believe he owes her an apology as tapes clearly reveal that her actions were correct.  Did Officer Shepherd and Officer Hines follow protocol during their episodes?  Officer Scott did give accurate and a compelling presentation as to how we could keep our dispatch center.

From a personal perspective, after contacting the CCC on how a described emergency would be handled by them, I did not get a warm, fuzzy feeling of security.  But, after explaining the situation to Chief Holley, he was able to assuage my fears.  Most of the residents that I have spoken with have said that they will cook, sell dinners, do whatever to bring back our call center.  I want people helping me that know who I am and where I live…HIGH Springs…not HOT Springs.

Finally, I want all of the commissioners to continue working to uncover discrepancies and clean up the messes created by former employees.  This is not an easy task.  If you are doing the job that you were hired to do truthfully and with accuracy, you have nothing to fear.  This has worked for years with being employed by State agencies and private employers.

High Springs used to be a solvent town with plenty of money and neighborly folk that would help you no matter who you were.  We can be that way again.  For those of you that have decided (or it was decided for you) to cease your employment, please move on with best wishes for wherever you decide to land without dishing out sour grapes and dissension.  Please attend meetings or visit with commissioners at the Farmer’s Market on Thursdays to get accurate information, not skewed information from disgruntled, former employees.

Sylvia Newcomb

High Springs