Montana News

Sep 18, 2013 1:48 AM by Keele Smith - MTN News

Petition to overthrow trustees being circulated by some Bridger Canyon residents

After more than half of the Bridger Canyon Rural Fire Department left in May, residents are concerned about their safety and feel discounted by the board of trustees.

A group of residents and former firefighters are trying to get rid of the trustees.

Connie Blackwood of the BCFD Safety Coalition said, "It's a response that we don't feel like we're protected."

The Bridger Canyon Fire District Safety Coalition is asking people to sign a petition to get rid of all five trustees on the district board and they want to see two things happen.

"A new board should be put in place that will listen to the community and bring our firefighters back that were trained," Blackwood said.

In order to hold a special election, petition gatherers must get at least 104 signatures in the next 90 days.
The board hopes to know what people want.

Board of Trustees' Chairman Mike Conn said, "We'd like the voters to speak and maybe we put it to rest, hopefully anyway."
Conn is in charge of running the monthly meetings.

"We encourage people to come, ask questions, participate," he said.

Conn says he is happy with the new crew of 24 volunteer firefighters.

"They're good, level headed smart, intelligent people who are trying to look out for residents of this Canyon and they're doing a great job so far," he said.

But the Coalition feels differently.

Carol Fifer, also with the BCFD Safety Coalition said, "I think the only way for the community to heal is to have a fresh start and since we've lost confidence in what we have, we really need to begin again with a fresh slate."

After the first day, the coalition already has more than half of the signatures needed to put the recall petition on the ballot.

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