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Eureka Fire Board Candidates Offer Different Takes on Needs

Prepare for the April 2 election by reading Patch's rundowns on each of the candidates.

One spot on the three-member Eureka Fire Protection District (EFPD) board of directors will be decided during the April 2 election. Incumbent Butch Oberkramer has served on the board since 1983; he currently chairs it. Eureka resident Wally Wuelling is the other candidate.

Editor's Note: The candidates received an identical questionnaire via email and were each given the same amount of time to reply.

BUTCH OBERKRAMER 

Occupation:  Project Manager at Kelpe Contracting

Education:  Graduate of the Eureka High School, Veteran U.S. Army

Age, Family (spouse):  64 years old, wife Marilyn

Years lived in Eureka:  Entire life.

Please provide a summary of your background, highlighting community involvement:

  • Five-term director with EFPD
  • Former fireman and fire captain
  • EFPD built three new stations and one new training center during my terms, all without property tax rate increases.
  • Member, Missouri Fire Fighters Association
  • Board of Governors, Missouri Association of Fire Protection Districts
  • Citizen of the Year, Eureka Valley Business Club
  • Member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church
  • Member Operating Engineers Local 513, American Legion Post 177.

Reasons for running for Eureka Fire Protection District Board:

EFPD was voted the No. 1 District (out of 442) in the State of Missouri in 2012 (and in 1999) by the Fire Fighters Association of Missouri. I want to continue to provide leadership and guidance so we can continue this high level of service.

I also want to protect the taxpayers of our district from unnecessary district costs leading to property tax rate increases. We provide pay and benefits for approximately 40 employees, as well as related pensions and benefits, and I want to make sure that taxpayers' interests are protected by the EFPD board.

What do you currently see as the biggest issue facing EFPD?

The biggest issue facing the district is that we are growing in population, and EFPD needs to be constantly focused on providing services to a larger population, while at the same time being responsible with the money the taxpayers of our district provide to us.

In what areas does EFPD need to improve? Are you satisfied with the way the district has been operating?

EFPD is an excellent fire district, and that’s not just my personal opinion. EFPD was voted the No. 1 district in Missouri in 2012 by the largest rating association in Missouri. EFPD provided an average 4.5-minute emergency response time in 2012. That being said, technology and training in our field is constantly in need of improvement and updating. I am very satisfied with the way the board and our fire leadership are operating the EFPD and adapting to these changes.

Assume you win the election. What single mission do you want to accomplish during your term?

I want to keep the EFPD the No. 1 district in the state, and continue to provide an excellent 4.5-minute emergency response time to our residents. I know that this is a high goal, but it's obviously achievable, and that is the goal I and the board will continue to set. I will also oppose property tax rate increase proposals. New taxes are unnecessary if we manage our resources properly.

What else would you like voters to know about your observations, goals?

I have lived in Eureka all my life, and I have spent a large part of my life working for, or as a board member of, the EFPD. I have been on the front lines of emergency service, and understand personally how important our fire district is to our citizens.

I care deeply about the EFPD, and all of our residents, and will always try my best to do the right thing for both.

I think my track record at the district is strong, and so do the people that have endorsed me, including Tim Jones (Missouri House Speaker, Eureka resident), Kevin Coffey (Eureka’s Mayor), Michael Wiegand (Police Chief) Aldermen (Robert Berry, Marilyn Leistner, and Wes Sir) and several fire service organizations.

Click here to view Oberkramer's campaign Facebook page.

WALLY WUELLING

Occupation:  Union elevator constructor mechanic employed at Midwest Elevator Company.

Education:  Attended John F. Kennedy High School and South County Technical High School where he studied industrial electronics and graduated third in his high school class.

Age, Family (spouse/children):  47 years old, wife Maureen, four children:  Emma, 17  Matthew, 15 Jacob, 13 Annie, 11. I have lived in Eureka for 10 years .

Summary of background highlighting community involvement:

  • Member of Elevator Constructors Union Local #3 for 29 years
  • Elected union officer within Local #3 for 25 years
  • Selected as Elevator Constructors Local #3 Union Man of the Year for 2005
  • Executive Board Member of the Rockwood Labor Club
  • Assisted with community outreach helping families in need acquire furniture for their homes
  • Assisted with the Adopt-a-Family Program at Christmas to provide gifts for families in need
  • Volunteer for the elementary, middle, and high school PTO
  • Volunteer for the Eureka High School Show Choir group OnStage!
  • Cub Scout den leader
  • Cub Scout Cub Master of Pack 322 in Eureka
  • Volunteer for the Eureka High School Football Boosters Club
  • Football Coach for the Eureka Jr. Wildcat Football Team
  • Announcer for the 5th, 7th, 9th grade Eureka Football Teams
  • Part-time announcer for the Eureka High School Varsity Wrestling matches
  • Eureka Sports Association Baseball Manager/ coach
  • Eureka Sports Association Softball coach
  • St. Louis County Sports Association representative for the Eureka Sports Association

Reasons for running for the Eureka Fire Protection District:

I always have been one to get involved in my community. I became aware of the fact that the fire department was understaffed, and it greatly affected the emergency response and the response times within our community. I want to increase staffing to improve the safety of the citizens and the paramedics/firefighters of Eureka. I was also made aware the administration has ignored the input and ideas on how to provide better emergency service to the community from experienced paramedics/firefighters in Eureka.  

What do you currently see as the biggest issue facing EFPD?

The biggest issue facing the EFPD is their staffing levels. Emergency calls that have been made within the last two weeks have overwhelmingly shown the shortcomings of the district. When responding to a head-on collision on Route 66 headed into Pacific, the paramedics/firefighters, in an effort to save lives, abandoned the fire truck on the roadside to be able to properly man the ambulances on the scene. The fire truck was eventually returned to the Eureka Firehouse by a Pacific fire captain.

Also this past week, when responding to a second ambulance call, a dumpster fire was reported behind Poor Richard's Restaurant. Shortly after the dumpster alarm, the second ambulance finished their call and returned to the nearest firehouse to park the ambulance and take a fire truck to the scene of the fire. The Pacific Fire Department had been dispatched to the fire because of Eureka’s inability to respond because of the two previous ambulance calls. The Eureka firefighters were able to extinguish the fire. When a neighboring fire district is dispatched to help, it is called mutual aid. I believe that mutual aid should not be our primary operational plan in responding to emergencies in our community. Mutual aid is an important part of the overall plan, but should not be the primary answer because of our understaffing. These calls are common occurrences and not exceptions to the rule.

With Hidden Valley, Six Flags, and three elderly residential facilities in our community, our ambulances are constantly busy. In 2012, the EFPD responded to approximately 2,100 calls. This is an average of nearly six calls per day. These figures alone show our paramedics and firefighters are always busy.

In what areas does EFPD need to improve? Are you satisfied with the way the district has been operating?

The EFPD needs to improve in the area of staffing. The current staffing levels are under nationally recognized minimum standards, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Communication between the administration and the paramedics/firefighters needs to improve. The paramedics/firefighters currently feel their jobs are threatened if they make suggestions on how to improve the emergency response of the district.

I feel that transparency on all levels will allow the citizens to be made aware of these important issues that are never advertised by the district. After checking the facts, I am not satisfied with the way the district has been operating.

Assume you win the election. What single mission do you want to accomplish during your term?

If I am elected, I will increase staffing in a fiscally responsible way. This will ensure the safety of the community and the paramedic/firefighters that respond to the emergencies.   

What else would you like voters to know about your observations, goals?

A lot of effort has been made recently to call attention to the 2012 award given to the EFPD. I believe this award directly reflects on the professionalism and dedication of the men and women that serve this community as paramedics and firefighters. My thanks go out to them for their efforts. The association that presented this award to the EFPD is largely made up of volunteer fire districts. While I feel this honor is great for Eureka, I wonder how our district would compare on an apples-to-apples comparison with other fully taxpayer funded districts and not a large majority of mostly rural, volunteer districts.

A lot of effort also has been made that our taxes have not been raised in many years. Due to the increase in residential housing over the past 15 years, over 1,100 houses have been built in The Legends and Mirasol subdivisions. This has been a financial windfall for the district from just these two subdivisions. There has not been a need to raise taxes when more than 1,100 new homes were dropped in the district’s backyard.

Click here to view Wuelling's campaign webpage.

Molly Xenakis March 28, 2013 at 03:54 PM
I have known the Wuelling family for over 10 years. I am continously impressed daily of the morales and values of the whole family. One small example of the morales Wally and Maureen have instilled your their children is their boys were wanting to make money and started a lawn mowing service and I hired them to cut my lawn. When my finacial situation had changed and I could not longer afford to pay them, they faithfully came every two weeks and continued to cut it for free. This just goes to show you what amazing people they are. Whenever it snows, they always make sure to shovel my driveway and always help with anything else I need and never expect anything in return. I am just hoping that I can teach my children the same values. I truly believe with the growing community and the current number of years fo the same people in office, Eureka needs a change. I can't think of a better person then Wally to help make those changes. I could go on and on about every member in the Wuelling family that has gone out of there way to help me and or my children. Please go and vote for Wally Wuelling on April 2 and help to make this the best, safest community to live in.
Dena Brooks March 28, 2013 at 05:50 PM
Yesterday I had the opportunity to discuss the issues with Wally Wuelling and I agree with his ideas and like his views on staffing. I feel he would be a great asset to the Eureka community in this role. I have known Wally for ten years and believe he approaches issues fairly and will seek out the best solutions for our community.
Patrick Feder March 29, 2013 at 03:18 AM
I am a current fire board member. Several specific accusations about our fire district have been written, and I feel the need to respond. First and foremost, our citizens are safe. 1. In regards to Emergency Service, it has been suggested that EFPD cannot properly respond to emergencies. Two specific incidents have been cited (1) a dumpster fire, and (2) a Pacific firefighter driving a truck back to a EFPD fire house. The facts: The dumpster fire was put out by EFPD. Reported at 4:53 PM, EFPD was on scene & put out at 4:58 (5 min response). There were 3 other emergency calls at the same time, all 3 were handled by EFPD. So, EFPD put out this fire and handled the other 3 calls without assistance. The second incident happened on a different day. A Pacific firefighter was on scene also. EFPD put an extra man in an ambulance & let the on scene Pacific firefighter return the truck. There were adequate EFPD personnel present, but it was not necessary since an available officer was there. I'm surprised that a dumpster fire handled in 5 minutes, and EFPD having a Pacific firefighter (at no charge to the district) return a truck to our station in a non-emergency situation are cited as examples of poor service. I think these examples show why the EFPD is a well run department with very competent & capable firefighter/EMTs. (cont....)
Patrick Feder March 29, 2013 at 03:19 AM
2. Regarding the “financial windfall” from Mirasol & Legends home building. From 2008-2012 assessed valuation in our district dropped by 7%. It's only through fiscal responsibility that we've maintained the integrity of our department. The additional building lessened the financial impact we would have felt, just as the rest of the nation has, in this economy. 3. EFPD Staffing. I would love to be able to add more staff. However, in order to meet the guidelines cited, we would need to hire 9-12 firefighters at a minimum. We have a $4 million budget, 86% goes to employee compensation. Based on avg salaries & benefits, this would add approximately $1.2 million to the budget. This would require additional tax revenue. Our general revenue tax is about $1.21 on every $100 of assessed value of property. To generate $1.2 million, a tax increase of 35 cents (35% ^ in taxes) would have to be approved by voters. This doesn't include funding for pension benefits. The voters should decide these issues. I'm proud to be part of a great department and a great community. I will continue to do my best to serve the citizens of the Eureka Fire Protection District. Sincerely, Patrick Feder
Julie Brown Patton (Editor) March 29, 2013 at 03:21 AM
Pat Feder, thank you for additional insight as someone who sits on the current board.
Andy McCollum March 29, 2013 at 04:28 AM
I am voting for Wally Wuelling. I have known Wally and his family for several years and I trust him to do what is right for this community.
Sean Flower March 29, 2013 at 12:51 PM
I am voting for Butch Oberkramer. He is the the most qualified candidate for the job, pledged not to raise tax rates, and our district is top rated. In my 10 years in Eureka I have never heard fire service complaints from residents or anyone until this campaign. Do the majority of people really believe that a fire district with Pat Feder and Butch on the Board, run by Chief Brown (a friend and one of the most respected Chief's in Missouri) would promote unsafe policies, and put our families and communities at risk? At the end of the day, that is what is being said. Pat Feder's detailed comments show how distorted the complaints in this article are (a dumpster fire put out in 5 minutes by the EFPD, while 3 other calls are being simultaneously handled by EFPD, is distorted into an example of why change is needed?). I feel safe, trust the board, and don't want the Fire District property tax increase that would result from changes to the EFPD Board.
Jim Silvernail March 29, 2013 at 02:21 PM
I have had the honor of serving the fire service for over 45 years holding the position of fire chief in both the Metro West and Mehlville Fire Protection Districts, which are the two largest districts in St. Louis County. I have know Butch Oberkramer many years, even before he became my borther-in-law, and during the time he served our country in the U.S. Army. Both Butch and I served as volunteers with EFPD in the early 70's when the district had just one fire station and no paid personal in the old part of town. Since Butch started serving on the board he had brought the fire district up to one of the best in the state from a rural department to the modern district, with new stations, up to date emergency response vehicles, the additon of many paid personal, and extensive training of the first responders. Butch is an excellent leader and has his heart with the citizens of the community. He is a proven leader in the community. I am very proud to have known Butch for these many years and I can't say enough about his dedication to the Eureka Fire Distrcit. Chief Jim Silvernail, Retired
Jim Hoene March 29, 2013 at 03:28 PM
There seems to be a lot of controversy over a real simple decision. Elect Butch Oberkramer for director of the Eureka Fire Department. Butch has been an excellent director for many years and will continue to do so if he is reelected. Honesty,Dependbility,Hard Working Integrity, and Fiscal Responsibility are just a few of the ways I would describe Butch. I have known Butch for as long as I can remember and he has never been different than the way that I have described him. Most of all Butch will be fair. Fair to firefighters and fair to taxpayers. Do the Eureka Fire District a favor and vote for Butch Oberkramer.
Eileen Tyrrell March 29, 2013 at 03:36 PM
Pat: Great information! Please consider putting it in a blog or letter to the editor and submitting it to Patch. Eureka area voters need to hear directly from someone who currently serves on the Fire Board.
Chris Moore March 29, 2013 at 05:29 PM
My name is Chris Moore I'm a former employee of the Eureka Fire District. I left eleven and a half years ago for a larger district. And to prove I'm not a disgruntled employee, I stayed with Eureka as a reserve firefighter. Where I work now I'm assigned to an ambulance that is staffed with two paramedic's (no emt's are assigned to the ambulance). Minimum staffing at our two stations is twelve, with a minimum of six paramedics. This manning is for two ambulances, a pumper and ladder company. That's four personnel minimum on the apparatus and at least one of them is a licensed paramedic. At Eureka minimum staffing is three personnel at stations 1 and 2, and two personnel at station 3. That means when a pumper responds from station 3 in Hoene Springs your only guaranteed two people. That includes the driver/operator of the apparatus.
Chris Moore March 29, 2013 at 05:34 PM
A routine vehicle accident at 44 and 109 would strip stations 1 and 2 of all personnel and leaving the remaining pumper and ambulance unmanned. If a second ambulance is needed, the two man crew from station 3 in Hoene Springs would respond to Station 1 near 109 and The Legends, switch into the ambulance and then respond. Now the remaining 82 square miles of district is in covered because of 1 vehicle accident response. This is a daily occurrence.
Chris Moore March 29, 2013 at 05:48 PM
And in reference to the above mentioned dumpster fire on March 20th. No disrespect to Dr. Feder, he is well liked by the men and women of the fire district. But I believe you were fed some poor information. No Eureka units were available. Pacific was dispatched to fill in, this is automatic mutual aid which is not uncommon. A Eureka unit did arrive on scene at 4:58 pm, however this was a Chief Officer in a Chevy Tahoe, no fire suppression equipment. A Eureka ambulance responded from a previous call to the fire station to switch into a pumper to respond to the dumpster fire. Thusly leaving the ambulance unmanned. The first piece of fire apparatus didn't arrive until 5:01 pm, eight minutes after the initial call. It just shows that two ambulance calls will deplete the districts ability to be covered. No one believes that Wally Wuelling is going to walk through the door and hire a dozen new firefighter/paramedics. But over his six year term that process will begin. We need change.
Sean Flower March 29, 2013 at 07:41 PM
Chris, can you explain your solution to these issues in detail, and its financial impact on the district? Based on the examples in the article, I am not convinced the District should spend millions of additional tax dollars and hire new firemen so that we can put out dumpster fires in 7 minutes instead of 9, or 3 minutes instead of 5, or whatever your goal is. Instead of hypotheticals, can you provide one example where anyone in Eureka has ever received substandard emergency service? An actual person and an incident? Your candidate's best example is a pretty trivial dumpster issue, and your partial adjustment of Feder's time line by 4 minutes really doesn't effect the facts. These are not new staffing levels. If you are this concerned, why have you never written a letter to the editor or attempted to inform the public of these dangerous conditions before now? Have you ever addressed it directly at a board meeting? Why are you ok with these changes being phased in over 6 years? As busy as our district is, if we were this bad, I just don't see why no issue has ever been raised by a person who received poor service. My view is that If Doc Feder says the department is operating well, I am going to trust his information and his views.
Chris Moore March 29, 2013 at 08:55 PM
Mr. Flower, those were just examples of things that have happened in the last few weeks. What if instead of a dumpster fire that was an apartment fire with persons trapped? How long can you hold your breath? There are ways to save money, there are different steps to be taken. I have been involved with this district in form or another for the last 20 years. I have taken trucks to fires by myself. On a daily basis equipment is unmanned for one reason or another. When the pumper had to be driven back to the firehouse by a Pacific crew, it's because it responded to the call without the proper crew in the first place. Two people on a firetruck responding to calls is unsafe. Anyone other the a politician in the fire service will agree. I understand there is loyalty to Mr. Oberkramer, I called him a friend for many years. But as a firefighter I know what the men and women of the Eureka Fire Dist go through everyday. Enough is enough.
E Boedeker March 29, 2013 at 09:02 PM
I have known Butch Oberkramer for the past 13 years, anyone who knows Butch holds him in the highest regard. He is an honest, fair, hardworking man always willing to lend a hand when needed. I could go on and on about the endless qualities Butch renders not to mention my children love him! Butch stands for what is right and always has the best interest of all involved! Being a parent of two young children and a substitute teacher safety is a top priority. I am confident in my decision to re-elect Butch Oberkramer and continue with what is right.
Sean Flower March 29, 2013 at 10:38 PM
I am a simple man. I asked you simple questions. You have stated you have access to EFD records. Can you simply name some actual examples of complaints from eureka citizens about poor fire service? You don't need to be a fireman to be able to understand that you only talk about hypotheticals, and your only concrete examples are so trivial they are almost silly (an 8 minute dumpster fire with no other damage or complaint). You have no other actual examples of anything. Just hypotheticals. And most importantly you have no concrete proposals or solutions. Just take a shot at giving some real examples and solutions we can evaluate. What if 10 large fires in Eureka occurred all at the same time. What if a terrorist attacked Eureka? Should we hire enough people to cover these situations all by ourselves. Just search the EFD records and show us all the actual bad service. I respect firemen and policemen. I would also appreciate your respecting me as a taxpayer, who helps pays their salary and builds homes that provide their tax base. Asking me ridiculous questions like how long I can hold my breathe does not advance information on this issue. Life is full of trade offs, and where we draw the line is the issue here. With your attitude toward me, I would imagine that there are a lot of people in the fire service besides Butch that you used to call friend.
Scott Jones March 29, 2013 at 11:46 PM
Mr. Flower I would encourage you to to educate yourself on the staffing levels and SOG's at EFPD compared to most of the other 40+ fire dept. in St. Louis County. Mr. Moore is simply stating facts based on his own experiences as an employee of this district. It sounds like you are personally attracting him. Keep with the issue at hand. I would be willing to bet that most of the residents in Eureka don't realize just how dangerous the staffing levels of Eureka are, not only to the firefighters but to the taxpayers. I hope you don't ever find yourself in a situation where you are waiting 1, 2, 5, or even more minutes for a response because of inadequate staffing, but if its you and your family wouldn't you think differently. Time now is now to be pro active. Asking for certain instances won't help you in that time of your emergency.
Scott Jones March 29, 2013 at 11:48 PM
Spelling correction Attacking Mr. Moore
Sean Flower March 30, 2013 at 01:19 AM
Scott, I am well informed on fire issues, have several Chiefs I work with extensively, and have worked on fire issues for years. Ask Chief Brown or Boyle if I am credible. Hilarious that you would say I insult people, but first talk to me like a child in your intro. Typical, throw out an insult, then act upset if someone answers in kind. What I know is that the great dumpster fire of 2013 ("Dumpstergate") is not grounds for radically changing EFPD board and raising taxes. I honestly think dumpsters everywhere in Eureka should be scared to death! They are not near as safe as dumpsters in other parts of St. Louis County. Your answer to Dumpstergate, elect a person with no fire experience. I don't know what the SOG says, but this makes no sense to me. Because of the danger, should my family hide under our dining room table until Wally is elected? Are you hiding under your blanket in fear now? I am literally shaking in my boots as I write this (warning, this was sarcasm, I don't want to hurt your feelings). So, give me an example whether now or in the past of any actual complaint of incident of poor emergency service? A real complaint by a person, not a complaint by a dumpster! I know that my friend Chief Brown, who I discuss these issues with at length, will make sure that Eureka has the best emergency service in the State. I sleep real well at night with Brown, Butch, Feder, and Kuhn in charge. And so should the rest of Eureka. Look forward to your reply.
Chris Moore March 30, 2013 at 01:43 AM
Dumpstergate huh? Well Mr. Flower, it's obvious now that your a member of the good ole boys club and no one with common sense will ever change that. Good luck to you in the future sir.
Sean Flower March 30, 2013 at 03:04 AM
Chris and Scott. I poked some fun at you guys because you can't come up with any actual EFPD complaints by humans ever (although there is a very angry dumpster behind Poor Richards). I know you are super smart fire experts, but let's try this. EFPD in 2012: 2,066 total calls, 177x mutual aid received, 8.5% calls mutual aid. Metro West in 2012: 6,749 total calls, 428x mutual aid received, 6.3% calls mutual aid. Summary: Metro West 251 more calls with mutual aid, but EFPD 2% more mutual aid calls on average. Seems pretty even, and Metro is one of the largest districts in the State with a much bigger staff. Both seem very safe. Point: what the heck are you guys talking about? Neither of you, nor the friends you are desperately calling right now to come up with a response, have yet to provide me an example of a human complaint despite my 4 requests. Your responses are weak personal attacks. Its obvious you have no answers as you continue to just try and turn this into juvenile personal attacks on me. Here's the deal, my posts are kinda funny with facts and have a point, yours have no facts then you call me names. I am a 40 year old guy with a small business, and 2 young kids. I want low taxes and no change to the fire district. I don't know how that puts me in some type of ole boys club? I will see how long I can hold my breath as I wait for your next response. (or until I post my next factual response which you will not be able to answer). Again Sarcasm.
Sean Flower March 30, 2013 at 05:06 AM
Chris and Scott, guys I am getting sleepy, but had one more question for you before I retire for the evening. EFPD had 9 fires in 2012, and 2066 total calls. Using your numbers, EFPD had 10 emergency responders on duty at all times (not including our large volunteer force). That equals about 5 calls a day, with very few fires (356 days out of 365 days in year at a minimum were fire free). These 5 calls were covered by 10 full time people, with an average response time of 4.5 minutes. These 10 people covered the issues by themselves 91.5% of the time, and called for assistance 8.5% of the time. EFPD had 0 complaints about service (unless we count you two guys in the last 2 days), and was rated the #1 Fire District in the State (I know its a fake award that none of the other 442 eligible districts really wanted, but go with me here). So you guys are saying current levels can't handle 5 calls a day, and 9 fires in an entire year? Even though now we only use mutual aid 8.5% of the time? This is not a hypothetical situation, these are the facts from 2012. This is the second comment chock full of relevant information and reasonable facts. I hope you will give this "Ole Boy" the courtesy of a factual response.
Sean Flower March 30, 2013 at 05:23 AM
Scott, like I tell my 10 year old son, you always know you are winning a debate when you closing argument is "hey, you are a douchbag". Man you have to be depressed. What makes it even more hilarious is that you started your first comment by lecturing me for making a personal attack on Chris. Let me make this real simple, so you can understand (fake sarcasm). Brown, Butch, me, and likely my 10 year old son, know a lot more than you about our District. Do you even live in our district, or are you closer to Pattonvile? Heck, Brown and Butch ran calls for years (Butch as a volunteer and for free). You and Chris both refer to people that disagree with you like we are pets. Feder was "fed" information and I was "fed" information. Is that what you think of taxpayers and board members? We are too stupid to figure stuff out? Buddy, I asked questions from smart relevant people. The information is pretty simple. The only thing complicated is sifting through your misinformation. You and Chris have still never listed anything more significant than Dumpstergate. Your response says more about the campaign against Butch than anything else I could type myself. I thank you for it. Good night Scott.
Julie Brown Patton (Editor) March 30, 2013 at 01:47 PM
A comment from 11:34 p.m. last night on this article was deleted because it violated the Patch terms of use that all readers/users of the site agreed to (can be found at the bottom of this webpage). There is a solid exchange of information and details occurring in the comment thread here, but that needs to be done without name-calling. Patch invites readers to repost comments, without attacking anyone else.
Chris Moore March 30, 2013 at 02:04 PM
Thank you Julie.
Sandy Henderson March 30, 2013 at 02:27 PM
The real question here is...Why the incumbent isn't supported by the firefighters and paramedics that he represents? I think we need to know that instead of this childish rhetoric. I don't know Mr. oberkramer BUT I do know Wally Wuelling and he is one of the most honest, giving people I have ever had the privilege to call a friend. He has been wrongfully accused of things durng this campaign and had his integrity questioned and has handled everything with dignity and class. Maybe some of you commenting on this post should try to handle yourself in the same manner.
Cole Taylor March 30, 2013 at 08:25 PM
I have known Wally for several years. He is one of the most honest, trustworthy people that I have met since I moved to Eureka. I truly believe that he had the best interest of the citizens of Eureka in mind when he decided to run for the Eureka Fire Board. Our community has continued to grow with new homes being completed in several areas every month. I do believe that we should be concerned with how the district will be able to appropriatley service us all in the future with the same structure and resources. Wally is a forward-thinking, dedicated citizen who has a vision for the future of the district. He has my vote!
Bryan Vancil April 01, 2013 at 02:19 PM
Mr. Oberkramer can you explain why in the latest issue of West Magazine you now state your top priority is to increase staffing? Also you state that you will do it without a tax increase. How is this possible when you have clearly stated that Wally would not be able to increase staffing without a tax increase? If this is indeed possible, why haven’t you done this during your long term as director? Do you really expect voters to believe any of your contradicting messages?
Concerned Citizen April 03, 2013 at 12:47 PM
Well, now that the election is over and a few of you who have posted on this site have offended the "good ole boys" ie...the mayor, the police chief, councilmembers, the Missouri Speaker of the House, Board members of the EFPD and various other important members of this elite club, what do you do next. My thoughts would be turn your energy and concern to protecting the dumpsters in your area. Apparently as ridiclous as that sounds, you had more concern for them then you did your reputation. Good Luck....

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