To the editor:
I am writing this letter in support of Preston Williams as the Marion fire chief.
I am concerned that the city council has been misled by a lack of information about Chief Williams. I am hoping that more questions are asked before any decision to dismiss him from his position is even considered again.
After the city council meeting Monday, it is very evident that there needs to be more fact-finding.
I also hope that the council members understand that his role as fire chief is vital to the safety of the citizens in Marion and the surrounding area.
He has spent countless hours in training, provides strong and necessary leadership for his crew, takes pride in the maintenance of his fleet of fire trucks and the firehouse, all while being compensated far below even a minimum wage.
Have any of the council members visited the station lately to see some of the changes that have been made?
Have any of the council members discussed with Chief Williams his vision for the Marion Fire Department?
Wouldn’t the city council want to listen to Chief Williams when equipment is needing to be purchased or when training is needed to be provided?
After all, he was voted into the role with confidence by the city council because he was — and is — the best candidate for the job.
The accusations against him were noted as being months in the making. If the accusations warranted his removal from not only his position as chief but also from the fire department completely, why hasn’t the council taken action sooner?
Something does not add up.
I am not sure why Preston has been a target since taking on the job as fire chief.
I am disappointed that instead of supporting him and listening to his ideas, the mayor and the city administrator continue to harass and bully Chief Williams for doing his job.
How does this support the mission statement of the city administrator, as stated on the city’s website:
- Striving for excellence in all processes, programs, and endeavors.
- Building relationships based on mutual trust and respect.
- Being a wise steward of all assets and resources in a manner that honors God, Family and Community.
Maybe those guiding principles need to be reexamined?
Please contact your mayor, the city administrator, and your elected officials to let them know that this is an important decision.
And, once again it is a decision that needs to be based on facts.
Marci Cain, Marion
Last modified March 10, 2021