What do you consider a friend to be? One who agrees with you all the time? One who only tells you what you want to hear? Only those in your close circle that you see all the time?


Does this person help you grow and mature? Help make you improve yourself? Give honest appraisals?


When you ask ‘does this outfit makes me look fat?’, would they automatically say no? Regardless of what the real look might be?


When you ask ‘is it just me or is that person irritating?’ do they automatically agree with you?


Or when you are in rehab for alcohol abuse, crying for just one beer, do you sneak them a drink because, after all, it will help take the edge off?



Recently it has been hinted that I am not a friend of the fire district. The district has been asking the public for funding while I point out questionable expenses of a cash-strapped agency.


Yet, once brought to their attention, on many occasions the district we me. Without explanation of past practices, some expenses were stopped. Some were curtailed. And a few were defended or continue as of today.


But none would have remotely been considered for change had a third party not questioned them. And even then, these observances would have been waved off as unwelcome advances had they not been questioned in a very public way.


Instead of relying on the always agreeable ‘friends’ who saw no wrong, this district has become stronger and leaner because an outsider would not merely follow the usual crowd of blind faithful agreement.


I said that should I be elected commissioner last year I would start saving taxpayers hard cold cash on day one by not taking what I consider to be non-essential perk money for travel and meals while my district undergoes a financial crisis. While the spotlight of public opinion failed to prevent dollars from continuing to flow, the district has made many changes in other areas because of my tenacity.


I have been considered an adversary of the district because I use straight talking language to call them out when they are wrong. Apparently, because I would be ignored any other way,  my straight-forward approach has been branded caustic and abrasive.


But what do you consider a friend to be? Someone who blindly agrees with your every decision and might merely become an unwitting enabler to unhealthy practices?


Of course, I suppose most would be satisfied if their friend merely accepted them as they are and ignored the undesirable actions. Call them simply minor but acceptable characteristics.


But how can a friend ignore your non-essential spending while at the same time you are asking for more taxpayer revenue?


I suppose you could just allow a few in-efficiencies to continue. What harm could one beer do?


But then how could you not consider that to be a fake friend?

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