The voters of the Mehlville Fire Protection District were denied an opportunity to hear from the candidates for Director last night due to Mike Klund's convenient "family emergency". Frankly, we don't believe anything that emanates from the mouth of Mr. Klund, but last night was the ONLY venue which the public could question his firefighter union funded campaign of lies, half-truths and distortions. Since we could not ask questions of Mike Klund, we would like to share several issues that the public needs to be aware of concerning Mr. Klund.
1. The February 16 edition of the Call covered the candidate forum of the Tesson Ferry Republican Club where Mr. Klund stated: "I was born and raised in Mehlville and I supported Bonnie and Aaron when they ran the first time. After a couple years of seeing what was going on ... the reform, that's a simple word, but I thought it was good.". Klund also told the Mehlville Patch on March 3: "He said he originally voted for current chairman Aaron Hilmer’s reform policy because he felt there were a lot of improprieties going on—that the past board was too giving to the employees". The truth is that Mike Klund has only voted in ONE APRIL ELECTION and that was in April of 2009 according to the St. Louis County Board of Elections. As a matter of fact, Mike Klund only voted in SIX ELECTIONS during the last 10 years! Obviously Mr. Klund is NOT TELLING YOU THE TRUTH! He NEVER voted in April 2005 for Aaron Hilmer & Bonnie Stegman. IN FACT, HE DIDN'T VOTE AT ALL!
2. Klund's campaign mailer sent out last week states that he would: "Work for the voice of the taxpayers and not the special interests" REALLY? Klund has received at least $43,000 from the firefighter's unions who are paying the ENTIRE TAB for his campaign. If the corrupt union IAFF Local 1889 is NOT a special interest then WHO IS? We have deep concerns about a money-laundering scheme between Mehlville's Local 1889 and another firefighters union front group that will be throughly investigated after the April 5 election. In the February 16 edition of the Call, a member of the Tesson Ferry GOP asked: "….If they have or will accept campaign contributions from the firefighters' union. Klund said, "Yes, I will.'' Praprotnik said, "No, I will not.'' Hilmer said, "I don't think they'd give them to me. But if they would, I wouldn't take them.'' So much for Klund's rejection of the "special interests".
3. Klund's yard signs and is campaign mailers also state that he would "Put a stop to charging for ambulance service - that's DOUBLE TAXATION". That sounds nice, but the FACT is that ambulance fees bring in close to $2 million a year in revenue to the Mehlville FPD. An ambulance fee is NOT a tax. It is reimbursement for services. In 2002, Klund's OWN POLITICAL ALLIES instituted ambulance billing - THREE YEARS BEFORE Aaron Hilmer was elected. The current president of Local 1889, Nick Fahs (who is bankrolling Klund's campaign under the table) supported the policy that he now opposes. Since Klund's "family emergency" prohibited him from attending last night's forum we could not ask him HOW he intends to replace the $2 million a year if he ends ambulance billing. Would he RAISE TAXES, LAY OFF FIREFIGHTERS & PARAMEDICS or SELL OFF ASSETS. We don't know because Klund did not show up.
4. Klund's campaign mailer that he will "Keep the Sunset Hills fire house in Sunset Hills'. We ask HOW? The Board has already voted and broke ground on the new No. 3 Firehouse at 4811 S. Lindbergh Blvd. Klund's ill-informed remarks which leads voters to believe that service to the residents of Sunset Hills will be damaged by a move of ONLY 1000 feet is desperate, untruthful and just plain DUMB! Fire Chief Tim White stated in yesterday's Call: "As far as the location that's chosen, we are so fortunate to have that for the very reason that I just described. It's not going to put the citizens of Sunset Hills or citizens in the immediate area at any risk whatsoever,'' the chief said. "As a matter of fact, the distance to travel in a Code 3 from where we're going to move to the actual location would probably be roughly 10 seconds. Now keep in mind, everybody on the other side of that, it's 10 seconds quicker".
There are MANY OTHER problems with Mr. Klund's inability to be truthful with the voters - but in reality it really doesn't matter. Aaron Hilmer has kept his promises to the people and will be reelected by a large margin. The sad fact is that once again the fine firefighters and paramedics of the Mehlville Fire Protection District have been exploited and duped by their union bosses. Union president Nick Fahs has opened up the checkbook and spent huge amounts of Local 1889 dues money on a candidate who cannot tell the truth and has no REAL issues. We ask WHY these professionals put up with a union that continues to put the union bosses' political agenda ABOVE the well-being of their members. We pray that there will be an Egypt-style uprising among the rank-and-file of Local 1889 against their failed and corrupt leaders.