Transparency and speaking truth to power
8/31/2023, 6 p.m.
I am a 19-year veteran of the Richmond Fire Department and a candidate for the City of Richmond Personnel Board to represent the classified service.
I have been closely following the narrative of the proposed burn building at Hickory Hill. I was in support of the burn building until I understood the entire narrative.
The Richmond Free Press did a fantastic job in covering the story and opening my eyes.
That being said, how the entire ordeal went down makes the Fire Department look really bad.
In your editorial you noted that Fire Chief Melvin Carter “hid the fact” that Hickory Hill would be used by no fewer than five other jurisdictions.
My fear is that when executives, fire departments and others hide things from the community it directly undermines the special relationship Richmond firefighters have with the community that is built on trust. As firefighters we have access to people and places that others don’t. Again, it is a special relationship that is built on the trust that the community gives us.
Keep doing the people’s work, Richmond Free Press.
The cornerstone of an ethical organization is transparency and the ability to speak truth to power.
ANTHONY L. WELLS