I am writing in response to the article in the Dec. 14 edition of the Catoosa County News titled: "Was it cronyism? The hiring of Randy Camp to be Catoosa County's new fire chief turned into a debate on 'good old boy' politics when commissioners decided they needed to approve all department heads."

Although I very much appreciate a sincere and open-to-the-public political debate among elected officials when it comes to governmental decisions, I would like to voice my opinion in regards to the ultimate issue of the article, which was the hiring of Randy Camp to be Catoosa County's new fire chief.

Although I do not know Mr. Camp personally, I have known him professionally for over 20 years, and I have never heard anything bad said about him, which I cannot say of very many governmental officials. I have seen Mr. Camp being interviewed on the news after a fire in Walker County; he was sweating as if he had written a bad check; he had singed eyebrows; he was dark with soot; and he was the chief of the fire department, obviously leading the charge into the fire.

Whether it may appear as cronyism, or an effort to oversee the hiring of department heads in the county, it is clear to me that in this case, the correct hiring decision was made. The debate among the commissioners should not overshadow the fact that the county ultimately made the correct decision on behalf of the citizens of the county. If my home or business catches on fire, I want Randy Camp leading the way.

Lawrence A. Stagg, Ringgold

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