This fire was a wake-up call and requires you, the citizen, to take immediate action. Something is terribly wrong and needs to be addressed. The citizens of Pike County and especially the residents of the city of Concord need to be informed as to who is the head of government of their fine city.
As an elected official, the mayor of your city should always have the best interests of you, the citizens, in mind. Not so.
The fire was reported immediately upon seeing the first smoke and our volunteer fire department was on the scene and responding quickly. However, it is a fact that adequate water was not available to fight the fire. Why not? A water line had been run from Griffin especially for emergencies such as this. The firefighters lost pressure from the hydrants and had to reattach hoses to the tankers, losing valuable time. Where was the water going? You, the residents of Concord, need an answer to that question before your property or business burns to the ground needlessly.
Your mayor was not in favor of using the water for fighting the fire. He had more personal reasons for needing water that day. Ask your mayor what he was more concerned about on Oct. 16, 2009. There are firefighters who witnessed firsthand his selfishness.
Furthermore, as the Magnolia Farms riding team is trying to rebuild their lives and press forward, they approached your mayor at the Concord Jubilee, asking if they could place a donation jar at a vendor’s booth. This booth was paid for by a rider’s mother, who was there selling her handmade knitted items.
Your mayor showed his true colors and just how hardhearted he is. He could not understand why the girls would be so devastated and even stated that he did not know the meaning of the word.
Add this to your vocabulary, Mr. Mayor — devastated means “to lay wasted, ravaged, destroyed; to be made helpless, overwhelmed.” Now ride by where the old Concord School and Equestrian Center once stood. You will see a true picture of devastation. He would not permit a donation jar to be set up at the Jubilee. And even later approached the owner of Magnolia Farms (also the riders’ trainer) and stated that he could not allow “panhandlers.”
It was not the intention of the Magnolia Farms riders to “beg” for money.
Don’t worry, Mr. Mayor, Magnolia Farms does not need you to rebuild. Nor do we want you. But you, the citizens of the city of Concord, still have an elected official who should be working for you. Ask him where the water was and where his interests were the day of the fire. Demand answers and the truth.
Concord has lost a significant piece of history, quite possibly needlessly. It was a sad day for Ms. Stacey Ryan and family, the Magnolia Farms family, for the firefighters who worked tirelessly for more than 12 hours, and for all who held the old school building in a special place in their heart.
Many thanks go out to the countless people who are helping in our recovery. Words are not enough to express our heartfelt gratitude. Thank you for the prayers, donations, and your expressions of sympathy and encouragement. We will be back and we will ride again.