The Daily Star
---- — Fire dept. stop
While driving to work on Nov. 10 , around 7:45 a.m. I was passing through West Oneonta. Up ahead by the firehouse, I saw a road block and assumed it was either an emergency or road work. There were at least five or six people standing in the road with a hand-held stop sign. I was appalled when I realized they were looking for donations.
There were people on both sides of the car ahead of me starring down the occupants as one of them shook a boot to collect the money in. I was angry that they had the nerve to stop people on their way to work and try to intimidate them into forking over money.
Since I have automatic deposit of my paycheck, I literally carry no cash and use my debit card for purchases. When I rolled past and raised my hands, one of them shouted “Aw come on!” This appeared to me as more of a shakedown then a fundraiser!
This was not only unethical and unprofessional, it was downright rude. I wonder if it is even legal? I’ve seen this form of fundraiser before, but nobody ever forced me to stop. I’ve donated to my hometown fire department before and understand its plight, but I will not be intimidated by such poor behavior.
My wife tells me the same fire department has pulled this stunt several times before and she’s been stuck behind several cars and been late to work as a result. There is no excuse for this in your face type of intimidation. Route 23 is a main thouroughfare and should not be blocked for unofficial business. I suggest the fire department find another way or location to hold their “fundraiser”!