Name change suggestion was not for political gain

The following letter to the family of Kenneth and Betty May was released to the Times-News for publication.

I read your letter to the editor expressing your concerns regarding an email that was shared with the family about the possibility of the full integration of LaVale Volunteer Rescue Squad and the Allegany County Department of Emergency Services. During this meeting, I suggested that we honor the dedicated work of the late Kenneth and Betty May, who gave selflessly to the community they lived in and loved.

The integration of services would be one-of-kind to allow volunteers to continue to function, while ensuring advanced life support services were available in the community provided by the Allegany County Department of Emergency Services.

I assure you that this was not in any way suggested or used for political gain. As you know, I have given my entire life to the community and had many heartfelt talks with your father as he frequently visited our office on PPG Road.

The dedication of the building to respectfully honor your father and mother would have had to go to the membership of the LaVale Volunteer Rescue Squad for approval, county government and finally to you the family, to ensure your needs were met before a final approval could be reached.

With the Mays’ lifelong commitment, I truly believed this would memorialize your father and mother. There was no other intent in our offer. It was simply a meeting followed up with an email — it was a fact finding meeting only.

My sincere apologies to you and your entire family.

As for setting the date of 9/11, I apologize again. There was no intent or disrespect to anyone — the date was set because it was approximately one month from when we initially met. Again, it was a date set for a response from the membership only, there is no action that would have been taken on the date for the requested response. In hindsight, I should have set the date for the following week. Moving forward, I changed the date for the response to Sept. 18.

James R. Pyles, director

Allegany County Department of Emergency Services 

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