Letter to the Editor: When one immoral tax spawns another
The Logan county district 2 commissioner is proposing some sort of EMS ambulance actions to take place Monday, March 2 2015 at the Logan county courthouse annex. Given the limited information available, it seems the action is intended to bringing all county school district areas not covered by an existing EMS district into the Logan County EMS district to be supported by the Guthrie FD ambulance service.
Here is an appeal from the district 2 commissioner to justify doing something for the safety of the community; *“I live in the Coyle School District so this affects me and my wife as well. Should the need arise, at best we may get a first responder from our local volunteer fire department, but, otherwise, it will be up to us or friends or neighbors to get one or both of us to an emergency room.” Really?
If you think about it, this is really a false argument because our visceral emotional responses are not often a good guide to truth; emotions almost always cloud rather than clarify issues. We should base our beliefs upon reason rather than on emotion.
This EMS tax fund amounts to 3 mills property tax increase to be appropriated specifically for Emergency Medical Services. How could a reasonable person support giving more tax revenue and a greater area of service responsibility to a group of people who have a demonstrated track record of a “hands off approach” to state mandated internal controls required to secure those appropriated funds specifically for emergency medical services?
Scare tactics are not facts. Pertinent, relevant, meaningful facts and taking the time for proper analysis are what is needed whenever considering any major change in public services. The real questions that should be ask is who provides Coyle’s ambulance service today, what are the main issues with this service, and which areas are considered somehow substandard? Is there a serious problem with ambulance service to the Coyle school district? Follow the money.
To date, the board of Logan County EMS trusties has not demonstrated competence as astute caretakers of public funds. The Logan County Board of Commissioners has yet to make any serous and unified inquiry into the missing EMS equipment. The Sharpton logrolled sales tax was legal, but morally and ethically questionable. With recent history as a good indicator of future actions, this next piece of local government action will again raise taxes in the county and may come at a much higher price.
Unless we are having serious systemic issues where emergency calls are going unanswered or significantly delayed response time, then we should not be making snap decisions on changing or implementing a new emergency service delivery model based on the emotion of fear.
While I fully support emergency services as one of the legitimate functions of government; I do not support using scare tactics in the name of empire building. On this important topic, I will ask that public meetings and hearings be scheduled and conducted throughout the county; where hard facts are presented, examined, discussed, and the people have a voice; that is how real leaders should make informed decisions.
Commissioner, District 1
Logan County, Oklahoma