LETTES TO THE EDITOR | Fire levy not investigated
November 4, 2012 · Updated 1:28 PM
To the editor:
If you encounter a traffic jam while traveling in India, a likely culprit would be a four legged bovine meandering down the road. Cows are sacred in India, their presence is honored and habits unquestioned.
On South Whidbey, the Fire District get similar treatment. The editorial staff at the Record (Oct. 20) endorsed the fire levy seemingly because (1) they do a good job and (2) they requested the money. No questions asked!
Our Fire District does do a good job, but their budget practices over the years are questionable and could use some of that in-depth analysis we’ve come to expect from the local press, such as:
Why do we have and fund dual EMS services (fire district and hospital) on the South End?
Fire district revenue has increased 283 percent since 1990 (from $600,000 to $2.4 million) and they’ve built 2 1/2 extravagant stations ‚Äì were these needed or an outlet for an excessive budget?
Just where is this 24 percent levy increase (amounting to $550,00 per year) going What services would be cut without it?
When will some sophistication be added to our simplistic dispatch system so resources are used efficiently?
There’s no commitment to discontinue planning and saving for that crazy $4-6 million administration/training facility and when will it be selling that $500,000 parcel of land that hosts the “coming soon” sign?
What’s with that 20 acre parcel purchased on Thompson Road, $20,000 for a name change and $40,000 for marketing of this levy.
That levy request we passed in August for Whidbey General EMS services was to keep funding at the current rate and it had a sunset clause in six years. This Fire District 3 levy is both an increase over existing revenue and it’s permanent. Why?
Should and should not our community spent this $550,000 on ____ (fill in the blank).
I’d expect the Record to leave the sacred cows where they belong and dig a little deeper before casting an important endorsement.