Fact: the levy money EMS received in 2014 is more than $90,000 more than in 2010. Add to that a financially well-doing medical transport system, a decrease in call volume over the last couple of years, an upcoming increase in levy funds for 2015 and more steady reimbursement from newly insured patients, voters need to be convinced that a 42% increase in your levy is actually necessary.
Fact: Training has always been a necessary part of any response team and training costs have always been part of the budget. That is what we support with our taxes.
Fact: EMS built a top-of-the-line building for themselves, not for patients or anyone else’s benefit. This was started in 2011 when the country was in a recession. Costs could have been cut and a new ambulance could have been purchased with the funds.
For someone who received a 32% increase in salary 2 years ago, a 2.5% cut should not be demoralizing. I think of all those islanders who have lost jobs, are battling to keep their houses and are asked to vote for a 42% increase in your levy funding.
We need to be provided honest statistics to be assured of fiscal responsibility and true financial necessity during our economic downturn. The Hospital District Commissioners shouldn't need to use deceptive statistics to rationalize an increase in the levy rate.
It is time to be honest and up-front and treat the voters with respect to let them make informed decisions based on accurate information.