The 2016 budget draft announced at the special meeting today.

 

And another case of listening to the people failure was exhibited.

 

We rejected the bond measure in April because it was too high and we did not trust our leadership to make the right decisions.

 

Here is another case of hearing only what they want, melting it onto a blob no one recognizes and selling it as an improvement.

 

Being the only candidate that misses work if necessary to go to as many meetings as possible on behalf of the taxpayers of this district, I attended to hear first hand what the budget had in store. Come to think of it, as is usually the case, I was again the only non-payroll person in the room.

 

For years members of the public have been asking why the department sends a huge fire truck, usually more than one, plus additional auxiliary vehicles and staff, for a minor injury call.

 

The suggestion has been for smaller low cost efficient vehicles. More responsive solutions, staffed with one or two EMT’s. Saving tens of thousands in staffing, vehicles and fuel.

 

This year the commissioners are suggesting adding another vehicle to the fleet following a reportedly successful model used in Kent with their FD Cares program.

Kent FD Care SUV2

SKF&R named our vehicle the Community Medical Technician unit. It will function in partnership with Valley Regional Fire Authority, specifically to handle what are defined as low acuity medical incidents in both jurisdictions.

 

But the revelation is a mixed bag for taxpayers.

 

And what a whopper money boon for the firefighters. Overtime increases 2,237% for two positions that the chief said was what the county mandated. And offered to ‘pay’ for.

At an expense of a mere $263,529 Increase. Per year. For our share. Essentially two full time firefighters getting massive overtime pay.

 

But there was, supposedly, good news.

All that overtime money is reimbursed by the King County EMS fund.

Wait.

Doesn’t King County (over) tax us too?

 

Isn’t that a separate EMS TAX on our property tax bill?

So this 2,237% Increase in EMS overtime budget isn’t free?

 

The Bitter Sweet

 

If you watch the video of the Kent Fire Department FD Care description, you will see this unit, in addition to being exactly what the public has been demanding for years (Minus the Overtime!), is tailored to be a long term tool to reduce the number of non-emergency calls.

And try to get in front of a major problem that only promises to get bigger if not addressed as soon as possible.

 

But the controversy arises when our district, instead of patterning with the Kent fire department so we can take advantage of their knowledge, instead partners with a second district (which they dearly wish to merge us to for the higher tax base, but that is another story) to promulgate what they are selling is a ‘trial’ system the REQUIRES OVERTIME PERSONNEL to implement.

 

If the model is so good, has already been proven and there is already success, right next door of all places, then why the outrageously extreme cost?

 

This administration thinks telling you it is a pass-through expense paid for by other peoples money is acceptable. Without divulging they are simply taking massive taxes out of your other pocket to fund their overtime venture is disingenuous at best.

They are so used to grants and alternate funding they never see it ALL comes out of YOUR pocket.

Smoke and mirrors.

 

Is it a coincidence that his announcement comes at the same time they are signing a new union contract?

Any guesses who benefits from all that overtime?

 

 

 

 

 

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