Conflicts of interest interfere with integration

Do PHD and EMS employees have a conflict of interest when it comes to the integration of Fire and EMS? You decide:

There is no doubt we have capable and qualified paramedics. That said, for years they have enjoyed higher-than-typical salaries, little if any supervision, on-duty hours during which they average only about 5 calls/week, personal use of agency vehicles and the ability to respond from their own homes.

PHD Superintendent Nathan Butler was hired as a clerical assistant just 5 years ago for about $30,000 salary. He is now making nearly $200,000 compensation/benefits. The PHD promoted him 3 times over the past year without interviewing anyone else. Butler has a total of about 5 years working experience, with zero management or financial experience and only this past year, a rudimentary understanding of EMS.

This organization is blatantly and illegally sponsoring their own ballot levy. The Public Disclosure Law (PDC) specifically states that “no elective official (ie board members) nor any employee (ie paramedics, EMTs, PHD/EMS staff) … may use … any of the facilities of a public office or agency for the … promotion of … any ballot proposition.” Yet they are doing just this in full public view. Check out their Facebook page, read the media letters from staff, look at their websites.

Who is protecting whom? Do these few people want what’s best for our community or are they merely protecting their own jobs and extraordinary work conditions, wages and benefits?

Demand accountability. Vote no on the EMS levy.

Bill Langley

San Juan Island