On the Nov. 2 ballot, voters have a choice – whether to allow Fire District 3 to raise its levy (a tax increase). The sole purpose of this tax increase is to take over San Juan Island Emergency Services (SJIEMS).
I believe having SJIEMS become part of the fire district would be a huge mistake. According to the Public Hospital District meeting minutes, SJIEMS calls are responded to within two minutes; furthermore, according to these same minutes, a national survey agency shows those who have needed SJIEMS service gave it a 98/100 grade. This ranks fifth out of 175 similar agencies across the country — what a remarkable achievement for our island!
For the past two years, the fire department has been responding to “all” 911 dispatched SJIEMS calls without being requested by SJIEMS to do so. Why? Do fire personnel and trucks want to be seen by the public as being active? By the fire commission’s own minutes, 68% of the fire department’s responses are 911 dispatched SJIEMS calls.
When SJIEMS and the fire department were one, SJIEMS separated due to receiving the short end of the financial stick. Just look at the “proposed” table of organization for the combined agency and you’ll see SJIEMS occupies an insignificant place while fire is top-heavy.
I ask — IF IT AIN’T BROKE – DON’T FIX IT!
Vote NO to the fire district’s levy increase.