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Vote no on EMS levy | Letter

On the November ballot, Fire District #3 is asking voters to approve a new 50 cent levy to provide EMS services. Currently, the hospital district is providing these services while collecting only 38 cents per $1,000 0f assessed property value. We are voting NO and encourage you to do the same. The fire district has made no effort to inform the public about how they intend to provide EMS services or why they need to increase our tax dollars by 30%. We deserve to know some details or at least to know that these details exist.

We want to know what we are supporting and will not support a tax or an agency that does not take the time to provide information. The lack of accountability appears to be systemic with the fire department. Check out the fire district’s website and see what you can glean from it. You won’t find out basic information such as who works there; or how to contact whoever works there; you won’t find out how they spend the current levy of $1,400,000 and there is nothing about the new EMS levy. If you have lots of time on your hand and dig through the posted minutes you might get answers to some of these questions. But we think it is clear the fire district doesn’t want us to know too much; the fact is they are not forthcoming and transparent.

Maybe a NO Vote will wake up the fire district to the fact that they must be accountable to the public. A NO vote will give them the time to formulate a plan and then tell us how they want to spend our tax dollars. Because after all they, like all taxing agencies, are to be accountable to the people they serve.

Don’t worry about voting no, because EMS services and fire services will continue as both are adequately funded.

Soon after submitting our letter to the editor and before it was even published we learned that the Fire District had launched a new website. It now identifies the Chief and announces the levy request. It’s a step towards transparency but just too little, too late to change our vote. We are hoping next year there is an EMS levy we can support.

Sally and Tim Thomsen

Friday Harbor