Why Back-to-Back Levies? Facts.

A. November 2021 Fire/EMS Levy proposal and the Current PHD/EMS Levy:

1. 11/21: In pursuit of one of 8 Citizens Advisory Group (CAG) “ABSOLUTE CONDITIONS” and under Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Fire District3 (Fire3) and Public Hospital District#1(PHD)… Fire3 attempting to achieve that ‘Condition’ proposed the November Levy. Fire proposed a rate of $0.50/$1,000. It Failed.

Fire3 DID NOT: present a proposed budget as how OUR money would be spent, nor explain how current front line dedicated Paramedics (4) and EMTs would be merged into a combined service, nor transfer of assets…… not one substantive word.

2. Upcoming 2/22 vote: PHD)/EMS, current & long-term provider of Basic & Advanced Emergency Services, asks your continued support for $0.45/$1,000 Levy. The $0.45 is a maximum. PHD has historically adjusted down the $0.45 to fit facts and budget… This Levy funds continued 24/7 lifesaving work, increased medicine costs, and assures timely long-term planning.

B. Voter’s Pamphlet Argument Against the Current PHD/EMS Levy Proposal.

Please read the against Statement by three against authors. I find it contains half-truths, fabrication attempting to create mistrust in the current PHD Board and dedicated Employees. Two examples:

1. Paragraph #4; “lost 2 chiefs” …. Out of Context Innuendo.

Fact: The ‘first’ chief was an internal interim appointee. He was guaranteed his precedent PHD/EMS job if that interim appointment was no longer needed. The newly elected & current PHD Board PHD Superintendent evaluated much of PHD business operations, using state of art “Lean” type of analysis. Finding: The substantive work assigned to the ‘chief’ position was redundant to work performed by others: Quality assurance was best handled by the 4 current ALS Paramedic team (combined 86 years of on-island first responder experience) coupled with leadership of the independent physician County Medical Director. Financial oversight/budgeting was best handled through he PHD administrative office with further verification through SJI County Auditor. Thus the ‘interim chief’ position was eliminated as redundant. The employee was offered his previous job back. He declined.

‘Second’ chief was the longstanding, respected PHD superintendent. Following the death of her only “on island relative’, and she nearing federal retirement benefit age, elected to move close to family /friends in Texas. The current acting PHD administrator is well qualified for the business/planning & auditing side of operations and communicates with the quality review committee frequently.

2. Paragraph # 4 “2/3 left.” Out-of-Context Cherry-Picking. Innuendo.

Fact: Some full-timers have left (above), some volunteers left for ‘greener grass’… two have returned.

Fact: PHD is properly staffed, Office and Field. A current PHD/EMT is studying at the 10-month intensive Harborview Paramedic Academy, and returns to SJI/EMS by June; THUS, allowing reduction in over-time, more robust back-up, standardization of full overnight-in-house staffing…and more.

PHD/EMS Levy……. Please join me and Vote Yes!

Warren Appleton MD, JD

San Juan Island