A new perspective of the EMS levy – letters

On July 6 Messrs. Brennan and Bucholz urged waiting until the November election to decide the future of EMS. They argued there was no 2017 district budget. Mr. Bucholz went further, calling the commissioners “deceitfully irresponsible” for having no budget, and accusing them of “half-truths” and “lies.”

I’ve been on the island one year. I have followed the EMS levy progress. I am impressed with the diligence and effort of the commissioners, the new chief, and the citizens helping them evaluate district finances and pass this new levy for 2017. They have stood up and taken responsibility on the issue. All I have read from Brennan and Bucholz is “not now” based on their apparent ignorance that the commissioners unanimously adopted a 2017 budget on June 30. The citizen review committee began reviewing district finances in February, held two town hall meetings in April, and recommended a $0.50 per $1,000 new levy beginning in 2017. And a citizen campaign committee was formed in late April to advocate for adoption of the proposed levy. And the new chief has actively engaged in examining the operations and finances of the district. He has appeared at public presentations to answer questions and provide information. To see what has been done by our elected officials and upstanding citizens, go to www.sanjuanems.org and www.VoteYesforEMS2016.

In contrast, Brennan and Bucholz offer voters no genuine information or alternatives to the proposed levy. Bucholz compounds these errors by accusing our elected commissioners of lying. In my profession as a lawyer, one has to prove such an accusation by clear and convincing evidence. Clearly, Bucholz falls far short of that standard, and well below the standard of respectful public discourse I have observed on the island.

The finances of the district are known. If you want quality EMS service to continue, there is only one responsible choice – mark your ballot “yes” and mail it in as soon as you receive it in the mail. I will.

Michael Hansen

San Juan Island