Voters deserve the truth

Voters deserve the truth

I was an original member of the EMS Levy Committee and was very hopeful that I could support the new EMS Levy. Unfortunately, after time it became clear that how they intended to get this levy to pass was unacceptable. No needed cuts since the first and second failed levy attempts in February and November of 2014 have been made and EMS has not shown that they really need our tax money.

In a letter to the editor, Rebecca Smith (Treasurer for the EMS Levy Committee) stated; “Public funds must be assessed carefully and utilized in a transparent and cost effective manner”. I agree with that. But, this is a statement that should inspire us to ask more questions like; How has EMS changed? Have they made necessary reductions in personnel, salaries, or reduced their expenses in other ways? Are they really being more transparent?

We are all good, honest, hardworking people and should be well informed when making important decisions that affect our quality of life here on the island. We should not be kept willfully ignorant or fed information that has no basis in fact or is simply not true. Rebecca stated that the paramedics have taken an 11% cut in pay and benefits per their recent union negotiations, but when I look at 2015 compared to the 2017 contract rates, I calculate less than half of that amount.

Right now, the EMS Levy Committee is providing nothing but scare tactics hoping that voters will base their vote on fear of losing EMS (rather than fact). I believe we have a large population of voters, who are critical thinkers and will not just vote based on emotions and fear. EMS is not going away if you vote no in this August election.

Voters should sift through everything they see, hear and read, pro and con and make an informed decision on how to vote in the primary election. And this is only the Primary Election. If there are still questions unanswered and changes yet to be made, EMS can file for another levy before the General Election in November and “get it right”.

Voters deserve the truth, complete transparency, and a fiscally responsible EMS department. Until we have all the facts and explanations, I’m voting No.

Leslie Brennan

San Juan Island