Pinellas EMS – Why do we have two trucks when one is needed?

Come Testify at Pinellas County Commission Thursday, 9/15 at 6:30 pm – Rally at 5 pm
(Stay tuned in next few weeks for exposure on Government Worker Pay and Benefits!)

The Pinellas County Commission – lead by its Chairman Susan Latvala- has voted to raise your taxes 46% to fund a bloated ambulance system that provides more benefit to a county administration and private company than it does the taxpayers who they serve. They also intend to raise fire department taxes in unincorporated Pinellas County.As has been previously reported here: (Pinellas County Funny Tax Math $27 Million Tax Hike Season – Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace. Pinellas EMS Tax Increase is Unnecessary, Bad Public Policy and May Violate State Law.), the Costs for Ambulance Transport continue to escalate faster than inflation and the number of transports. This is in the face of a program that was created to SAVE MONEY!

The taxpayer with common sense knows the solution: stop sending two trucks with highly skilled and highly paid crew to do the job of one truck.  Pinellas county is one of the rare counties that has an ambulance transport system separate from the local fire departments.  As costs continue to escalate, there is no attempt to find real costs savings.

Local fire departments including in St. Petersburg, Lealman and Oldsmar/Palm Harbor have offered to do their own transports (LOCAL FIRE DEPARTMENTS SAY – “We CAN DO IT WITH ONE TRUCK”!)  They know that they can collect fees for ambulance transports that would cover their costs.  This would avoid the subsidies of one part of the county for another part.  St. Petersburg Fire Department is acting responsibly. They recognize that receiving about $5 million in tax dollars from taxpayers outside of St. Petersburg is not fair.  They want to end that system and pay their own way. Then the citizens of St. Petersburg and the other local governments can decide how best to manage their local departments to deliver the best services at the lowest cost.

The County Commission is unlikely to change their minds and vote the tax increase down. However, getting on the record, letting them know you are watching makes a difference.

Tax Raiser in Cheif (EMS, PSTA and others) will be running for re-election in 2012.  When she campaigns, a credible opponent may recognize that she was asked to cut taxes and instead she said “It is a good year for a tax increase”.  It seems that Susan Latvala ALWAYS thinks it is a good year, month, day and minute for a tax increase.

Hope to see you at the Commission!