Bill Wayne's Political Pages - The Gadfly
Gadfly 174
Submitted to the Warrensburg Gazette for January 16, 2003

The Gadfly is a series of letters offering commentary on local issues and published in the Warrensburg Gazette.

Back on August 1st, I predicted that the Johnson County Ambulance Board would come back to us for more money. I just didn’t think they’d be talking about doing so this soon. It appears that one board member has proposed they put a ½ cent sales tax on the ballot so they could REDUCE (not eliminate) the 30 cent property tax. It appears that the empire builders on the Ambulance Board do not believe they can live within a budget of at least $1.6 million and want to get into the taxpayers’ pockets for even more.

In that August letter, I noted that the City of Warrensburg’s ambulance budget for the eastern 2/3 of the county proposed a $330,000 deficit to be made up by tax dollars. Warrensburg expected to spend $830,000 and receive $500,000 in patient fees. Holden was operating at a lesser deficit. This indicates that the whole service could have been continued as it was operated, with purchase of new ambulances and even service enhancements, well within the $1.1 million provided by the property tax. I provided a lot more detail in the August 1st letter, available on-line at Gadfly 150.

This board is in such a rush to create its empire that it wishes to avoid the basic rules of competitive bidding. It’s talking about increasing taxes before an ambulance has ever rolled. Why are they doing this? This board, whose members garnered the support of between 2.48% and 7.02% of registered voters in June, wishes to provide us with a fait accompli so we will never be able to undo their mischief and move to a less expensive and more responsive system.

Back when we voted on the ambulance district, most of us didn’t realize that we were entering the “Little Shop of Horrors” where we would become servants of the insatiable appetite of an out-of-control board. Their demand to “feed me, feed me” is becoming louder. I think they’re being fed enough.

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