In order to cool the controversy the BOC started when they brought up privatizing EMS, Comm. Pennamon brought up the idea of a committee to decide what should be done about EMS at the June 3, 2013 meeting. It is very concerning that the whole idea seems to be a delay tactic to keep the heat off the commissioners for the time being. Watch this video of discussion at the June 17 meeting:
Comm. Luke wants to make it clear that the BOC does not appoint but only approves the members that are chosen for this committee. Comm. Pennamon (at 0:50 on the video) responds, “Not necessarily approve but accept.” Then he laughs.
At 1:00 on the video, Lorri Smith states, “Once the committee makes their recommendation, you will just accept their recommendations, but that doesn’t mean you have to take action.” This is typical of how all BOC appointed committees have worked in the past. The citizens work hard, bring up good and bad, most always have solutions, and then the BOC thanks them and dismisses them, and the BOC does what they please anyway.
It was also brought up during this conversation that the EMS is concerned that there is no School Board rep on the committee. The EMS staff was concerned because EMS is present at the school ball games. No comment was made by any BOC member.
Questions: Does the School Board reimburse the county for this special service? The School Board charges the county any time a gymnasium is used for Recreation. Isn’t it possible that overtime is accrued when the EMS employees are at the games?
The new County Manager will be facilitating this committee. We hope the committee will be allowed to work without constraints placed on it so that everything can be discussed.
At present the following have chosen representatives:
EMS-BOC mentioned but did not give name
Yet to pick a representative: Turtle Cove, City of Monticello, City of Shady Dale, BOC (will this be the County Manager or a commissioner?), and Health Dept.
We will post it on the blog when we find out the dates of the committee meetings.
By the way, we are wondering if any EMS personnel will be allowed to attend these meetings. The EMS director was suspended (read here) because 3 or 4 EMT/Paramedics attended the BOC meeting one evening in uniform to find out what was being discussed during a budget meeting. It was obvious during the meeting that the commissioners were not happy and cut the meeting short.
It would be interesting to see how this board would react if the entire courthouse was packed as it was in 2009 when privatizing came up before. At that meeting the BOC allowed everyone a chance to speak, and no one was reprimanded or suspended. It is called transparency.