Letter to the Editor In response to County 911 system prompts concern
One aspect of countywide provision of public safety is a rapid response to calls for assistance and for emergencies reported to 911. The County had a unique opportunity to conserve valuable resources by consolidating the emergency call taking, as well as police and fire dispatch. Implementation of the consolidation plan took many haphazardly located centers throughout the County to a more streamlined and possibly a more efficient, three call-taking and dispatch centers.
This consolidation resulted in a small increase in Ad Valorem taxes, which was to be offset by decreases in call-taking and dispatch times, as well as in the long term, saving taxpayers though greater efficiencies. If any of these were realized, the system would have been a huge success; but they weren’t and it isn't.
Given a complex project, managers determine whether their current resources meet the needs of their users. Then recommendations are made as to what resources may be required to fulfill the promises made to the users in this case, the municipalities. Obviously, this was not done or if it was, deficiencies in funding and personnel were not identified or were not reported to the Commission.
As often happens in government, especially when a comprehensive plan covering what additional resources will be needed is not completed or is erroneous, more money is always the answer. In this situation, more money was provided through a tax increase. There are some options now but few, if any, go to the heart of what’s needed -- making government work.