Many constituents have asked me for my opinion on a possible levy lid increase in order to support the fire services suggested by the 2009 budget.
One of my basic expectations that I hold for city government is an efficient and appropriate public safety response that provides protection of our citizens and their property. DuPont government is anticipating a short fall of general fund money in order to fund all of its future city services including fire/EMS. The city presently has a modest EMS levy, however it is not sufficient to cover all present EMS service expenses. Passage of a levy lift will insure substantial, sustainable funding for fire/EMS services in the 2009 budget and for several years thereafter. It must be noted that if a fire/EMS levy should pass in November, general fund money which traditionally have been allocated to fire services can therefore be used to balance the other areas within the budget. Being relieved from having to fund fire/EMS services out of the general fund income is a tremendous advantage for the city‚Äôs budget planners.
A second basic expectation that I hold for city government is that citizens will be given open, honest and all-inclusive information. Through a series of planned town hall meetings, the city administration will explain how this fire levy will serve to balance the 2009 budget and how the fire/EMS services will not be so dependent upon the general fund. Our Interim Fire Chief, Bob Merritt, has provided his expertise and experience along with our city staff to develop a fire service that combines our current DuPont fire along with contracted services.
Asking for a dedicated fire/EMS funding account has been very effectively and successfully used in other cities and is appropriate for DuPont.
I am in favor of forwarding a levy lift proposal to a vote of the people in November and I ask citizens to evaluate the financial consequences for the city. Each voter must decide if they can afford the levy amount being suggested and if it meets the level of fire service they’d like to receive from our great, growing city here in DuPont. Please evaluate the
preliminary budget and preliminary tax calculations documents and participate in the discussion Thursday evening, July 24th at Chloe Clark Elementary, 7:00 pm.
Roger C. Westman
DuPont City Councilmember, Position 1
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