To the Editor:
As a founding member of Thurman Emergency Medical Services Inc., it has been distressful to watch the bickering between the town administration and the local EMS volunteers and townspeople.
Town representatives have claimed repeatedly that residents prefer lower taxes over a viable paid emergency squad.
Squad representatives express an oppositional view.
One thing is clear: Thurman residents in increasing numbers are expressing anger at the perception that the Thurman Town Board is running amok, to the exclusion of resident input. One symbolic example is the neon sign that was totally unnecessary and cost taxpayers in excess of $7,000.
I believe that it would make a strong statement if the town held a referendum about through which residents could express their preference for how their money is spent: toward lower taxes, or a fully staffed EMS squad. The vote should be held after the town provides accurate cost estimates of per-capita EMS coverage: how much per $100,000 valuation of taxes would be saved if we “de-fund” EMS, and how much it would cost (employing the same scale) to maintain it.
We are an intelligent population, fully capable of making a decision when adequate information is presented.
It would also go far toward the Town Board regaining the trust of the populace they presumably serve.
Irv West, Thurman