Ambulance, fire levy sparks debate in...

Ambulance, fire levy sparks debate in Ohio

There are 2048 comments on the EMS1 story from Feb 1, 2013, titled Ambulance, fire levy sparks debate in Ohio. In it, EMS1 reports that:

CLEARCREEK TWP., Ohio - Trustees in Clearcreek Twp. - third among 11 Warren County townships in net property taxes - disagree about asking voters for an additional 4.5-mill levy to fund fire protection and ambulance services.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at EMS1.

Common Sense Standards

Cincinnati, OH

#1651 May 7, 2013
Vote yes wrote:
<quoted text>
Awesome! Good job firefighters!
Stay focused on spreading the good news!

NO ADDITIONAL LEVY IS NEEDED AT THIS TIME!

VOTE NO!

Stay Focused!

Don't cave in to the pro-levy lovers "rules of ridicule!"
(These bully- tactics are straight out of Alinsky's NEA bible.)

Help us help you help others STOP Mr. Kidd and CCFD pro-levy lovers from this Emotional Blackmailing for dollars!

JUST VOTE NO!
focus

Xenia, OH

#1652 May 7, 2013
Common Sense Standards wrote:
<quoted text>
Thanks for voting NO!
Why not stick to your common sense message against Issue 3?
Makes no sense to "tacky talk" the Issue 3 messengers.
made sense to me...such arrogance on their part, besides...it felt good.
taxed enough

Miamisburg, OH

#1653 May 7, 2013
Bank Teller 41 wrote:
<quoted text>
Doug, do you really have much room to talk about attacks and intimidation?
I seem to recall you were charged for menacing a poor bank teller in our community. Now you're going to threaten those who support the fire levy??
Seems this anti-public safety camp will threaten or intimidate anyone they come across in order to get their way. When I grew up, we called these people bullies!
I haven't seen an iota of threats or intimidation by "just watching" but I have seen a lot of factually presented data. All of it is quite eye opening.

It seems you just have a personal issue regarding this person.
Starve the Beast -VOTE NO

Cincinnati, OH

#1654 May 7, 2013
Vote yes wrote:
<quoted text>
Awesome! Good job firefighters!
Government gone wild
Clearcreek Fire levy is on the ballot today and the Clearcreek Township fiscal officer told Trustees they did not need the money and they should give taxpayers a tax holiday due to the large surpluses of money they had and now a new Levy is on the ballot?

From Clearcreek Township Website
In 1982, the City of Springboro and Clearcreek Township joined to form the Clearcreek Fire District. They passed a 1 mill tax levy that generated $97,680. Today, that levy is collecting at .34 mill and yields $325,000. Previously, township residents had been served for decades by the volunteer Springboro Fire Company, which was dissolved when the Clearcreek Fire District was created.
As the city and township grew, the need for more firefighters/EMS personnel and equipment grew. A 2.5 mill tax levy was passed in 1987 ($300,452) and another 3.85 mill tax levy was approved in 2001 ($2,362,575). Today, those tax levies are collected at .98 for the 2.5 mill levy and 3.41 for the 3.85 mill levy for a total yield of $4,250,000.
In all, 7.35 mills have been approved by Clearcreek Township and City of Springboro taxpayers for fire and EMS protection, and since the levies are all continuing levies, they do not need to be renewed. It is important to remember, however, that today, only 4.73 mills are being collected because of people moving into the township and rising home values. The owner of a home valued at $100,000 paid about $165.55** towards fire protection in 2010.
Taxpayers also pay inside millage (non-voted upon property taxes). In Clearcreek Township, 2.12 mills are collected for the general fund, and road and bridges, costing the owner of a home valued at $100,000 about $74.20** per year.
When combined, taxpayers in Clearcreek Township pay 10.36 effective mills to operate the police, fire, and general operation of the township. This amounts to about $359.45** in annual assessments to the owner of a $100,000 home.(The owner of a home valued at $300,000 would pay $1,078.35.) That places Clearcreek Township third out of Warren County’s 11 townships in the amount of taxes collected through property taxes: Deerfield (12.3), Salem (10.65), Clearcreek (10.27), Hamilton (10.26), Union (8.10), Turtlecreek (7.57), Wayne (6.80), Harlan (6.68), Massie (4.58), Washington (3.56) and Franklin (2.56).

In 2010, Fire fund collected $3,596,497 in Property/Local Tax and $908,175 in Intergovernmental Revenue. In 2011, the Fire fund collected $4,331,546 in Property/Local Tax and $720,779 in Intergovernmental Revenue.
At 12/31/2011, the ending balance in the Fire Fund was $6,753,657. Per GASB 54, this is shown as “Reserved” because it can only be used for Fire expenditures.
In 2010, they spent $4,627,673 for “public Safety”(salaries) and in 2011 $4,645,556.
Certainly valid to ask why they need another 4+million/year now when they are accumulating money in their account. Proof that they have been over taxing Clearcreek Township residents every year. If they are accumulating more money than they need to operate the fire departments than why do they need more?
It is not growth.
Government gone wild

“Civic Innovation Designer”

Since: Mar 11

Springboro, Ohio

#1655 May 7, 2013
I can't even begin to tell you how frustrated I currently am with the political process. I've spent the greater part of the last two weeks reading every comment and following every link. Regardless of whether or not I support your reasoning, I thank you for the efforts you put into this election.

The Warren County Board of Election gets none of my thanks, after searching for my polling place and barging into a church meeting, only to be told they haven't voted at that location in years. So I drove around to the civic center and RANDOMLY saw the world's smallest sign on the front of the library.

When I went inside, the lady told me I was the FIFTH VOTER at 10:00 in the morning. One lady wrote down my name and the other told me I wasn't on their list. When she pulled out her big book, she told me that I had to vote at the church I just came from. That of course kicked off a whole research project between her and the BOE, which I didn't have time to stick around for.

WHO PUTS THAT MUCH TIME INTO VOTING??? WHY am I expected to put in hours of my time to verify something that the BOE wasn't willing to do? It's been years since anyone voted at the location, AND I LIVE IN THE MIDDLE OF TOWN! Seriously. I need to chill out and find the email address of the person who dropped the ball on our democratic process.
GlockMedic

Dayton, OH

#1656 May 7, 2013
Loved how you vote "No" people went around in the middle of the night to destroy the Fire Departments signs.

Love how the Fire Department has to follow the rules, but the "No" people don't.

Please help show the "No" people are outnumbered by the people that care for the community.

Yesto3.com
FD Man

Cleveland, OH

#1657 May 7, 2013
allot Language
The language of the ballot measure is as follows:
Issue 3 - Proposed Tax Levy (Additional) Clearcreek Township and City of Springboro, Montgomery and Warren Counties
A majority affirmative vote is required for passage.
An additional tax for the benefit of Clearcreek Township and City of Springboro, Montgomery and Warren Counties, for the purpose of providing and maintaining fire apparatus, appliances, buildings, or sites therefore, or sources of water supply and materials therefore, or the establishment and maintenance of lines of fire alarm telegraph, or the payment of permanent, part time, or volunteer firefighters or firefighting companies to operate the same, including the payment of the firefighter employer's contribution required under section 742.34 of the revised code, or the purchase of ambulance equipment, or the provision of ambulance, paramedic, or other emergency medical services operated by a fire department or fire fighting company at a rate not to exceed four and five-tenths (4.5) mills for each one dollar of valuation which amounts to forty-five cents ($0.45) for each one hundred dollars of valuation, for a continuing period of time commencing in 2013, first due in calendar year 2014.
[] FOR THE TAX LEVY
[] AGAINST THE TAX LEVY
You can also click here to see a sample ballot image
from the Warren County Board of Elections

Saying YES to Issue 3 will ensure that the Clearcreek Fire District is ready to respond to YOUR emergency when you need us most!
Pete

Cleveland, OH

#1658 May 7, 2013
I just went out cast my ballot about an hour ago. My wife cast hers this morning. We are proud to be taxpayers who understand that this Levy is essential to the fire department maintaining their current level of service and we are proud to say we voted YES.
FD Man

Cleveland, OH

#1659 May 7, 2013

Deerfield Township Comparison
The flyer states "Nearby Deerfield Twp makes 30% more runs for just 5% more $". There is no reference or credible information provided to allow voters to understand how these figures were calculated.
The fact is that Deerfield Township operates with a budget of $7,414,207 compared to the Clearcreek Fire District with a budget of $6,400,000. That represents a budget for Deerfield Township that is 16% greater than that of the Clearcreek Fire District.
Deerfield Township responded to 3,637 emergency calls in 2012. The Clearcreek Fire District responded to 2,735 emergency calls that same year. However, the number of emergency calls is not the only factor that influences the need for fire protection services.
Deerfield Township is approximately 16 square miles of response area, compared to the Clearcreek Fire District's 50 square miles. Covering a larger response area requires additional resources. The City of Mason and Deerfield Township are nested together much in the same way the City of Springboro and Clearcreek Township are. From a geographical standpoint, the combined budgets of Mason and Deerfield Township would be approximately $14,100,000 to cover approximately the same geographical area the Clearcreek Fire District covers.

Clearcreek Township Fund Balance
The flyer states "Clearcreek Township has a $12,000,000+ Fund Cash Balance". There is no reference provided.
Clearcreek Township, just like any other local municipality, has a cash balance on hand that fluctuates. The vast majority (over 90%) is located in restricted funds. These cash balances come in through revenue sources such as the gasoline tax and motor vehicle registration taxes. These revenue streams are earmarked and restricted for certain purposes. Funds accumulate money until there is enough to offset the cost of a capital project, such as repaving of roadways. The fund for the police department is also restricted and accounts for a significant portion of the funds on the Clearcreek Township balance sheets.
The reserve funds available for the Clearcreek Fire District will be depleted in approximately 18 months. If the entire unrestricted cash balance of the Clearcreek Township general fund were transferred for the operation of the fire district, it would only fill the existing deficit approximately six months. This is not a viable solution to funding the fire district even for the short term. Again, this is due to the significant increases experienced in operational costs.


Saying YES to Issue 3 will ensure that the
Clearcreek Fire District is ready to respond to YOUR emergency when you need us most!
FD Man

Cleveland, OH

#1660 May 7, 2013
Quick Facts
The need for the new fire levy stems from increasing operational costs. When the last fire levy was passed in 2001, the cost of a gallon of diesel fuel was $1.86. Today that cost has increased to $3.43.
Just Watching

Cleveland, OH

#1661 May 7, 2013
butch 129 wrote:
<quoted text>
I was finished but just cant sit back and watch you people with your lies and non fact arguments. Want people to look for themselfs and then make an educated decision.
www.YesTo3.com
You won't find them there, instead you will be treated to menu of partial truths.

Look at the fire department's annual reports for information on requests for service, response times, and simultaneous alarms.

The key is to go off of 2005, the first year all of the levy of 2001 improvements were in place from new fire stations to new equipment and added staffing.

Fire Department calls are up but 5.4% from 2005 ( the first year all of the improvements were first in place) to 2012.

Requests for Service

2005.....2589 calls
2006.....2629 calls
2007.....2792 calls
2008.....3035 calls
2009.....2731 calls
2010.....2795 calls

After they added 12 new full time firefighters and 3 new administrators with SAFER money

2011.....2897 calls
2012.....2735 calls

http://www.clearcreektownship.com/FireEMS/Fir...

Our department handled more calls in 2007, 2008, 2010 than in 2012 after the addition of 12 new full time firefighters and 3 new administrators. In 2009 we were 4 off of the 2012 pace.

Vote No on Issue 5
RNHEARTSFF

Dayton, OH

#1662 May 7, 2013
Despite protecting 9,248 additional residents and responding to 1,151 more emergency calls for service, your Clearcreek Fire District has not asked for a levy since 2001.

Since 2001 we have lowered response times and increased coverage dramatically and it is imperative to the safety of our community that we maintain that coverage.

YESTO3.COM
FD man

Cleveland, OH

#1663 May 7, 2013
What makes a great community? A community you are proud to call home. To me the answer to this question begins with fundamental public services like strong schools, clean and safe parks, and well trained, equipped, and staffed police, fire, and  emergency services.
Show me communities with strong schools, low crime, accessible recreation, and responsive emergency services and you’ll likely be showing me a great place to live. A place where people are moving to, not from.  A place where a sense of community thrives. A place where responsible, rational people who understand the importance of strong public services are willing to invest some of their hard earned dollars in the asset of the community in which they live. A place where people are connected, protected, and focused on building for the future.
Now think for a second about places you know that lack quality basic services. Communities where you would not be comfortable sending your kid to school. Communities where the parks are not clean or safe. Communities where there are not ample fire and emergency services. Communities where people want to move from and not to.
Communities are about choices. We can choose to pay no taxes for fundamental public services. We can choose to keep the money that we work so hard for and tell the schools, parks, police, and firefighters we don’t value them and don’t want to pay for them. We can choose to keep our money all to ourselves and invest nothing in our community.  Yet, just because we can choose to keep our money, does not necessarily mean we should. Remember, you get what you pay for. If you invest nothing in your community, you will have an investment that is worth precisely that – nothing. Houses worth nothing. Schools worth nothing. A sign by the roadside with the name of a town worth nothing. In choosing against funding fundamental services at the local level, community dies. Without fundamental public services, what once was a thriving community quickly changes into a sad place where people used to want to live.
On Tuesday May 7th, people in Springboro and Clearcreek township get to make a choice. That choice is Issue 3, the levy that would help our fire and emergency services address the needs of a community whose population has has grown by over 40% since 2001.  You can choose to invest what approximately amounts to the difference between buying a tall or a venti cup Starbucks drink each day and ensure that people in our community are safe, or you can keep that money to yourself. You can choose to invest less a fraction of what you likely spend on your cell phone or cable television per day to ensure that we have emergency services that are adequately staffed, possess necessary equipment and facilities, and can quickly respond to save lives and to protect our community or you can choose to keep your money to yourself.  You have every right to choose either option. I am choosing to vote yes!
There are all sorts of economic and ethical arguments for funding community services, some of which I have tried to articulate in the paragraphs above. To me there is another reason – it’s personal. I will never forget the night when my son, a baby at the time, collapsed unconscious in my arms and stopped breathing. I was terrified and the only thing I could think to do was call 911. When we called emergency services, they answered, they responded, and they showed up in minutes to help. Today, he is alive and well. That moment, and others like it, have made me glad that I chose to live in this community. A community with people who care and services that make it a great place to live. Now when the firefighters and emergency professionals are calling for my help, I know that the right thing to do is answer, respond, and show up to help them. I am choosing to vote yes on issue 3. I am choosing to invest in my community.
GlockMedic

Dayton, OH

#1664 May 7, 2013
Financial Responsibility - What Was Delivered Over and Above
Through the last twelve years the Clearcreek Fire District has made extensive use of grant funding to offset the cost of purchases that must be borne by local taxpayers. This grant funding, along with financial responsibility, has allowed us to accomplish even more than was promised in 2001. Here is a breakdown of some items that were provided to the community over and above "the promise":
Purchase seven (7) "LifePak 12" advanced cardiac monitors
These monitors allow all front line medic units and fire engines to deliver advanced life support care to the most critical patients
Purchase twenty (20) sets of firefighter personal protective gear
This gear allows our firefighters to safely enter a burning structure
Purchase "Knox Box" hardware for apparatus
These devices allow firefighters to quickly enter a building in the event of an emergency that occurs after-hours or when the building is unoccupied
Purchase communications equipment for apparatus
Additional radios and headsets allow firefighters to communicate effectively in an emergency and reduce the risk of hearing loss
Purchase supply and attack hoses
These hoses allow firefighters to attack a fire and supply water to the scene
Purchase hydraulic rescue equipment for apparatus
These tools allow firefighters to quickly remove accident victims that are entrapped in their vehicle
Purchase thermal imaging equipment for apparatus
These devices allow firefighters to search for victims in a fire and also to check areas such as walls and attics for hidden fires without causing damage
Yesto3.com
FD man

Cleveland, OH

#1665 May 7, 2013
What Is At Stake?
If the levy is rejected by voters it will have an impact on services. The most noticeable effects will be increased response times, decreased ability to handle emergencies, the closure of Station 23, a reduction in staffing, and the potential for increased insurance premiums for residents.
FD man

Cleveland, OH

#1666 May 7, 2013
Decreased Ability to Handle Multiple Emergencies
The most significant test for any fire department comes when multiple emergencies occur at once. Large incidents will occasionally require all of our resources to respond to one location. More frequently, several small incidents will tie up all of our resources in various locations throughout the community. These "simultaneous alarms" can only be handled when there are a sufficient number of crews available. The number of simultaneous alarms has been increasing steadily, as shown in the following chart:

When the last levy was passed in 2001, simultaneous alarms accounted for just under 16% of all incidents. In 2012, they accounted for 40% of all incidents. If Issue 3 is not approved by voters it will limit our staffing and our citizens may have to wait for mutual aid crews from other communities during peak incident times.

Closure of Station 23
If Issue 3 is not approved, those in the southeast portion of Clearcreek Township would see the most significant impact due to the closure of Station 23. This is the fire station that is located at 3809 N. State Route 48, just north of the Warren County Career Center. Station 23 serves the area shown in this map:

The residents and businesses in the Station 23 response area will be served by crews responding from Station 21 or Station 22. This will lead to a significantly increased response time for emergencies in this area.
Just Watching

Cleveland, OH

#1667 May 7, 2013
RNHEARTSFF wrote:
Despite protecting 9,248 additional residents and responding to 1,151 more emergency calls for service, your Clearcreek Fire District has not asked for a levy since 2001.
Since 2001 we have lowered response times and increased coverage dramatically and it is imperative to the safety of our community that we maintain that coverage.
YESTO3.COM
The key is to recall why we passed a levy in 2001 and how long it took to put all of those pieces in place. 2005 was the first full year to see the operational changes the levy of 2001 wrought.

From 2005, a more truthful benchmark year because we are comparing apples to apples, you see our requests for service have risen but 5.4%

Requests for Service

2005.....2589 calls
2006.....2629 calls
2007.....2792 calls
2008.....3035 calls
2009.....2731 calls
2010.....2795 calls

After they added 12 new full time firefighters and 3 new administrators with SAFER money

2011.....2897 calls
2012.....2735 calls

http://www.clearcreektownship.com/FireEMS/Fir...

Our department handled more calls in 2007, 2008, 2010 than in 2012 after the addition of 12 new full time firefighters and 3 new administrators. In 2009 we were 4 off of the 2012 pace.

Vote No on Issue 5
Just Watching

Cleveland, OH

#1668 May 7, 2013
FD Man wrote:
Quick Facts
The need for the new fire levy stems from increasing operational costs. When the last fire levy was passed in 2001, the cost of a gallon of diesel fuel was $1.86. Today that cost has increased to $3.43.
That levy has generated over $7,000,000 in surpluses for the fire fund.

2012 Fund Status Report Clearcreek Township
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B0_emPjNYG-pW...

The levy the community passed in 2001 is still chugging along providing us with revenue surpluses year after year after year. You don't accidentally put this much money in the bank.

Fund..........2008..........20 09..........2010..........2011 ..........2012
Fire..........6,484,996....... 6,552,589.....6,850,299.....6, 692,969 ...7,413,186
Police........2,280,119......2 ,219,504.....2,262,053.....2,6 20,436 ...3,091,206
Ambulnce..749,103..........859 ,997.....1,029,011......1,214, 472...1,043,064
General......1,007,123........ 919, 603.......982,624......1,124,9 96...1,011,082
All Other.....1,224,763.....1,721, 95 8......996,804......1,226,120. ... 1,343,007
TOTAL.......11,745,106...12,27 3 ,651..,12,123,011..12,881,004. . 13,901,544

These were the Clearcreek Township Year End Fund Balances provided by Linda Oda, the township financial officer.

Fire Department calls are up but 5.4% from 2005 ( the first year all of the improvements were first in place) to 2012.

Requests for Service

2005.....2589 calls
2006.....2629 calls
2007.....2792 calls
2008.....3035 calls
2009.....2731 calls
2010.....2795 calls

After they added 12 new full time firefighters and 3 new administrators with SAFER money

2011.....2897 calls
2012.....2735 calls

http://www.clearcreektownship.com/FireEMS/Fir...

Fire, EMS, and SAFER revenues and expenses according to our fiscal officer Ms. Oda. Send her a note and ask for them, she seems very nice and transparent in her duties.

2012 ……………..2011……………2010……………..200 9…………..2008

Revenue
$5,023,271…....$5,072,766……..$ 4,873,446……..$4,504,135….$4,53 2,511
(Fire)

$532,689……....$539,564………..$50 1,786……….$512,669…….$542,772
(EMS)

$1,107,678…….$614,222………....-0 -……………….-0-……………-0-.........
(SAFER)

Expenditures
$4,513,882…….$5,080,122…….$4,9 25,104…...$4,425,707..…..$4,68 3,702
(Fire)

$703,538……….$354,312……….$332,5 63…………$401,775….....$296,199
(EMS)

$1,009,274…….$620,347……….-0-…… …………..-0-………………-0-
(SAFER)

Until the township began to spend the FREE money that comes from the government stimulus program artificially fighting unemployment by bloating the union rolls without asking the taxpayers, we were fine.

Look at the facts and what the fire department did and when. Their annual reports and the balance funds report from Ms. Oda tell the story of truth.

Vote NO on Issue 3
Just Watching

Cleveland, OH

#1669 May 7, 2013
FD man wrote:
Decreased Ability to Handle Multiple Emergencies
The most significant test for any fire department comes when multiple emergencies occur at once. Large incidents will occasionally require all of our resources to respond to one location. More frequently, several small incidents will tie up all of our resources in various locations throughout the community. These "simultaneous alarms" can only be handled when there are a sufficient number of crews available. The number of simultaneous alarms has been increasing steadily, as shown in the following chart:
When the last levy was passed in 2001, simultaneous alarms accounted for just under 16% of all incidents. In 2012, they accounted for 40% of all incidents. If Issue 3 is not approved by voters it will limit our staffing and our citizens may have to wait for mutual aid crews from other communities during peak incident times.
Closure of Station 23
If Issue 3 is not approved, those in the southeast portion of Clearcreek Township would see the most significant impact due to the closure of Station 23. This is the fire station that is located at 3809 N. State Route 48, just north of the Warren County Career Center. Station 23 serves the area shown in this map:
The residents and businesses in the Station 23 response area will be served by crews responding from Station 21 or Station 22. This will lead to a significantly increased response time for emergencies in this area.
This post is a perfect example of intimidation and threats to our collective well being.

Half truths, using benchmark dates that you know were resolved with the passage of the current levy in 2001. Why don't you use benchmark dates from 1997, they would be even more dramatic.

Truth is they have over $7,000,000 surplus in the fire fund and over $1,000,000 in the ambulance funds.

Don't let them get away with this nonsense

Vote NO on Issue 3
facts

United States

#1670 May 7, 2013
Pete wrote:
I just went out cast my ballot about an hour ago. My wife cast hers this morning. We are proud to be taxpayers who understand that this Levy is essential to the fire department maintaining their current level of service and we are proud to say we voted YES.
Rock on! Us too....

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