Ambulance, fire levy sparks debate in Ohio

Feb 1, 2013 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: EMS1

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.

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621 - 640 of 2,035 Comments Last updated Jun 24, 2014
Public Record

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#622
Apr 7, 2013
 

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Just the Facts wrote:
Funny how much some people distort the truth.
The TRUTH is that our fire department relies on the community as much as we rely on them.
The TRUTH is that our fire department has been responsible with public funds, making a 10 year levy last 12 years.
The TRUTH is that our fire department has only asked taxpayers for two levies in the last 26 years.
The TRUTH is that federal grants have been obtained to offset the local costs for over $2 million in necessary equipment.
The TRUTH is that the fire department annual budget is less than most comparable departments in this region.
The TRUTH is that the fire department is responding to over 44% more emergencies today than were handled when the last levy was passed.
The TRUTH is that firefighter positions have been left vacant to save funds, prolonging the need for a levy as long as possible.
The TRUTH is that the fire department has worked extensively to contain costs, not just because of the economic situation but as a standard practice.
The TRUTH is that our firefighters are hard working, deeply committed individuals, not slaves of a labor union.
The TRUTH is that our fire department's ability to handle emergencies plays a significant role in our homeowner's insurance rates.
The TRUTH is that current response times, maintained with the levy, allow paramedics to treat critical patients before irreversable brain damage occurs.
The TRUTH is that neighbors, parents, grandparents, coaches, pastors, business owners, elected officials, and many others have publicly endorsed the levy.
The TRUTH is that our fire department needs our support to continue the excellent service we receive from them.
The TRUTH is that your vote counts, and you have an opportunity to step up and help those that help us when we need it most - when it is our family in harms way.
COME MAY 7th - VOTE YES ON 3!!
Awesome, great points!

SAY YES TO 3!
Keep It Simple

Piqua, OH

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#623
Apr 7, 2013
 

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No Reason At All wrote:
<quoted text>
No reason at all for the voice of ridicule to personally attack welfare recipients for being the less fortunate in our community who cannot afford to vote yes to higher taxes.
It's a simple fact, the indoctrinated "Informed" ones in this community think the government can make better use of our money, than the individual taxpayer who earns the money.
I think our neighbors who are facing financial hardships right now are important enough to protect by voting NO on issue 3.
The government has operating money to serve the public; it's time they learned to efficiently do their jobs, for which they are well paid to do.
Thank you for telling the simple truth. Just Vote No on the tax increase simply because our neighbors need to keep their own earnings more than the local government needs to spend it.

Isn't it funny how those informed ones among us grandstand largely, preaching to their own choir, "how great art the government for our only hope of survival?"
Would these pro-levy lovers CONTRIBUTE to the government this tax increase on their own homes, IF those who cannot afford to pay more were allowed to "opt out?" Of course Not!

Truth is, The Smaart Voter will Vote No to the unreasonable tax increase, because no facts nor reasons to support tax increases have been presented to the community.

The pro-levy lovers appear to get some kind of buzz in the bully pulpit expounding grandly how much they just love paying taxes and just how amazingly IMPORTANT it is to the government that all the rest of us just love paying more taxes with no questions asked, just trust the government to take care of you and we can just all get along as a community of pro-levy lovers, and not get a hurting put on us by the government that's going broke.
Lurker

Springboro, OH

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#624
Apr 7, 2013
 

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Just the Facts wrote:
Funny how much some people distort the truth.
The TRUTH is that our fire department relies on the community as much as we rely on them.
The TRUTH is that our fire department has been responsible with public funds, making a 10 year levy last 12 years.
The TRUTH is that our fire department has only asked taxpayers for two levies in the last 26 years.
The TRUTH is that federal grants have been obtained to offset the local costs for over $2 million in necessary equipment.
The TRUTH is that the fire department annual budget is less than most comparable departments in this region.
The TRUTH is that the fire department is responding to over 44% more emergencies today than were handled when the last levy was passed.
The TRUTH is that firefighter positions have been left vacant to save funds, prolonging the need for a levy as long as possible.
The TRUTH is that the fire department has worked extensively to contain costs, not just because of the economic situation but as a standard practice.
The TRUTH is that our firefighters are hard working, deeply committed individuals, not slaves of a labor union.
The TRUTH is that our fire department's ability to handle emergencies plays a significant role in our homeowner's insurance rates.
The TRUTH is that current response times, maintained with the levy, allow paramedics to treat critical patients before irreversable brain damage occurs.
The TRUTH is that neighbors, parents, grandparents, coaches, pastors, business owners, elected officials, and many others have publicly endorsed the levy.
The TRUTH is that our fire department needs our support to continue the excellent service we receive from them.
The TRUTH is that your vote counts, and you have an opportunity to step up and help those that help us when we need it most - when it is our family in harms way.
COME MAY 7th - VOTE YES ON 3!!
Thanks for the facts!
Responsibilities

Piqua, OH

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#625
Apr 8, 2013
 

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Lurker wrote:
<quoted text>
Thanks for the facts!
THE FACT IS...
It is shocking and a slap in the face to hard working citizens of this community that the township government is pushing for so much Money on the May 7 Increased Taxes levy; not based on the need for new money; but on the basis that Clearcreek Township pay some of the lowest effective tax rates in the region, and the governmment hasn't asked for more money in a very long time and now is the appropriate time to increase taxes.
Be sure to look at the other side of the coin.
Just consider that the amount of $10.6 million was spent ALL OF LAST YEAR; And now the government wants to increase the fire department budget by more than 50-percent?
This is totally unacceptable to hard working homeowners that the government is now telling us they need $4.4 million in annual NEW MONEY... to maintain existing "services?"
Local taxpaying homeowners, who are already generating $11 million revenue for the fire department do not need nor want another tax burden placed on our family home and household budget.
Fact is, voters have responsibility to say No on May 7th and
just ask the township government to tighten their belts a little more, before asking the voters for more.
OMG

Loveland, OH

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#626
Apr 8, 2013
 

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ALL OF YOU GO OUTSIDE! SERIOUSLY!!!

I am amazed and disgusted that you have all taken the time to write 625 posts of nonsense, "facts" and DRAMA, DRAMA, DRAMA.

Turn off your computer or put down your iPhone, and get back to work!

There I feel better, feel free to quote me and say horrible things about me...instead of getting of your butt and doing something productive to help society you claim to value so dearly.

PS - Only needing to come to the voters once in 26 years is a pretty good point...Its about time, Vote Yes
Keep It Simple

Piqua, OH

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#627
Apr 8, 2013
 

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Facts vs Opinions wrote:
Voters know that facts are proven that local homeowners cannot afford, nor do we need, increased local government services; and only in the opinion of elected officials, such as Ed Wade and Jason Gabbard, does our local government know better how to irresponsibly spend homeowners hard earned money on parks and recreation empowering the unions with greater control over our household budgets. Voters should just say NO to new taxes; and NO to the leadership of highly paid double dipper administrators, such as Mr. Pickett, who continues promoting draining dry the well from which our local government agencies already so heavily drink.
Thank you for telling the truth.

Just Say No in May to this big tax increase; It is the responsible thing to do and voters can send a clear message to our township government that it is we the people who know best how to spend our hard earned money. Voters simply cannot trust the judgement of long time good old boy Ed Wade, and trustee newcomer Jason Gabbard, the only two elected officials who approved this big tax increase being put on the May ballot.

Vote No on May 7th - Tell township leaders to cut big administration expenses before cutting safety services to the public.

Who, except double dipping government leaders like Dennis Pickett, who is so out of touch with the reality of financial hardship that taxpayers are struggling with, would consider asking community members to pay these unreasonable tax increases?
Our government leaders are living in a protected, economic La La Land, with Mr. Pickett draining out of taxpayers about $144,000 yearly income -- even more than the governor earns to administer the business of the entire State! Our family household of voters simply cannot trust the judgemnt of government telling us they need more money to maintain the same level of service.
Our township government does not need more money to PRIORITIZE the needs of the community, while living within community resources.
We simply cannot afford to vote ourselves new taxes in May, just because our government tell us it is an appropriate time.
This is not an appropriate time for an easy fix to the government's addiction to Tax and Spend OUR money.
It's the painful season of "withdrawal" which begins with cutting expenses first.
Question

Piqua, OH

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#628
Apr 8, 2013
 

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Public Record wrote:
<quoted text>
Awesome, great points!
SAY YES TO 3!
What are the facts?
Did the Township buy Jason Gabbard's property for $1.5 million for a park? Shouldn't a park levy have been the way to ask the citizen's if they wanted to pay for it?
Keep It Simple

Piqua, OH

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#629
Apr 8, 2013
 

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OMG wrote:
ALL OF YOU GO OUTSIDE! SERIOUSLY!!!
I am amazed and disgusted that you have all taken the time to write 625 posts of nonsense, "facts" and DRAMA, DRAMA, DRAMA.
Turn off your computer or put down your iPhone, and get back to work!
There I feel better, feel free to quote me and say horrible things about me...instead of getting of your butt and doing something productive to help society you claim to value so dearly.
PS - Only needing to come to the voters once in 26 years is a pretty good point...Its about time, Vote Yes
No need for drama -- It is TIME to simply say NO on May 7th!

Another really good point...It is never TIME for the township government to tell community members who are being over-taxed that the government can better use those over-collected taxes, than the taxpayer who earned the money.

The township has not asked for more taxes because they already overtax us to the tune of accumulating almost a million extra dollars every year. After giving away tax dollars to another government agency, after hiring more and more people, after buying enormous amounts of property and vuilding parks after parks, they are still collecting for more than their needs every year. They seem unable to spend faster than they rake it in, yet they still feel it is an appropriate TIME to extort more. What must they be thinking -- they are addicts to spending and the thought of withdrawal is too much to bear -- instead they just throw out this big tax increase for an Easy Fix, on the backs of struggling taxpayers.
MAY 7th is the TIME to say NO!
Hold On To Your Money

Piqua, OH

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#630
Apr 8, 2013
 

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Question Everything wrote:
<quoted text>
Township administrators do not even offer taxpaying citizens the transparency of a balanced BUDGET posted on the government website; rumor is that the township trustees just "wing it, approving everthing presented and then Picket just hands out a quarterly list of stuff paid for;
...here are just a few INCREASED annual salaries of these "public servants" that taxpayers support; and all we taxpayers get "served" is notice of MORE money demanded for "OUR" good old boy government and LESS money for our family.
After all, good old boy Wade wisely dispenses his knowledge that he thinks the government can make better use of our money than we hardworking taxpayers. JUST SAY NO IN MAY! NO MORE BIG GOVERNMENT SPENDING!
-Ronald Wilhelm (Pickett's Assistant)$89,020.61 annual salary PLUS $126.92 per pay period car allowance
-Jeffrey Palmer $78,054.08 annual salary plus $69.23 per pay period car allowance
-Timothy Simpson $84,525.00 annual salary
-Christopher Vecchi $84,525.00 annual salary
-John D. Terrill $88,218.96 annual salary
-Robert L. Kidd $91,661.76 annual salary
(wonder what the cost is for "Plus Benefits")?
Transparency in government is a good thing for all citizens. Contracts let in the friendly confines of a dark back room among "friends" are ultimately paid for by the hardworking taxpayer who is forced to do with less while supporting more unnecessary expenditures made in their name.
The time of the back room deals are done, let the public know what you are spending their money upon.
savings

Springboro, OH

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#631
Apr 8, 2013
 

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Keep It Simple wrote:
<quoted text>
No need for drama -- It is TIME to simply say NO on May 7th!
Another really good point...It is never TIME for the township government to tell community members who are being over-taxed that the government can better use those over-collected taxes, than the taxpayer who earned the money.
The township has not asked for more taxes because they already overtax us to the tune of accumulating almost a million extra dollars every year. After giving away tax dollars to another government agency, after hiring more and more people, after buying enormous amounts of property and vuilding parks after parks, they are still collecting for more than their needs every year. They seem unable to spend faster than they rake it in, yet they still feel it is an appropriate TIME to extort more. What must they be thinking -- they are addicts to spending and the thought of withdrawal is too much to bear -- instead they just throw out this big tax increase for an Easy Fix, on the backs of struggling taxpayers.
MAY 7th is the TIME to say NO!
Do you have a savings account?
Tell It Like It Is

Piqua, OH

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#632
Apr 8, 2013
 

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With a projected budget of 6.4 million dollars for 2013, and 4.6 million being paid out to wages, salaries and benefits; and
With less than 2 million spent on vehicles, repairs and maintenance, utilities and liability insurance...
the way I see it, with just a little bit of "township belt-tightening" and "prioritizing budget needs" ...there is enough money generated by taxpayers to carry on the business of government to serve the public. Now for all you lovers of "facts for increased taxes" please take time to check with the Warren County Auditors Office; and isn't it the truth that Township government will receive over 5 million dollars for the fire district?.... and a carryover of over 6 million in the same fire district fund??
Now it doesn't take the expertise of a rocket scientist to add that up to $11 million dollars for the Fire Department.
And as a township voter and taxpaying homeowner, I do not need nor want ANOTHER collective tax burden being placed by local government upon my salary, my home, and my family... by the vote of only TWO township trustees promoting unnecessary (and unwanted) increased taxes.

Just Think Smart! Vote Smart!
Say No to Increased Taxes on our homes!
And Tell the Township government leaders to do their homework and cut expenses FIRST, before asking for New Money!
Just the Facts

Springboro, OH

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#633
Apr 8, 2013
 

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Funny how much some people distort the truth.

The TRUTH is that our fire department relies on the community as much as we rely on them.

The TRUTH is that our fire department has been responsible with public funds, making a 10 year levy last 12 years.

The TRUTH is that our fire department has only asked taxpayers for two levies in the last 26 years.

The TRUTH is that federal grants have been obtained to offset the local costs for over $2 million in necessary equipment.

The TRUTH is that the fire department annual budget is less than most comparable departments in this region.

The TRUTH is that the fire department is responding to over 44% more emergencies today than were handled when the last levy was passed.

The TRUTH is that firefighter positions have been left vacant to save funds, prolonging the need for a levy as long as possible.

The TRUTH is that the fire department has worked extensively to contain costs, not just because of the economic situation but as a standard practice.

The TRUTH is that our firefighters are hard working, deeply committed individuals, not slaves of a labor union.

The TRUTH is that our fire department's ability to handle emergencies plays a significant role in our homeowner's insurance rates.

The TRUTH is that current response times, maintained with the levy, allow paramedics to treat critical patients before irreversible brain damage occurs.

The TRUTH is that neighbors, parents, grandparents, coaches, pastors, business owners, elected officials, and many others have publicly endorsed the levy.

The TRUTH is that our fire department needs our support to continue the excellent service we receive from them.

The TRUTH is that your vote counts, and you have an opportunity to step up and help those that help us when we need it most - when it is our family in harms way.

COME MAY 7th - VOTE YES ON 3!!
Tell It Like It Is

Piqua, OH

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#634
Apr 8, 2013
 

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With a projected budget of 6.4 million dollars for 2013, and 4.6 million being paid out to wages, salaries and benefits; and
With less than 2 million spent on vehicles, repairs and maintenance, utilities and liability insurance...
the way I see it, with just a little bit of "township belt-tightening" and "prioritizing budget needs" ...there is enough money generated by taxpayers to carry on the business of government to serve the public. Now for all you lovers of "facts for increased taxes" please take time to check with the Warren County Auditors Office; and isn't it the truth that Township government will receive over 5 million dollars for the fire district?.... and a carryover of over 6 million in the same fire district fund??
Now it doesn't take the expertise of a rocket scientist to add that up to $11 million dollars for the Fire Department.
And as a township voter and taxpaying homeowner, I do not need nor want ANOTHER collective tax burden being placed by local government upon my salary, my home, and my family... by the vote of only TWO township trustees promoting unnecessary (and unwanted) increased taxes.

Just Think Smart! Vote Smart!
Say No to Increased Taxes on our homes!
And Tell the Township government leaders to do their homework and cut expenses FIRST, before asking for New Money!
The Voice of Reason

Springboro, OH

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#635
Apr 8, 2013
 

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Seems there are a lot of Yes to 3 signs popping up all over town. Looks like this community appreciates the fire department!
Been There Done That

Loveland, OH

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#636
Apr 9, 2013
 

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RE: "belt tightening", from the yesto3.com website...
What Was Promised in 2001 vs. What Was Delivered:

Here is a breakdown of what was promised from the 2001 levy and what the Clearcreek Fire District has delivered to taxpayers:
Build and equip two new neighborhood sub stations
Station 22, at 346 E. Lytle 5 Points Road, opened in November of 2002
Station 23, at 3809 N. State Route 48, opened in January of 2003
Hire needed personnel to staff all stations
3 hired in September of 2001
3 hired in November of 2002
3 hired in November of 2003
4 hired in March of 2004
Provide four minute average response time to 90% of population
Response time goals being met through additional stations and staffing
Keep protection at adequate levels for 10 years
2001 fire levy approved on May 8, 2001
Next levy request on May 7, 2013
First funds for new levy collected in 2014, which is 13 years from last levy
Purchase two new medic units for community
Medic 21 in service in December of 2002
Medic 22 in service in July of 2006
Purchase two new fire engines for community
Engine 22 in service in December of 2002
Engine 23 in service in December of 2002
Purchase new ladder truck for community
Ladder 21 in service in December of 2001
Replace outdate Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA, or air tanks)
New SCBA and fill system in service in June of 2002
Purchase needed computer and telephone equipment
Items purchased and in service in December of 2001
Financial Responsibility - What Was Delivered Over and Above
Through the last twelve years the Clearcreek Fire District has made extensive use of GRANT FUNDING (over 2 million) 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
soccermom

United States

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#637
Apr 9, 2013
 

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Been There Done That wrote:
RE: "belt tightening", from the yesto3.com website...
What Was Promised in 2001 vs. What Was Delivered:
Here is a breakdown of what was promised from the 2001 levy and what the Clearcreek Fire District has delivered to taxpayers:
Build and equip two new neighborhood sub stations
Station 22, at 346 E. Lytle 5 Points Road, opened in November of 2002
Station 23, at 3809 N. State Route 48, opened in January of 2003
Hire needed personnel to staff all stations
3 hired in September of 2001
3 hired in November of 2002
3 hired in November of 2003
4 hired in March of 2004
Provide four minute average response time to 90% of population
Response time goals being met through additional stations and staffing
Keep protection at adequate levels for 10 years
2001 fire levy approved on May 8, 2001
Next levy request on May 7, 2013
First funds for new levy collected in 2014, which is 13 years from last levy
Purchase two new medic units for community
Medic 21 in service in December of 2002
Medic 22 in service in July of 2006
Purchase two new fire engines for community
Engine 22 in service in December of 2002
Engine 23 in service in December of 2002
Purchase new ladder truck for community
Ladder 21 in service in December of 2001
Replace outdate Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA, or air tanks)
New SCBA and fill system in service in June of 2002
Purchase needed computer and telephone equipment
Items purchased and in service in December of 2001
Financial Responsibility - What Was Delivered Over and Above
Through the last twelve years the Clearcreek Fire District has made extensive use of GRANT FUNDING (over 2 million) 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
The grant funded stuff is pretty awesome, I didn't know that. I support the fire department. When Ella was two she had to call them because she had a seizure. She turned blue and I thought she had stopped breathing. They got here very quickly and gave her medicine to stop it and helped her breath in the mean time. Waiting for them to arrive was the scarriest couple minutes of my life, I can't imagine if they would have taken a long time to get here.
focus

Dayton, OH

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#638
Apr 9, 2013
 

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The Voice of Reason wrote:
Seems there are a lot of Yes to 3 signs popping up all over town. Looks like this community appreciates the fire department!
seems to be a whole lot more homes with NO signs in their yards !

VOTE NO to pay raises !

Vote to keep you hard earned dollars in your pocket, not those greedy trustees !
Hold On To Your Money

Piqua, OH

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#639
Apr 9, 2013
 

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soccermom wrote:
<quoted text>
The grant funded stuff is pretty awesome, I didn't know that. I support the fire department. When Ella was two she had to call them because she had a seizure. She turned blue and I thought she had stopped breathing. They got here very quickly and gave her medicine to stop it and helped her breath in the mean time. Waiting for them to arrive was the scarriest couple minutes of my life, I can't imagine if they would have taken a long time to get here.
Thank goodness most of our households do not have to call for this emergency FD/EMT service; and aren't we fortunate that our community of 10 to 12 thousand households generate enough revenue for the government to provide these emergency services to our neighbors when emergencies like these arrive?
We read several of these big scary moments of crisis on this blog; and our neighbor recently told of such a scare; and nothing but praise was given for the quick response and professional service of the ambulance employees, who took our neighbor to the hospital emergency room. Now it is understood that the local ambulance service billed our neighbor's insurance for this service; and then the insurance company did not pay all of it; but sent a bill to our neighbor to pay the difference.
So this big tax increase on May 7th is not a "cure-all" for the government to "take care of all."
None of us can expect that we can avoid personal responsibility in case of big emergencies in our lives; and it is severly misguided leadership of our local government to promote "just say yes to increased taxes and leave the rest of your responsibilities to the government.
Hold on to your money; once the government gets it from you, you'll be told in case of emergency... here's your share of the bill to pay.
Be caring enough to VOTE NO tax increases on our neighbors who cannot afford putting themselves in financial hardship.
Public Record

United States

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#640
Apr 9, 2013
 
focus wrote:
<quoted text>
seems to be a whole lot more homes with NO signs in their yards !
VOTE NO to pay raises !
Vote to keep you hard earned dollars in your pocket, not those greedy trustees !
Funny, I haven't seen one. Where are they?
focus

Dayton, OH

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#641
Apr 9, 2013
 

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Public Record wrote:
<quoted text>
Funny, I haven't seen one. Where are they?
no signs in the yard is just as good as a real NO sign..except cheaper.( i see today you are using public record), wonder what you will be using later...hm...maaybe unionman..that seems to be one of your favorites.

BTW..in my whole subdivision, I have seen only 4 pro levy signs out of a community of over 400 homes.

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