Without an accountability structure and a needs assessment there is the potential for the misuse of funds and the citizens of Pontotoc County could potentially invest over $7 million of taxpayer money into purchases that don’t improve the fire protection available to us.
I am also concerned that this initiative was rushed to the ballot and other funding options were not considered. I believe that there are several different funding options available and these options should be explored. If this initiative fails on April 3rd, I, and I’m sure other citizens, would gladly assist the fire departments with developing a taskforce that would review all the options, conduct a needs assessment, and develop a plan to address these needs, which would include the proper funding source. This taskforce would insure that the fire departments in Pontotoc County get the support they need, but with the accountability and planning that is needed with any project that seeks public financial support.
I believe that every citizen of Pontotoc County deserves fire protection but not at the cost of responsible government. Because there is no needs assessment, no accountability, and no planning, the only logically choice is to Vote NO on April 3rd. I cannot support the firefighter tax in its current form and encourage you to vote NO as well.
By voting NO, you’re not voting against the fire departments, you’re simply giving them and the citizens of Pontotoc County an opportunity to sit down together to develop a solid plan to get these departments the support they need in a fiscally responsible manner.