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April 18, 2024

Edgar County Board members fail the public…again…

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On April 16, 2015

Edgar Co.(ECWd) –

To the good citizens of Edgar County, we owe you an apology for thinking we could give your public officials a longer leash to operate from.  It has become clear, once again, that Edgar County officials, specifically county board members this time, simply have little ability to comprehend the law and apply it.  It is also evident that the Prairie Press (PP) is not going to lift one finger to fact check things they hear at a meeting and report to the public.  The danger in that type of reporting is people read and believe what is in the paper without any supporting information.

In today’s PP it was reported that County Board member Jeff Voigt stated “failing to charge a fee (for dispatching) to Edgar County Special Service Area Ambulance could be construed as taxpayers further subsidizing a profit venture.”

They quoted Alan Zuber stating he “questioned the need to charge ECSSAA a fee and not the other two ambulance services operating in Edgar County”

Then, they quote Karl Farnham’s brilliant words with this: “Clark County 911 does charge a dispatching fee to the city police, fire companies, and the ambulance services.  He added a for profit ambulance in Vermillion county is also charged for dispatching by that 911 operation.

In an effort to once again educate these county board members, as this is not the first time I have had to explain this, I will expose how bad things really are in Edgar County leadership!

Let’s start with that first foundational principal of our constitution,  We the People.  In this case, We The People would be the taxpayers in the 7 township area that VOTED to be taxed for an ambulance service. Those people voted to “subsidize” an ambulance service with their money in the form of a tax.  A service that the people wanted and the county board contracted with in order to meet the will of those people.

According to the PP, Voigt believes when 911 dispatches the ambulance for an emergency dispatch it could be construed as taxpayers further subsidizing a profit venture.”

“Subsidy” defined: A subsidy is a form of financial aid or support extended to an economic sector (or institution, business, or individual) generally with the aim of promoting economic and social policy.

When our 911 center dispatches an emergency call to the ambulance in question, is there a single person on the PLANET that can identify a financial aid or support that is extended to that ambulance company?

The fact that they get dispatched by 911 IS NOT subsidizing the ambulance!  It is not providing a single penny to them in any fashion and to imply that the process of dispatching an ambulance to an emergency call is somehow subsidizing them shows either total ignorance of what a subsidy is or is an attempt to unjustly charge an entity for a services (dispatching) that is mandated by law! An attempt to justify it because they are a business points to an agenda of some kind.

Zuber’s concern brings in another interesting perspective from our county leadership.  A perspective of, let’s make sure we charge them all not just one.

How about we first identify what the law is? 

The law mandates the County to operate a 911 Dispatch for Emergency Services.  A mandated service that IS subsidized by every tax payer and owner of a phone in this county.

Mr. Zuber, you are not allowed to charge any emergency service agency, for profit or non-profit, for emergency dispatch.  It is the obligation of the county to provide that service and maybe it is high time you and others start reading the statutes and stop listening to the fossils who think they run things in this county, which brings me to Karl Farnham’s reported comments regarding Clark County charging for dispatching.

I would suggest to Gary Henry, pick up the phone and check with Clark County Sheriff Jerry Parsley to fact check information coming from Karl Farnham.  It took me all of 1 minute to confirm, Clark County DOES NOT charge for Emergency Dispatch to Police, Fire, and Ambulance agencies.  THEY DO NOT, yet the PP reported they do according to Farnham! 

They do charge police for NON EMERGENCY dispatch but please, don’t take my word for it, call him yourself.   He will be happy to confirm the information.  The reason they can charge for non emergency is because the use of an intergovernmental agreement is established that uses county 911 assets to assist in non 911 operations handled by the police.

When it comes to Fire and Ambulance, if you call those agencies, it better be for an emergency because that is what they are for, emergencies!

It’s evident in this county, our 911 operation is not fixed as we have been lead to believe because even after years of hammering the law into their head they still do not comprehend the most basic principal of our form of government.  A principal of limiting powers.

Mr. Voigt, Zuber, and Farnham, the law does not provide you with any language to charge for dispatching emergency calls to police, fire, ambulance or any other emergency service operation.  You simply can not do it without violating the law. (ETSB Statue)

But I digress!  This is Edgar County and the law means nothing, much like terms such as ethics, integrity, and honesty.  Case and point is the fiasco with the Airport Manager who LIED on his employment application.  Yes, he lied, but since those lies, or “misrepresentations”, as certain board members like to call it, were not related to his duties that he was hired for so they are not worried about it.   More on that in a future article.

Over two years ago we were asked to figure out a way to remove 911 Board Members because Isaf doesn’t have the backbone to defend their removal. We stepped up and got the law changed and even though they now clearly have the power to remove those members, no steps have been taken to fix the problem, which is failed leadership.

If you want 911 fixed they are going to have to remove no less than three members, Eads, Belt, Clark!

If you want accuracy in news, keep reading the Paris Beacon and Edgar County Watchdogs!








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