North Hays County Emergency Services District #1 is asking you to increase its tax rate by 133%. Once again, I write to urge you to vote NO on May 7.
In my editorial posted last week, I pointed out that the ESD’s board members have readily admitted that they are not sure how much supervision they should have over their contractor or even “what was and was not working in the EMS system.” The lack of oversight the board itself acknowledges makes its proposed tax hike very troubling.
Instead of asking for such a large tax increase, the ESD should immediately take two actions. First, increase oversight of its contractor. Second, immediately put out a request for proposals — with service level commitments that include two to three ambulances with acceptable response times — to determine if there are less expensive, more efficient options available that would put our tax dollars to better use. If taxes must be increased in the meantime, the ESD already has room within the current cap to do so.
ESD board members have repeatedly claimed that, as part-time volunteers, they simply don’t have the time to find a better solution. That excuse is a disservice to the hard-working families who depend on them to ensure ambulances are available when, God forbid, they need them. We, as residents of Hays County, have entrusted them with a simple mission, and we should expect them to manage our hard-earned money responsibly.
Perhaps it’s time for the Texas Legislature to consider abolishing ESDs and placing emergency ambulance services back within the authority of county commissioners, whom we have the opportunity to hold accountable at the polls.
Early voting will be held through May 3, and Election Day is May 7. I strongly encourage you to join me in voting NO on this proposed tax increase.
Visit Facebook.com/StopESD1TaxHike to learn more.