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Hearing on EMS contract raised questions

To the Editor:

I attended the April 8 public hearing, undecided on the efficacy of one EMS plan over another, and I remain undecided.

I am chairperson of a committee strategizing the replacement, in November’s election, of the current town supervisor.

I am more interested in stating truth and that “Democracy, like a precious jewel, shines most brilliantly in the light of an open government.”

Sad to say, I saw restricted and edited forms of open governance at the public hearing.

Opening the meeting was a lengthy, informative statement read by the operations manager of the Warrensburg EMS — information no doubt already provided to the town board but nonetheless important for the citizenry to hear. However, no such invitation nor courtesy was afforded to a representative of Thurman EMS, for the sake of balance.

— And yet the Board voted to sign the contract with WEMS.

As each citizen spoke, they were asked to say whether they were “for” or “against” the pending contract with WEMS. One would think the data would provide the Board with insight and guidance, but to my count 82 percent or 23 speakers were against the contract, 14 percent or four residents were for the contract and one speaker was undecided.

— And yet the Board voted to sign the contract with WEMS.

The Supervisor stated that she “received tons of phone calls” regarding this issue, yet with the discussion being so important, she did not keep a log of the calls, to accurately account for the desires of the citizenry. It’s important to note that three board members did not speak regarding receiving calls and one noted that he did not receive any calls.

— And yet the Board voted to sign the contract with WEMS.

In answer to a question from the audience, a Board member admitted he received the final version of the contract with WEMS at the beginning of the meeting and said he was confused about the content, final version versus draft. This begs the questions: was he reviewing the contract while citizens were voicing the opinions he should have been listening to? Had he made up his mind before the citizenry spoke? Or is he just a really good multi-tasker?

— And yet he voted to sign the contract with WEMS.

So goes Thurman’s current version of open government.

JD Lakatos, Thurman

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