Old Drum Network
An Alternative News Source for Warrensburg and Johnson County Missouri
Other Taxing Issues - Ambulance District
I am a candidate for the Subdistrict 5 position on the board of the Johnson County Ambulance District, representing Washington Township (Knob Noster), Montserrat Township, and parts of Jefferson and Grover Townships. I live in the southwest corner of Montserrat Township but am generally familiar with the entire area.
written for the Warrensburg Star Journal and substantially published in 5/28/02 issue
Duties of Board: Primary duty of the initial board is to ensure that an efficient and effective ambulance service is established at the least expense to the taxpayers. This will require research on statutes and successfully-run districts in other areas, consideration of alternatives and prompt action. A good plan of operation or statement of work is essential.
- Education & Experience: Graduate of USAF Academy, with an MBA from the University of Missouri and a BS in Agriculture-Business from CMSU. Retired USAF officer with 14 years in contract management field (the rest was in Minuteman at Whiteman).
- Landowner: Continuous landowner since 1972 with a house in Warrensburg, now a rental. In 1981 purchased farm built by wife’s great-grandfather and have operated Cedarcroft Farm Bed & Breakfast there since 1988.
- Involved: Anti-zoning candidate for County Commission in 1998. Frequent contributor to newspaper “letters” columns concerning local issues. Previously represented Montserrat & Jefferson townships on Extension Council. Currently represent Osage Lakes tourism region as alternate director in Missouri Travel Council, an industry group that promotes tourism. On board of Blind Boone Park restoration group. Past President of Johnson County Historical Society. Past President, Secretary & Treasurer of Bed & Breakfast Inns of Missouri (a professional and marketing association). On advisory board of Professional Association of Innkeepers International and serve on board of Inspected Inns Association, a multi-state bed & breakfast marketing group.
- Additional Skills: Experience in writing and administering complex service contracts under statutory and regulatory restraints. Management of 60-person office handling over $100 million in contracts.
After the district is operating, the board must ensure continued oversight of whatever method of operation is selected and make sure that plans are made & executed. The Board should not act as direct supervisors of day-to-day operations.
Philosophy: I believe that under current governmental restraints there is no way an ambulance service can operate without a local subsidy. The challenge for the ambulance board is to have an effective ambulance service for the smallest subsidy possible. Some of the options we must consider are:
Who will operate the ambulances:
+ A great deal of efficiency is gained by the cities having dual-qualified firemen/EMTs, so this should be the most cost-effective method. If this option is chosen, the board must be careful to ensure that a proper allocation of costs is done by the cities of Warrensburg & Holden and is verified by independent financial review. While the cities should not be subsidizing ambulance service outside their jurisdiction, neither should non-residents be subsidizing normal city operations (in excess of what we pay toward them in sales tax). One additional advantage is that the cities already have the required operating authority. A major problem is that the cities must be willing to operate the service.
Where should ambulances be placed?
+ Another option is to contract with a private company. This solution could cost more because of start-up costs and the need for single-purpose employees, but it would remain a viable option if satisfactory agreement could not be reached with the cities. A variation of this option would be to contract with the Western Missouri Medical Center; however, the WMMC has said it is not interested.
+ The third option is to operate the district directly. This is least favored because it would cost by far the most. It would also create competition between the district and the cities for qualified personnel. In addition to equipment and labor, there would be substantial management overhead costs that would be borne entirely by the district.
How much money should be raised? Philosophically, we must raise the minimum amount to operate the service. What this amount is depends on the method selected above.
- Obviously, Warrensburg and Holden are central to the county. It would be desirable to place one in Knob Noster because of population density factors, and is certainly something that needs to be analyzed. This would involve costs in addition to those now incurred by Warrensburg & Holden.
I do not believe it is possible to place ambulances in other parts of the county where there are no full-time professional fire departments.
If we contract with the cities, we must negotiate based on an optimum staffing level and reasonable wage rates. This will require a deep look in to city books, to determine what the difference in staffing level and wage rates would be. An equitable adjustment of city overhead costs could also be considered. Ownership of the ambulances themselves is an additional issue that would affect costs, as is the ability to receive payments from users or their insurers.
The decisions made by this initial board are critical to the overall ambulance district. The issues and solutions are complex. It is imperative that we elect people who can think and analyze independently and who are not wedded to government as the final answer to all our problems.
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including Cedarcroft Farm Bed & Breakfast
431 Southeast County Road Y, Warrensburg, Missouri, 64093