Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Avoid Kingston Bankruptcy - Convert 1 Paid Fire station to Volunteer, Drastically reduce Fire Dept.Emergency Calls
We all know the facts. The City of Kingston has a declining population and a declining average annual salary. How can you ask its residents to pay 9 percent more in property taxes on top of years of property tax increases for both City and School taxes. The city is very close to bankrupt. The city may be forced to borrow money next year in order to pay for the 7.25 percent raises coming to Police and Firemen. Then, the city will be forced to raise taxes even further - 10 percent or higher in order to pay the bonds which pay the Police and Firemen's raises. Then, more Kingstonians will leave and more poor people will take their place. Are you starting to get a picture of the downward spiral the City of Kingston is now in. My argument is that the DPW is almost barebones. We need the Police for daily protection. We absolutely cannot afford to have firemen responding to emergency calls any more. We can contract with 3 ambulance companies with paramedics and locate them uptown, midtown and downtown for optimum response times with higher level service than the fire dept. EMTs. We should try to encourage the Fire union to get ahead of the curve and begin planning for one of the 3 paid stations to convert to a top notch volunteer company such as Ulster Hose. If we want there to be a City of Kingston that is not a welfare colony, we better start making these plans now!