From the Editor: Bunk Government


WARS, Our Heroes

Let’s hope we do not look back with regret on Albemarle County’s decision to start charging for its ambulance services, and to induce the volunteer squads to collaborate with them, but regret is likely. Folks might easily conclude that if the rescue squads are being paid, that their customary donations are no longer necessary. Then the true volunteer squads like the Western Albemarle Rescue Squad are likely to see their operations suffer. People who volunteer countless scheduled hours and go through extensive medical training to deliver emergency help, do it essentially out of love. The new policy undermines the motivations of the volunteers and heralds the coming of a county-run professional bureaucratic EMS service at a perpetual cost of millions of dollars to Albemarle taxpayers. And we get all this for the sake of recovering a predicted $400,000—some of it out of the tax money we put in the federal pot (Medicare) and the rest in probable price hikes in our health insurance.

The Gazette applauds WARS and the Charlottesville Albemarle Rescue Squad, both of which have superb reputations, for not participating in the practice. They both deliver excellent, speedy, caring medical attention and prompt transport to all of us with the greatest economy possible. We need to back WARS with donations, as we traditionally have, and keep our volunteer squad strong and independent. The longer we take care of ourselves, rather than conceding to the care of the county, the better off we and our local rescue service will be.

Meanwhile, rather than cogitating over ways to collect new fees, our supervisors should look on the expenditure side of the ledger and decide what things local government doesn’t really need to do. Back in the day when money seemed lighter, saying yes to nice ideas was too easy. Now we find we bought more government than we can afford. The government is of the people and for the people, not on the people and not exempt from what the people suffer.

Bunk Government

The Supervisors’ decision to punt the Crozet Library project for another five years is bunk and bad government. The need for the new library was established in 1995 and it is key to the development of downtown. It is on the top of the Commonwealth’s list of library projects and it’s astonishing that it has not received federal stimulus funding. The county should borrow money and build while construction is still affordable.

Our local government’s duty is to provide the services and facilities the people of Albemarle need, not to guarantee employment to a certain number of employees. As with Jarmans Gap Road improvements, it is outrageous that Crozet should wait 20 years for its public needs to be met.

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