Citizens Tax Committee to Examine County Ambulance Service

The Citizens Tax Committee (CTC)  has announced  the agenda for their next meeting this Wednesday, February 9th   at 1:30 pm at the Rowle P. Simmons Adult Center,  1280 Rosser Street, in Prescott.  The Citizens Tax Committee meets on the second Wednesday of each month.  Their meetings are free and open to the public.  An RSVP is not required.

The agenda for this month’s meeting will focus on CTC’s examination of a proposal by Scott Frietag, Chief of the Central Arizona Fire and Medical Authority (CAFMA) to expand ambulance service in Yavapai County in areas currently served by the private sector. Life Line Ambulance,  which operates a fleet of over 20 ambulances in Yavapai County,  has provided emergency rescue and medical transport in our service area for over thirty years. Chief Frietag has been critical of Life Line response times and is currently lobbying  the state legislature to expand CAFMA’s ability to provide emergency rescue and medical transport. As a  government taxing district, any proposed expansion  of CAFMA would entail new  taxes to pay for equipment and the training, salaries, health care and pensions of additional employees.  These costs are currently absorbed by Life Line Ambulance as part of their contractual obligations to the entities using their services.

Over the past month,  a CTC Task Force has conducted fact finding meetings with representatives of Life Line Ambulance Service and CAFMA to evaluate the state of ambulance service  in Yavapai County.  John Stevens,  Vice President of CTC,  will report on the Task Force’s findings to date and lead a discussion on what role, if any, CTC should play in vetting CAFMA’s proposal and informing the public of their findings.

The Citizens Tax Committee is one of Prescott oldest and most venerable civic organizations.  Since its founding in 1977,  it has served as a taxpayer advocate, promoting fiscal accountability in local government, and has been a focal point for opposition to wasteful government spending and excessive debt.  Over the years a number of local political and civic leaders have been associated with the organization.

Although CTC does not endorse candidates or play a direct role in partisan elections, they have weighed in on local tax and spending issues with high profile voter education programs on ballot initiatives such as a school bonds, budget overrides, and funding levels for the Arizona Public Safety Retirement System.  More recently, CTC has helped raise public awareness about the costs and environmental impacts of the proposed new jail in Prescott and the Verde Connect Project.  They are currently examining issues associated with the county ambulance service and whether  Yavapai County is best served by the private sector or an expansion of a taxpayer funded service.

The Citizens Tax Committee meets on the second Wednesday of the month at 1:30 pm at the Adult Center,  1280 E Rosser Street,  Prescott, Arizona.  Members of the public interested in fiscal accountability and higher taxes associated with an expansion of CAFMA,  are cordially invited to attend.

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