Finally – A Response


Paying double for fire service?

The county finally answered my public records request about fire and emergency vehicles.  It took them three weeks from beginning to end.  I submitted my first request on September 10.  I got the information on October 3.  What’s interesting is that the county had a quick response when shooting down the Key Largo Fire and Emergency Rescue District’s (KLFREMS) request.  Yet it took them three weeks to respond to my inquiry.  Clearly, the information I requested was easily accessible.  So why did it take three weeks?

Here’s a link to the updated email chain.  And here’s a link to the attached document, the latest project history report.

I’ll be digging into the numbers at the earliest opportunity.  Here’s the situation as described by the Free Press…

[…] Gastesi informed Thomas that the county had decided to give the district only $150,000 for fire hydrants.

“The reason this meeting came about, we in Key Largo feel that we pay into the 1-cent sales tax, so we deserve to get a portion of that back,” Thomas said last week. “[Monroe County Commissioner) Sylvia Murphy feels we’ve gotten enough back through purchases of Rowell’s Marina, stuff like that.”

Gastesi presented Thomas with paperwork showing that the Key Largo community has benefitted from $50 million in projects that the county has paid for from the 1-cent sales tax over the years.

The district’s consulting accountant, Jennifer Johnson of Bishop, Rosasco & Co., told the Free Press in an email that the county’s decision not to help with vehicle purchases definitely has affected the proposed tax rate.

This is the same set of excuses the county used to justify the enormous wastewater funding inequity it imposed on its taxpayers in Key Largo.  Roman “the iPhone Bandit” Gastesi is saying the same old thing and so is the Odious Sylvia Murphy.  I doubt there’s any truth to it.  There never has been before.  But I’ll go ahead and actually check it out.

Stay tuned.

This entry was posted in BOCC, Budget, Fire and Ambulance, Monroe County, Public Records. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Finally – A Response

  1. sue heim says:

    Kudos on getting the data. all those emails made me dizzy. I’ve preliminary reviewed the project plans. did see few duplicate services covered under diff program names. i need to study that more to confirm. also on the vehicles chart. possibly prices for vehs are too low for 2017 real time. both docs very interesting. going to compare to budget for fund assignments.


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