In response to the grossly misleading Friday, October 2,  WMI cover story "NO on Prop 428", I offer another perspective with indisputable facts from a local resident in support of Prop 428 and will address the disingenuous arguments “Dionne”, an admitted consultant made in the article:

• Prop 428 is not unreasonable. It is necessary to fund a public fire department which serves a growing population of up to 55,000 people during the high  fire season and covers 440 square miles with just 5 stations. COVID-19 has caused a dramatic increase in population due to the exodus from Phoenix and California to our hamlet, placing greater stress on Timber Mesa’s capacity.

• The typical property tax increase that prop 428 would add is about $3.35 per month to dramatically increase Timber Mesa’s ability to train and service the White Mountain area. This is a small price to pay to receive highly trained, highly skilled, responsive medical care in these “uncertain times”.

• Claiming Timber Mesa is one of the most expensive districts per capita is utterly preposterous, Timber Mesa is one of the most efficiently run Fire Departments in the area! One of many examples is Pinetop’s Fire District which has an overall budget of $7.5 million. They receive an average of 1,100 calls per year which equates to $6,818 per call. Timber Mesa Fire Department has a budget of $13 million with an average of 5,500 calls per year. At $2,363 per call, Timber Mesa’s per call cost is roughly ONE THIRD the Pinetop call cost.

• Timber Mesa’s tax rate is $2.99 cents per thousand dollars of assessed valuation, Pinetop's is $3.17. By any metric, Timber Mesa is one of the most efficient and affordable. These numbers are public facts that can be easily verified, not lame false assertions designed to mislead the public by a paid consultant working on behalf of a poorly performing for profit ambulance service that does a woefully inadequate job – Show Low EMS.

• Timber Mesa really does need their own local training facility to best serve the community, here’s why. Fire units need a local training facility that is in the heart of their service area and does not require 30 minutes to arrive when calls come in during fire drills. The Jake Flake Training Center in Taylor is just too far out. The excessive distance compromises response times, plain and simple. If you have an urgent emergency, where do you want your crew traveling from, the heart of Show Low or almost 20 miles away in Taylor coming from the Jake Flake facility.

• Station's 15 and 19 sorely need renovations. Station 19 was recently acquired from the White Mountain Lake Fire District and it needs significant upgrades including larger bays for full size fire trucks and sleeping quarters for the staff who now occupy the station 24/7.

In closing, don’t believe the fake news paid propaganda peddler Dionne who grossly distorted the truth in a desperate attempt to deceive you into voting against an upgrade that will cost you so little and offer you so much value.

Your yes vote to approve this prop will greatly enhance the ability for Timber Mesa to serve you with quicker response times from staff trained with the very best resources. With the monthly cost to a typical property owner estimated to be approximately $3.35 cents a month it breaks down to roughly ten cents a day. I hope the residents voting on prop 428 feel that increasing Timber Mesa's ability to respond is worth a few cents a day, seems to be a tremendous value received for about 10 cents a day.

Tony Tangalos,

Navajo County Precinct Committeeman & C.E.R.T. Volunteer,

White Mountain Lake

(5) comments

dagwood

there is no way I'm voting yes. for any new taxes. we the people live on a budget so should timber mesa

timr1943

The information offered by this supporter of PROP428 wants to make the cost sound small. Such as "It is only about ten cents a day". This equates to about forty dollars a year increase to all tax payers in the TMFD district. The fact that is not mentioned is this will be in addition to what you are already being taxed for fire services which is substantial.

My question is has the possibility of other actions to mitigate the issues that TMFD wants to bond for been considered? The remodel of existing stations that need it even though not their desire would be less expensive. The installation of traffic signals at critical intersections to improve response time that they are concerned about would seem much less expensive than building a new 4.42 million fire house thirty seconds away from the old one. The issue of not wanting to use the existing tax payer supported training facility in Taylor does not seem to make sense other than it is inconvenient according to them. TMFD is staffed by over 90 personnel and even with the division of crews required by 24 hour coverage this issue could be worked around with the possible use of overtime which again would be much less than the 7.35 million wanted for a new facility just 20 miles closer. The true long term cost for these new wants also is not discussed, but staffing,maintenance and utilities are all a long term cost that has to come from somewhere. Guess who that might be???

libertyminded

No way, it is the worst time to ask for more taxes, just No Way.

MtnWitch

No. NO NO NO NO!!!! I will not vote yes on anymore taxes from a district who can not budget their funds.

Myra

No. No. No. Again, the fire dept. is wasting taxpayer money by responding to calls for unlocking autos and homes when there is no life-threatening emergency. These services are taking away the right to earning an income by locksmiths and tow-truck companies. It happened again when a locksmith was on his way to a call near Heber. He arrived only to discover that a big rig fire truck with four firemen had taken the work. This is not right. Let them know that you do not approve of this waste of taxpayer money and this interference with the private sector's opportunity to earn a living.

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