Englewood's ill-conceived fire tax


The Feb. 9 editorial "Hold your fire" urged the Englewood Community Alliance, of which I am a member, not to go to court prematurely. It said the budget process will be open to the public and that there would be an opportunity for input (from the ECA).

At that time ECA members were in full agreement with your call for restraint. We have gone to extraordinary lengths to open a reasoned dialogue with the Englewood Area Fire Control District commissioners.

But they have made it clear that they will only communicate with us through their legal team.

Yes, they have now agreed to hold what they call a "workshop" on April 26, but they have indicated that they will be represented by two legal advisers and have suggested that if the ECA appoints lawyers, that they attend.

The EAFCD has also indicated that the commissioners will listen, but are not required to respond to comments from the public.What sort of workshop is that?

The EAFCD commissioners have been made aware that a fire-tax hike this high will bad1y hurt the community. Why won't they willingly hand over details explaining how they intend to spend this extra $1.5 million plus?

If any of these extra funds are to be allocated to provide or assist with EMS service, this is an improper allocation of EAFCD funds, as the law requires all EMS service to be reimbursed through ad-valorem, not non-ad-valorem, taxation.

All property owners in the fire district should know that they do not have to pay twice over for emergency medical service, as we are all assessed separately for EMS through our ad valorem property taxes.

Peter Matson
Englewood