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God Bless America (Page 4)
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smacintush
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Oct 7, 2010, 12:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE View Post
Of course not, because as I said MOST people pay their bills. Just as most people don't need eviction notices to pay their rent on time. A few bad apples not paying their $75 on time is NOT an insurmountable problem, but for some hardheaded reason, people seem hellbent on making it one. I just find that weird.
So, you are suggesting that if no one paid their bills that every other house would burn down?

That's truly a laughable quote.
It looks a little strange out of context, but you seem to be saying that the benefit of the "community" should be the standard here. I'm saying that is wrong.

Exactly- the fee is tiny, as in TRIVIAL, so it's not worth squabbling over at the time of an emergency.
Yes, it is trivial, so he should have paid the damn thing. He gambled, he lost.

And charge the person what-the-f-ever for the cost of putting out the fire- you're the one making a $75 molehill into a mountain of 'personal responsibility' to fight and die on, not me.
My point, which I guess I didn't make very clear, was that if we are to allow that they should have put the fire out and charged him money afterward the $75 or $150 or whatever is not appropriate. If he is to be made to pay after the fact he shouldn't be getting off by paying anywhere near the amount that those that are actually responsible get to pay. If he is not paying his annual fee, he is not a part of the plan. He is an a la carte customer and should be charged the full amount for their efforts.

Even if the few instances of people not paying $75 was enough to make or break the FD's ability to fight fire in the first place, then they'd stand to be even better funded by the few morons who had to pay exorbitant late fees, or truly excessive fees after the fact.
Again, it's not merely about the triviality of the money. I thought that much was clear.
Being in debt and celebrating a lower deficit is like being on a diet and celebrating the fact you gained two pounds this week instead of five.
     
Shaddim
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Oct 7, 2010, 12:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE View Post
What would have happend if someone's life had been lost, or the fire spread and someone else (who had paid the fee) lost their property or life?

I can see merit in both sides of this, but really, since the fee was only $75, it doesn't seem unreasonable to me to err on the side of what's actually more valuable to the community: putting out fires and saving property and lives, not quibbling over 75 bucks.

So basically, put the fire out then bill the guy for $75, or heck, make it $150 as a late fee.
You charge them the actual cost of putting out the fire. The labor, fuel, equipment, water, everything. I'm sure it would be $1000s. They don't pay? Then you tell them you'll never be back if they need your services in the future. Makes that $75 seem like peanuts.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
smacintush
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Oct 7, 2010, 12:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
You charge them the actual cost of putting out the fire. The labor, fuel, equipment, water, everything. I'm sure it would be $1000s. They don't pay? Then you tell them you'll never be back if they need your services in the future. Makes that $75 seem like peanuts.
Apparently there is something "wrong" about that…
Being in debt and celebrating a lower deficit is like being on a diet and celebrating the fact you gained two pounds this week instead of five.
     
Shaddim
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Oct 7, 2010, 12:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
Apparently there is something "wrong" about that…
What? Makes sense to me. You need a service, you pay for it. I can understand having a bleeding heart and wanting to help others, even mine is known to do that at times, but services like that have expensive costs.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
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turtle777
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Oct 7, 2010, 01:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
What? Makes sense to me. You need a service, you pay for it. I can understand having a bleeding heart and wanting to help others, even mine is known to do that at times, but services like that have expensive costs.
But you don't understand. The cheapskate deserves that everyone else pays for him.

That's the great thing about Socialism: in the end, nobody pays, and everybody is covered

-t
     
Shaddim
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Oct 7, 2010, 01:27 AM
 
I guess you're right. What's one more financially crippling entitlement among friends? I suppose the county can just increase my property taxes another 20% to cover it. God knows I wouldn't want anyone to go without Netflix or World of Warcraft just so they could pay their $100 fire dept bill.
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Uncle Skeleton
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Oct 7, 2010, 01:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
Because that page isn't linked to by either of the pages in your "which has a FAQ regarding Obion County fire policies" post, and even now none of the links say anything about reminder policies. Since this clearly is not going to get anywhere until I say it, you're full of shit olePigeon. There is no such reminder policy.
     
CRASH HARDDRIVE
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Oct 7, 2010, 01:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
So, you are suggesting that if no one paid their bills that every other house would burn down?
Where did you pull that from? Doesn't even make sense.

It looks a little strange out of context, but you seem to be saying that the benefit of the "community" should be the standard here. I'm saying that is wrong.
It looks strange period, and yes, when it comes to fire, police and emergency services, the benefit to the community should be the standard. Hell, in fact, common sense should be the standard.

Yes, it is trivial, so he should have paid the damn thing. He gambled, he lost.
No one said he shouldn't have to pay. In fact, just the opposite. It's just that squabbling over it during an emergency is stupid and benefits no one.

My point, which I guess I didn't make very clear, was that if we are to allow that they should have put the fire out and charged him money afterward the $75 or $150 or whatever is not appropriate. If he is to be made to pay after the fact he shouldn't be getting off by paying anywhere near the amount that those that are actually responsible get to pay.If he is not paying his annual fee, he is not a part of the plan. He is an a la carte customer and should be charged the full amount for their efforts.
We're not at all in disagreement here. I'm saying the same thing.
The amounts are arbitrary. Such a big deal was made over one person not paying their bill- as if the FD literally wouldn't have enough funds due to the few people in any given community like this that don't pay their bill (and if you can prove that most people DON'T pay the $75 and that it's ever more than just a few people we're talking about, then please do so) then charging him the $75 or $150 or what-the-hell ever should cover the expense.

After all, clearly that $75 was such a mountain to wage battle over and create this stupid story in the first place, that the literal amount must mean a hell of a lot to the FD. By this 'reasoning' $150 should put them all in shiny new firetrucks I guess. (In other words- the amount meant exactly SHIT to the FD's ability to do it's job).

So sure, charge the guy whatever. The point is- PUT THE DAMN FIRE OUT FIRST! None of these amounts are worth someone losing their home over, and sure as hell not lives. Failing to pay $75 is not the worst friggen 'crime' in the world, nor part of some grand conspiracy of personal responsibility.

I'm probably usually in agreement with you and others in the usual personal responsibility arguments, but this is just one of those examples where I part company with you when the ideal gets stretched to breaking point so far that common sense gets tossed out the window in favor of sheer pigheadedness. "By gum, we'll teach that guy personal responsibility! Let his shit burn! $75 whole dollars is at stake! That'll learn those goldang commies!"

Sorry, but pick your figgen battles already. This one is just silly. And on top of everything, no one said let the guy off the hook for his responsibility.

In my book, any locality with fire, rescue, and police services has it's OWN friggen responsibility to public safety and disaster response. Had someone died due to "teaching that guy a lesson!", I'd be all in favor of the local government getting it's freakin ass sued off if it didn't do all that was within it's power to fight the fire.

Again, it's not merely about the triviality of the money. I thought that much was clear.
Yeah, yeah we know. It's all about teaching some guy a lesson, by golly. That'll learn 'em!

Failing to have emergency services respond to an emergency isn't a good way to teach personal responsibility lessons, quite the opposite.

Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
That's the great thing about Socialism: in the end, nobody pays, and everybody is covered
And again, this is whereI part company with you guys, when you start getting just as moonbattish as some of our crazier friends on the left, only in the opposite direction.

Trying to make this about socialism is just lame. It's nothing more than what should be a trivial local issue, not any dire threat to the fabric of society.

Next up, you'll both be on about how it's all Obama's fault, that looming socialism in the heart of rural Tennessee!
     
Uncle Skeleton
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Oct 7, 2010, 02:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
You charge them the actual cost of putting out the fire. The labor, fuel, equipment, water, everything. I'm sure it would be $1000s. They don't pay? Then you tell them you'll never be back if they need your services in the future. Makes that $75 seem like peanuts.
The heart of the matter is that the average number of times each person will need the services of the fire department in their entire life is less than 1 (most people never have a fire). So if this was the policy, I wouldn't pay until I had a fire. Even if it was triple the actual cost, it would still be a smarter move to not pay until there is a fire. Especially in a society where the hefty punitive fine can also be skirted (bad credit etc).

Basically once you introduce the idea that loss of the home is "too big to fail," the homeowner is untouchable. They can take and take and take, and no "punishment" will stick to them.

If you're really concerned about fire services being obligatory, then you simply have to make it a tax, not an opt-in fee (obligatory payment for obligatory service, like for like). Of course, they tried that there, it didn't happen.
     
Uncle Skeleton
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Oct 7, 2010, 02:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE View Post
The amounts are arbitrary. Such a big deal was made over one person not paying their bill- as if the FD literally wouldn't have enough funds due to the few people in any given community like this that don't pay their bill (and if you can prove that most people DON'T pay the $75 and that it's ever more than just a few people we're talking about, then please do so) then charging him the $75 or $150 or what-the-hell ever should cover the expense.

After all, clearly that $75 was such a mountain to wage battle over and create this stupid story in the first place, that the literal amount must mean a hell of a lot to the FD. By this 'reasoning' $150 should put them all in shiny new firetrucks I guess. (In other words- the amount meant exactly SHIT to the FD's ability to do it's job).
The only reason most people pay is because they don't expect service if they don't. As soon as they see that this guy gets service without paying, they'll stop. I would. Any smart person would. You would be a complete idiot to pay in advance for a rare-to-never service when you could pay less overall and do it only when needed, while still getting the same service.
     
CRASH HARDDRIVE
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Oct 7, 2010, 02:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
The only reason most people pay is because they don't expect service if they don't. As soon as they see that this guy gets service without paying, they'll stop. I would. Any smart person would. You would be a complete idiot to pay in advance for a rare-to-never service when you could pay less overall and do it only when needed, while still getting the same service.
Right, and by the real world 'logic' of this argument, once people see that guy with no money/no insurance checked into the emergency room get treated for his injuries, then be released and skip out without paying a dime, they'll also stop paying their own bills. I'm sure you would. Any smart person would. You'd be a complete idiot to pay your own bills, or have insurance, when you can pay less overall by being a deadbeat that takes gross advantage of care provided by others. Everyone does this.

Or then again, maybe not.

Anyway, once again, I just don't buy the 'everyone would do it' argument. As with other things (that actually cost a hell of a lot more than a $75 fee) there are plenty of other ways to provide disincentives against people not paying, other than just letting houses burn down. Just as there are other ways to prevent most people skipping out on their emergency bills other than not treating them in the first place for lack of insurance. By the argument you guys are mounting, I'm guessing you'd be all in favor of that as well. "Let 'em die! That'll learn 'em!"
     
smacintush
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Oct 7, 2010, 02:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE View Post
Where did you pull that from? Doesn't even make sense.
Originally Posted by smacintush
There's no need for the hyperbole, every other house will not be burning down.
Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE
Of course not, because as I said MOST people pay their bills.
...

It looks strange period, and yes, when it comes to fire, police and emergency services, the benefit to the community should be the standard. Hell, in fact, common sense should be the standard.
We have a fundamental difference of opinion on the role of government. They are an agent of retaliatory force, it is not their job to protect us from accidents, unfortunate circumstances, or bad weather. To the degree that a person's property burning harms you or your property is the proper degree of the government's involvement.

In this case, I think that under the type of system they had and the circumstances they did exactly the right thing. In the aftermath, the Cranicks should be held financially responsible for the damage to their neighbors property, and perhaps charged.

We're not at all in disagreement here. I'm saying the same thing.
The amounts are arbitrary. Such a big deal was made over one person not paying their bill- as if the FD literally wouldn't have enough funds due to the few people in any given community like this that don't pay their bill (and if you can prove that most people DON'T pay the $75 and that it's ever more than just a few people we're talking about, then please do so) then charging him the $75 or $150 or what-the-hell ever should cover the expense.

After all, clearly that $75 was such a mountain to wage battle over and create this stupid story in the first place, that the literal amount must mean a hell of a lot to the FD. By this 'reasoning' $150 should put them all in shiny new firetrucks I guess. (In other words- the amount meant exactly SHIT to the FD's ability to do it's job).

So sure, charge the guy whatever. The point is- PUT THE DAMN FIRE OUT FIRST! None of these amounts are worth someone losing their home over, and sure as hell not lives. Failing to pay $75 is not the worst friggen 'crime' in the world, nor part of some grand conspiracy of personal responsibility.
I don't have a huge problem with what you say above, but I also have no problem with how they handled it. There seemed to be no lives in danger so I really don't give a damn about the guy who felt he could shirk his duty to protect his property and his family.

I'm probably usually in agreement with you and others in the usual personal responsibility arguments, but this is just one of those examples where I part company with you when the ideal gets stretched to breaking point so far that common sense gets tossed out the window in favor of sheer pigheadedness. "By gum, we'll teach that guy personal responsibility! Let his shit burn! $75 whole dollars is at stake! That'll learn those goldang commies!"
I'm really not interested in teaching people lessons in the way you describe, I apologize if that is how I sounded. I am just trying to stress that there is no value in the government saving people from themselves.

Sorry, but pick your figgen battles already. This one is just silly. And on top of everything, no one said let the guy off the hook for his responsibility.
I'm not making a federal case about this, I'm just tired and bored. This really isn't a huge deal to me. Of all the entitlements, fire service is probably the one I am the least against. They actually perform a valuable service.

In my book, any locality with fire, rescue, and police services has it's OWN friggen responsibility to public safety and disaster response. Had someone died due to "teaching that guy a lesson!", I'd be all in favor of the local government getting it's freakin ass sued off if it didn't do all that was within it's power to fight the fire.
No one did die, so this is meaningless.

Yeah, yeah we know. It's all about teaching some guy a lesson, by golly. That'll learn 'em!

Failing to have emergency services respond to an emergency isn't a good way to teach personal responsibility lessons, quite the opposite.
C'mon, stop it.

And again, this is whereI part company with you guys, when you start getting just as moonbattish as some of our crazier friends on the left, only in the opposite direction.

Trying to make this about socialism is just lame. It's nothing more than what should be a trivial local issue, not any dire threat to the fabric of society.

Next up, you'll both be on about how it's all Obama's fault, that looming socialism in the heart of rural Tennessee!
You are the one in a froth Chester.
Being in debt and celebrating a lower deficit is like being on a diet and celebrating the fact you gained two pounds this week instead of five.
     
CRASH HARDDRIVE
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Oct 7, 2010, 03:06 AM
 
Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
There seemed to be no lives in danger...
That's great after the fact. But a dispatcher failing to alert fire fighters has no way of knowing this, and shouldn't even be involved in dicking around over 'fees' the first place.

We definitely have different views of government alright, because I don't believe in any as illogical and ineffective as this.

The irony is, even if the city was pleading poverty, rather than put the fire out and then collect whatever massive fee (and then DUH, implement financial disincentives for anyone else who wants to get cute by not paying their own upfront fees -the way any other service provider can figure out in about five minutes how to do) they did squat and got squat. Stupid all the way around.

Bottom line though- they definitely need to work out a better system to address the fire fighting needs of people in Tennessee (or anywhere else they have this system), because the system they have is just plain retarded.
     
turtle777
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Oct 7, 2010, 07:55 AM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Basically once you introduce the idea that loss of the home is "too big to fail," the homeowner is untouchable. They can take and take and take, and no "punishment" will stick to them.

If you're really concerned about fire services being obligatory, then you simply have to make it a tax, not an opt-in fee (obligatory payment for obligatory service, like for like). Of course, they tried that there, it didn't happen.
You can already see what's happening:

People don't pay, but still get service.
The service is underfunded, and has to close.

The result is that there is NO fire service AT ALL, no matter if you want it or not.

Excellent example of how dumb policies of bleeding heart socialists lead to fewer services.

Reminds me of how Obama said that everyone happy with their insurance could keep it. LOL, we know how that goes.

-t
     
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Oct 7, 2010, 09:29 AM
 
Crash is making a lot of sense.
     
turtle777
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Oct 7, 2010, 09:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
Crash is making a lot of sense.
If sense means warm fuzzy feeling, then yes.

Economically, it doesn't make sense. People will try to avoid paying at any cost.
You can not set insurance policies based on expecting people to be good and not take advantage of it. Really, an honor system doesn't work for insurance stuff.

People will ALWAYS explopit any loophole to maximise their financial side.

-t
     
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Oct 7, 2010, 10:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE View Post
Right, and by the real world 'logic' of this argument, once people see that guy with no money/no insurance checked into the emergency room get treated for his injuries, then be released and skip out without paying a dime, they'll also stop paying their own bills.
They would not get the same service. Their service for each injury would be far worse, slower, and they would miss out entirely on regular preventative medicine, which most people value. By contrast, with fire they would get the exact same service. And there is no regular preventative maintenance service people expect from the fire department. People need a doctor 100s to 1000s of times in their life. They need the fire department 0 to 1 time in their life. For this reason, the doctor has lots of leverage to convince people to do the right thing, but the fire department has none (all the more so _after_ the fire is out).


Anyway, once again, I just don't buy the 'everyone would do it' argument. As with other things (that actually cost a hell of a lot more than a $75 fee) there are plenty of other ways to provide disincentives against people not paying, other than just letting houses burn down.
Many have been suggested, none are realistic. You're free to try again, but I don't think you actually know of any.
     
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Oct 7, 2010, 11:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
Crash is making a lot of sense.
Amazingly he is. He's essentially making the same argument I said earlier. At first I thought I had slipped into an alternate universe. Then I remembered that even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Surely there is a middle ground here. I simply don't see the need for a family to lose their home, all their possessions, and 3 dogs and a cat while the fire department stands around and watches. Just put out the damned fire and charge him the fee along with a hefty fine. And make it clear that they will intervene like that with an unpaid fee one time only (unless lives are at stake). Earlier I asked the question ....

Originally Posted by OAW
I wonder what the fire department would have done if there was a person trapped inside?
Well judging by the comments of the "personal responsibility at all costs" crowd around here ... if you take their position to its logical conclusion then I suppose that human being would just be a crispy, burnt up MF! Definitely showed no concern for the 4 pets that were killed. You see ... when ideology starts to trump common sense it's never a good look. Hence all the controversy surrounding this story.

OAW
( Last edited by OAW; Oct 7, 2010 at 11:12 AM. )
     
Uncle Skeleton
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Oct 7, 2010, 11:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
Amazingly he is. He's essentially making the same argument I said earlier. At first I thought I had slipped into an alternate universe. Then I remembered that even a broken clock is right twice a day.
Well aren't you spiteful today

Surely there is a middle ground here.
Yes there is, it would be to make the fee into a tax and force everyone to pay it.

I simply don't see the need for a family to lose their home, all their possessions, and 3 dogs and a cat while the fire department stands around and watches. Just put out the damned fire and charge him the fee along with a hefty fine. And make it clear that they will intervene like that with an unpaid fee one time only (unless lives are at stake).
That would still put the homeowner at a mathematical advantage over paying the fee in the first place. How can you not grasp this?

Furthermore, what happens when he fails to pay the hefty fine? I'll tell you what, people like you come in saying "oh they're so cruel for asking such a hefty fine; he might lose his house if he has to pay that." I hope the irony of this isn't lost on you, but somehow I predict it is.

Well judging by the comments of the "personal responsibility at all costs" crowd around here ... if you take their position to its logical conclusion then I suppose that human being would just be a crispy, burnt up MF! Definitely showed no concern for the 4 pets that were killed. You see ... when ideology starts to trump common sense it's never a good look. Hence all the controversy surrounding this story.
It's not about "personal responsibility" it's about realism. Do you realize that this rural area is lucky to have fire service at all? That most of the surrounding areas don't have fire service at all? What happens when there's a person trapped in a fire there? Do you realize that if this fire department gives away free service without collecting fees to fund it, then not only will this rural area's partial fire service go away, but also the (relatively) urban South Fulton fire service will also be lost? Why don't you answer these questions, now that I've answered yours.
     
andi*pandi
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Oct 7, 2010, 11:36 AM
 
It's not just warm and fuzzy feelings. Crash's points about the neighborhood, and property values, are good ones.

I'd also really doubt that a blazing fire zooming across my neighbors hayfield would stop at the border and wait patiently for the fire dept to show up before engulfing my property too. Plenty of stories about fire spreading from house to house and the fire dept couldn't stop it. Stopping the fire as soon as it appears IS protecting my property.

While it may be warm and fuzzy, I would not want to be the firefighter standing by when a fire kills a person, knowing I could do something and didn't. Policy or no policy. Heck, I think I'd feel bad if I could have saved a goldfish and didn't.

The hefty fine has got to be HEFTY. The costs of the operation are probably less than the house is worth, so, yeah, charge the cheapskates for the full costs. If they don't pay, the town can get hardnosed and foreclose, put a lien on it, whatever... at least everyone's alive. I think that's a deterrent.

Put the costs in the fee letter, and if you want to wash your hands of it, have those who decline to pay the fee sign a WAIVER that admits that their house WILL NOT get service if they didn't pay, or whatever.
     
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Oct 7, 2010, 11:43 AM
 
The most bizarre thing about all this is "why doesn't the fire service cover this out of local taxes, considering the amount of property tax you pay?".

I've been house shopping in the US, so I'm sort of aware of the yearly property taxes. High, IIRC. Wiki states "Rates vary across the states, between about 0.2% and 2% of the home value", so let's assume 1%.

So, taxes on a million buck house would be around $10k. Here I pay around $1.5k. And for that, fire service and trash removal is thrown in.

What's your local government doing with all the money?
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The Final Dakar
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Oct 7, 2010, 11:45 AM
 
It's Tennessee, so I imagine it's going to be hard to blame it on pinko commie legislation.
     
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Oct 7, 2010, 11:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
It's not just warm and fuzzy feelings. Crash's points about the neighborhood, and property values, are good ones.
The premise takes for granted the presence of a fire department. That is the disconnect right there. Fulton is one of only 3 towns in the entire county that offers rural fire service (per olePigeon's link on this page). Have you considered the fact that the only reason they are able to offer it in the first place is because of policies like these? The alternative is no fire service at all. The county even passed a law to establish a fire service for themselves, then 22 years later (!) after nothing was done to implement it, the law was repealed. That's the alternative: no service. Property values don't mean a darn thing if no fire service even exists to take them into consideration.

While it may be warm and fuzzy, I would not want to be the firefighter standing by when a fire kills a person, knowing I could do something and didn't. Policy or no policy.
I expect they would probably rescue the person, but not work further to rescue the building.


The hefty fine has got to be HEFTY. The costs of the operation are probably less than the house is worth, so, yeah, charge the cheapskates for the full costs. I think that's a deterrent.
Say the full cost is $5000. That's still cheaper than a lifetime of payments, plus you might never even have to pay it (plus future money is cheaper than now money). It is still advantageous to not pay in advance.

If they don't pay, the town can get hardnosed and foreclose, put a lien on it, whatever... at least everyone's alive.
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CRASH HARDDRIVE
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Oct 7, 2010, 11:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
They would not get the same service. Their service for each injury would be far worse, slower
Totally untrue. Now I'm really not sure what planet you're living on, but people misuse emergency room services all the time, and skip out on their bills. But when people come in with life threating injuries, there is no 'slower' tier of response based on their immediate ability to pay. In fact, I've seen just the opposite- those that can pay mired down in forms to fill out before they're treated, while people who shouldn't even be in the country to be using the emergency room in the first place are wheeled right on in.

Nor does the fact that some people cheat the system lead to most people who are able to pay their bills having any incentive not to do so.


and they would miss out entirely on regular preventative medicine, which most people value.
True, but a separate issue, since we're talking about emergencies, like your house on fire (not preventing it from being on fire in the first place) or someone being pulled out of a car wreck and rushed to the hospital with no money or insurance.

Many have been suggested, none are realistic. You're free to try again, but I don't think you actually know of any.
If it's beyond anyone's imagination to figure out an adequate solution to such a simple problem like this, then I fail to see how that person could even begin to think they've got any solutions to REAL issues and problems.

Something about this whole story just doesn't jibe, if one actually looks at the facts. The city government is pulling fast one, and I'm amazed that anyone is falling for it.

Fact: a $75 fee is all that's been required to cover rural residents.

Fires are relatively uncommon, so already no one has had much incentive to pay the fee -according to the 'logic' presented here- and yet most people do.

The fee is clearly low because the risk of the FD having to respond all the time to rural fires is low, so this fact doesn't in any way square with any bullshit about needing a ginormous tax increase to cover the rural residents for the same thing.

What it is though, is a perfect illustration of a government holding a vital service hostage in order to try and extract more money out of people.

Since $75 is a known amount that covers this, it'd be childsplay for the county to tack on a minor property tax OF THE SAME AMOUNT, not an exorbitant bullshit fee- that's mandatory and covers the same service.

If there was no need to form a more local, rural FD before this, there's no need now, just figure out a more reasonable restructuring of the TRIVIAL funds involved.

That, or stop whatever waste of the taxes these people already pay, and cover the damn fire department bill already. What's more important, $75 of their state/local/property taxes going to cover that much more of the usual government paper-pushing bullshit, or seeing to it that hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of property aren't lost, to say nothing of saving lives and on top of it covering the city/county from possible lawsuits once someone eventually does die from such a stupid policy?

If we were talking tens of thousands of dollars to cover these people, I could see it being a bigger deal, but since the amounts are so low, this can easily be covered by removing a single layer of pigheadedness at some point along the trail of money leaving the citizen's pockets (which puh-lease don't try and sell me that govts. can't figure out how to do) and the city/county/state governments making better use of it once it does.
     
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Oct 7, 2010, 11:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Since this clearly is not going to get anywhere until I say it, you're full of shit olePigeon. There is no such reminder policy.
I misunderstood what you were looking for, I thought you were asking about my figures on rural fires and whether or not the Clerk sends notices. Here is the official policy on notices, according to South Fulton City manager Jeff Vowell:

Tempers flare in SF after house allowed to burn; fire chief hit on NWTNTODAY.COM

South Fulton city manager Jeff Vowell said the city mails out notices to customers in the specified rural coverage area, with coverage running from July 1 of one year to July 1 the next year.

At the end of the enrollment month of July, the city goes a step further and makes phone calls to rural residents who have not responded to the mail-out.

“These folks were called and notified,” Vowell said. “I want to make sure everybody has the opportunity to get it and be aware it’s available. It’s been there for 20 years, but it’s very important to follow up.”

Mayor Crocker added, “It’s my understanding with talking with the firefighters that these folks had received their bill and they had also contacted them by phone.”


Like I said, not only did he receive notice that his fee was due, he also received a phone call. He chose to ignore both the letter and the phone call, admitted he thought they would help anyway, then proceeded to have his sone burn garbage on his property.

I can't verify any rumors, but apparently it wasn't the first time the fire department was called out to their home after their son let the garbage fire get out of control.
"…I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than
you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods,
you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F. Roberts
     
Laminar
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Oct 7, 2010, 11:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE View Post
Next up, you'll both be on about how it's all Obama's fault, that looming socialism in the heart of rural Tennessee!
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Reminds me of how Obama said that everyone happy with their insurance could keep it. LOL, we know how that goes.
     
turtle777
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Oct 7, 2010, 12:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Obviously, your comprehension skills are quite weak.

I didn NOT say anything about this instance being Obama's fault.

I said something similar (services disappearing although reviously promised) is happening with Health Care Reform.

Sorry, but I don't know how to express this in comic form, so this whole point might be lost on you.

-t
     
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Oct 7, 2010, 12:16 PM
 
Awesome.
     
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Oct 7, 2010, 12:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE View Post
Totally untrue. Now I'm really not sure what planet you're living on, but people misuse emergency room services all the time
And it's causing a huge financial problem, threatening to bankrupt the whole system. That's exactly my point.

But when people come in with life threating injuries, there is no 'slower' tier
Most injuries are not life-threatening.


True, but a separate issue, since we're talking about emergencies, like your house on fire (not preventing it from being on fire in the first place) or someone being pulled out of a car wreck and rushed to the hospital with no money or insurance.
But you can't get "non-emergency-only" health insurance (can you?), so it's moot.


The fee is clearly low because the risk of the FD having to respond all the time to rural fires is low, so this fact doesn't in any way square with any bullshit about needing a ginormous tax increase to cover the rural residents for the same thing.
No one said "ginormous." I fully expect the tax increase to be exactly $75. The only difference would be that you have to pay or you go to jail (or whatever the standard collection mechanism is for taxes in that county). That would be a perfectly fair "middle ground."

What it is though, is a perfect illustration of a government holding a vital service hostage in order to try and extract more money out of people.
No, it's clearly not a vital service because the vast majority of the county doesn't have it.

Also it's clearly not an effort to extract more money out of people, because the amount asked is small, and they refused to accept a far larger amount at the last second.

That, or stop whatever waste of the taxes these people already pay, and cover the damn fire department bill already.
These people don't pay any taxes for fire, because the fire service is from a neighboring area (the town), offering to work outside it's mandate.


What's more important, $75 of their state/local/property taxes going to cover that much more of the usual government paper-pushing bullshit, or seeing to it that hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of property aren't lost?
Or seeing the fire department disappear so this area can join the rest of the county in having no fire service at all?
     
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Oct 7, 2010, 01:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
It's not about "personal responsibility" it's about realism. Do you realize that this rural area is lucky to have fire service at all? That most of the surrounding areas don't have fire service at all? What happens when there's a person trapped in a fire there? Do you realize that if this fire department gives away free service without collecting fees to fund it, then not only will this rural area's partial fire service go away, but also the (relatively) urban South Fulton fire service will also be lost? Why don't you answer these questions, now that I've answered yours.
Actually you haven't. The question was ....

Originally Posted by OAW
I wonder what the fire department would have done if there was a person trapped inside?
But let me make it clearer ....

Should the fire department stand idly by even if a human being is trapped in a burning house because of a frakkin unpaid $75 fee? Yes or no?

And to answer your question ... people get emergency room treatment regardless of whether or not they have insurance. Along with a nice hefty bill to boot if they don't. An out of pocket expense that would have been considerably less if they had paid for insurance ahead of time. Yet amazingly ... I don't see anyone making the retarded argument that treating people in the ER who don't have insurance is going to cause the entire medical system to collapse because no one would buy insurance in such circumstances.

Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton
Say the full cost is $5000. That's still cheaper than a lifetime of payments, plus you might never even have to pay it (plus future money is cheaper than now money). It is still advantageous to not pay in advance.
Perhaps you ought to rethink that statement? $75 a year for a 30 year mortgage is only $2250. And who keeps the same house or even lives in the same area for 30 years these days? Someone would have to live in the area for 66 years and not pay for a $5000 fine to be cheaper.

OAW
     
turtle777
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Oct 7, 2010, 02:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
Should the fire department stand idly by even if a human being is trapped in a burning house because of a frakkin unpaid $75 fee? Yes or no?
Woulda, coulda, shoulda...

The Fire department should tell the caller on the phone: "You didn't pay your fee, so you're not covered. Get the f*ck out of the house, because we ain't helping."

-t
     
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Oct 7, 2010, 02:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
I misunderstood what you were looking for, I thought you were asking about my figures on rural fires and whether or not the Clerk sends notices. Here is the official policy on notices, according to South Fulton City manager Jeff Vowell:

Tempers flare in SF after house allowed to burn; fire chief hit on NWTNTODAY.COM
Thanks
     
besson3c
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Oct 7, 2010, 02:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Woulda, coulda, shoulda...

The Fire department should tell the caller on the phone: "You didn't pay your fee, so you're not covered. Get the f*ck out of the house, because we ain't helping."

-t

What are the hidden costs, if any, of that policy/decision?
     
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Oct 7, 2010, 02:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
Should the fire department stand idly by even if a human being is trapped in a burning house because of a frakkin unpaid $75 fee? Yes or no?
I expect they would probably rescue the person, but not work further to rescue the building.

And to answer your question ... people get emergency room treatment regardless of whether or not they have insurance. Along with a nice hefty bill to boot if they don't. An out of pocket expense that would have been considerably less if they had paid for insurance ahead of time. Yet amazingly ... I don't see anyone making the retarded argument that treating people in the ER who don't have insurance is going to cause the entire medical system to collapse because no one would buy insurance in such circumstances.
That does not answer my question (here's a hint: it was not about medicine). You already quoted my question in your post, but do you need me to post it again?

As to this sidetrack (as I already explained), if I only needed to go to the doctor 1 time in my life, and probably not even that many, and if the real cost was less than a lifetime's worth of premiums, and I could simply pay it after the fact for exactly the same service, you're damn right I would hold off on paying. You would be stupid not to. But of course none of those conditions are true, which is why the analogy is a bad one.


Perhaps you ought to rethink that statement? $75 a year for a 30 year mortgage is only $2250. And who keeps the same house or even lives in the same area for 30 years these days? Someone would have to live in the area for 66 years and not pay for a $5000 fine to be cheaper.
I quite clearly said a "lifetime" of payments. What did you read that as? 30 years?

Even in an average lifetime (of longer than 66 years), most people still never have a fire, so it's still mathematically advantageous to not pay until needed (no matter if you move or not), even if you are one of the unlucky ones that does have one. Do you understand?
     
turtle777
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Oct 7, 2010, 02:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
What are the hidden costs, if any, of that policy/decision?
Dumb people and cheapskates lose their homes.

-t
     
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Oct 7, 2010, 02:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Dumb people and cheapskates lose their homes.

-t

How does that, plus possible damage to neighboring properties, plus possible environmental damage, plus the damage to all the contents of the house affect the rest of the tax payers in that area? What does it cost the economy for a private asset like that to be destroyed if this puts the family under great financial duress, perhaps putting them on welfare?
     
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Oct 7, 2010, 03:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
How does that, plus possible damage to neighboring properties, plus possible environmental damage, plus the damage to all the contents of the house affect the rest of the tax payers in that area? What does it cost the economy for a private asset like that to be destroyed if this puts the family under great financial duress, perhaps putting them on welfare?
According to the Keynesian broken window parable, it's a stimulus!

Seriously though, the choice is not between rescuing deadbeats' houses and not rescuing them. The choice is between not rescuing deadbeat's houses and not rescuing any houses because there is no more fire department to begin with. Three towns in that county made the former choice, and all the others made the latter.
     
subego
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Oct 7, 2010, 03:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
How does that, plus possible damage to neighboring properties, plus possible environmental damage, plus the damage to all the contents of the house affect the rest of the tax payers in that area? What does it cost the economy for a private asset like that to be destroyed if this puts the family under great financial duress, perhaps putting them on welfare?
If this is a problem (and I don't disagree it is), then tax them.

I've already stated I think a fee based structure is bad for this sort of thing, but if that's the system, then that's the system.

If the residents of the county won't brook a tax increase, then I don't know what we're supposed to do about that.
     
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Oct 7, 2010, 03:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Woulda, coulda, shoulda...

The Fire department should tell the caller on the phone: "You didn't pay your fee, so you're not covered. Get the f*ck out of the house, because we ain't helping."

-t
And you guys wonder why most people consider wingers to be mean-spirited and ideologically extreme?

In any event ... at least you had the gumption to give a direct answer to a direct question. And I can respect that much at least.

OAW
     
besson3c
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Oct 7, 2010, 03:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
And you guys wonder why most people consider wingers to be mean-spirited and ideologically extreme?

In any event ... at least you had the gumption to give a direct answer to a direct question. And I can respect that much at least.

OAW

I respect it too....

I wonder more about why more wingers don't take the time to think about the indirect costs and consequences to what they want to do rather than just clinging to what feels good and makes for good ranting.

For instance, I think it makes sense at some level to close down the post office, but I have yet to hear a politician go beyond the pretty basic and shallow arguments about how in modern times we don't rely on snail mail like we used to and how the lower volume of critical mail can be handled by the private sector. Therefore, I'm not terribly comfortable with giving somebody who wants to do this the keys to do so until this is fleshed out appropriately.

I think we need more practicality and less ideology and hard unrelenting philosophy.
     
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Oct 7, 2010, 03:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I respect it too....

I wonder more about why more wingers don't take the time to think about the indirect costs and consequences to what they want to do rather than just clinging to what feels good and makes for good ranting.

For instance, I think it makes sense at some level to close down the post office, but I have yet to hear a politician go beyond the pretty basic and shallow arguments about how in modern times we don't rely on snail mail like we used to and how the lower volume of critical mail can be handled by the private sector. Therefore, I'm not terribly comfortable with giving somebody who wants to do this the keys to do so until this is fleshed out appropriately.

I think we need more practicality and less ideology and hard unrelenting philosophy.
Oh the irony!

You're the winger here, you don't take the time to think about the indirect costs and consequences to covering non-payers (the fire department would go bankrupt and disappear for everyone, even those who pay, just like it has in most of the county), and you'd rather just cling to what feels good and makes for good ranting (saving houses and pets).

I think we need more practicality (like sticking to the rule) and less ideology and unrelenting philosophy (like passing out "free" services without ever addressing costs).

Grow up, grasshopper
     
besson3c
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Oct 7, 2010, 04:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Oh the irony!

You're the winger here, you don't take the time to think about the indirect costs and consequences to covering non-payers (the fire department would go bankrupt and disappear for everyone, even those who pay, just like it has in most of the county), and you'd rather just cling to what feels good and makes for good ranting (saving houses and pets).

I think we need more practicality (like sticking to the rule) and less ideology and unrelenting philosophy (like passing out "free" services without ever addressing costs).

Grow up, grasshopper

What do you think I'm proposing to do with regards to fire departments?

You can't answer this because I haven't offered my opinion. Therefore, you are projecting and being reactionary. Chill.
     
turtle777
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Oct 7, 2010, 04:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
What do you think I'm proposing to do with regards to fire departments? .
Doesn't really matter.

Wha matters is what happens in REAL LIFE with a Fire department that's underfunded, because cheapskates and morons don't pay the fees, and citizens reject to pay taxes ?

Yes, it goes away, and leaves EVERYONE unprotected.

Is that what you want ?

-t
     
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Oct 7, 2010, 04:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Doesn't really matter.

Wha matters is what happens in REAL LIFE with a Fire department that's underfunded, because cheapskates and morons don't pay the fees, and citizens reject to pay taxes ?

Yes, it goes away, and leaves EVERYONE unprotected.

Is that what you want ?

-t

Quite a leading question, no?

Of course I don't want it to go away.
     
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Oct 7, 2010, 04:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
What do you think I'm proposing to do with regards to fire departments?

You can't answer this because I haven't offered my opinion. Therefore, you are projecting and being reactionary. Chill.
By what you've posted it's fair to say you think they should have saved this house. Is that accurate?
     
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Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
By what you've posted it's fair to say you think they should have saved this house. Is that accurate?
Nope, I didn't say that.
     
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Oct 7, 2010, 04:33 PM
 
I didn't ask what you said I asked what you think. Be honest.
     
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Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
I didn't ask what you said I asked what you think. Be honest.
I know, I was hoping for a little acknowledgement that your response to me was misdirected. Oh well...

I think that it is really asking a lot of the firefighters to hypothetically deny somebody service over $75. I mean, it would *really* suck to be them in that situation...

However, I think that the system as it stands now should be honored, meaning if you don't pay you don't get service. I think that this system, if all of this is true, is badly designed, but that the best fix for this would be a restructure, not a bending of rules and trying to work with what they have.

I don't know exactly what the most ideal system would be, in this case. However, I think that making payment for this service optional is probably not a good idea. Whether they ought to fund this in taxes, force people to get fire insurance that funds this, or whatever, I don't really know... However, I think the optional service has the potential to be volatile and unstable economically.
     
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Oct 7, 2010, 04:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
And it's causing a huge financial problem, threatening to bankrupt the whole system. That's exactly my point.
No, you're just backpeddling and trying to cloud the issue. The point was, deadbeats don't automagically turn honest people in a system into deadbeats also.


No one said "ginormous." I fully expect the tax increase to be exactly $75. The only difference would be that you have to pay or you go to jail (or whatever the standard collection mechanism is for taxes in that county). That would be a perfectly fair "middle ground."
It was floated in this thread that it would require a large tax increase:

ThinkInsane wrote:
I was talking to a guy on another site that is a cop in South Fulton. He said unfortunately, due to the press this incident is getting, the likely outcome will be that the city will stop offering fire services outside the city limits. If the county residents want fire protection, they are going to have to accept a massive increase in taxes to start a department of their own or go without coverage.
If true, this is exactly what I was talking about- a government acting stupid, rather than just find a better way of collecting the money for a service it already provides. If the $75 covered the cost, and the system worked for those that paid, then there's no need to get stupid and cancel the service or force people to pay a high tax increase to form a redundant FD. Simply find a better way to make it mandatory for everyone in the effected region to pay for the service.

Governments use the threat of curtailing emergency services all the time as an arm-twisting method, usually as a ploy to raise taxes to cover other wasteful spending. "Give us what we demand, or there's no money for fire and police!" But of course, never the 'threat' of "Give us what we demand or we'll cut funding for bloated programs, and we'll stop giving ourselves raises!" That's not exactly a hot button, now is it?


These people don't pay any taxes for fire, because the fire service is from a neighboring area (the town), offering to work outside it's mandate.
I didn't say they already paid taxes for fire- I said make part of what they already pay in taxes, or an additional amount, cover fire. Is that really so complicated? It amazes me that people make the simplest problems into giant mountains of bullshit. From what I can gauge, it's for no other reason than boredom. That's fine from any of us just wasting time on an Internet forum- but really, no one can expect anything more intelligent or better from the governments they pay for? That's just sad.

Once it again, this boils down to just what the hell people think taxes are for in the first place. Funding all the government's paper-pushing and pet projects and fee collections and enforcement? Or maybe, just maybe, actually getting services the taxpayers need and want out of them? If there are state/local taxes in TN, and the people affected pay them, then use some of that money to cover the taxpayers fire and rescue needs. Gee, guess that may mean $75 less worth of paper-shuffling or fatass bureaucrat stripbar money, but boo-freakin'-hoo. That, or create a means of collecting the fee from these rural residents that's mandatory. They have some system in place obviously already, just make it mandatory with the same consequences as failing to pay any other type of required tax. So let's see- everyone would still pay the same amount, there'd be a penalty for failing to pay which destroys the "but no one would pay until there's a fire" non-argument, and the FD gets the same funding it got before- actually more- because now it's required.

"No way, Crash! Taxes and 'fees' are for govt. busybodies to fund their pet projects and social experiments with, not used for anything that's actually needed and saves property and lives of the taxpayers! That's crazy commie talk! Let's make this more difficult because I'm bored!"

Or seeing the fire department disappear so this area can join the rest of the county in having no fire service at all?
So now you're back to this. Why does finding the $75 in a better way equate to seeing the FD department disappear? You're just looking to create a problem that isn't even there. Boredom I guess.
( Last edited by CRASH HARDDRIVE; Oct 7, 2010 at 05:02 PM. )
     
turtle777
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Oct 7, 2010, 04:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I don't know exactly what the most ideal system would be, in this case. However, I think that making payment for this service optional is probably not a good idea. Whether they ought to fund this in taxes, force people to get fire insurance that funds this, or whatever, I don't really know... However, I think the optional service has the potential to be volatile and unstable economically.
I think you missed the part where the citizens VOTED over this issue, and decided AGAINST additional taxes.

Really, this whole "issue" is a perfect example if a functioning democracy.
People deliberate, decide, and then you have to play and abide by the rules.

If you don't, don't expect a handout.

To say that this system is "not a good idea" is a slap in the people's face that chose this system for themselves.

-t
     
 
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