Tuesday, June 16, 2009
NIMISHILLEN'S CENCOM BEING DISINVITED FROM THE 9-1-1 GAME PLAN?
UPDATE: 06/16/2009 (09:20 AM)
COMMENT: NIMISHILLEN FIRE CHIEF RICH PETERSON
Martin: Some points of order to your article:
* CenCom is currently providing the level of emergency dispatching services that Director Concatto is proposing and for substancially (sic) less than the 12 million dollar price tag and the 5.5 million dollar annual operating fee.
* CenCom will remain an alternative for those communities seeking professional emergency dispatching services tailored to their individual dispatching needs.
* CenCom was constructed in a secure, below grade, concrete reinforced facility designed from the ground up (not renovated as an after thought) with technological and redundant qualities not found in the sites selected by Director Concatto as the county dispatching centers.
* Chief Peterson did not convince then Trustee now Commissioner Bosley to get behind fixing Stark County's 911 system, Mr. Bosley took that cause as his own because of a mishandled 911 call within Nimishillen Township.
* I do not need nor did I seek a "reward" from Commissioner Bosley. Successfully constructing and operating a regional communication center that is instrumental in saving lives and property is reward enough. (Isn't that what it's all about...saving lives?)
* Anyone can "say" they are going to design, construct, and implement a successfull (sic) 911 / emergency dispatching operation. Delivering on the promise is much more difficult.
* Please don't confuse being proud of our operation with "boasting".
* I would appreciate not being the focal point of the SCOG dispatching initiative. By removing myself and CenCom from the process, I hoped to allow the SCOG to succeed or fail on its own merit. I find it odd that folks still want to drag me back into the SCOG arena. I respect Mr. Loudiana's opinions but I suggest he concentrate his energy on following thru with his promise of providing high quality emergency dispatching services to Stark County agencies for "free" and not chastising a small, unimportant operation such as CenCom.
Mike Loudiana was speaking only for himself; not the Stark County Council on Governments (SCOG). However, Rich Peterson (Fire Chief/Nimishillen & CenCom head) ought to be a bit worried that his cat and mouse game with SCOG will end up with SCOG being the cat that catches and eats the mouse.
Loudiana told the SCPR he is pleased with the direction in which the SCOG Governance Committee is heading and that he is satisfied that the countywide 9-1-1 reconfiguration is proceeding in a manner promised to the Stark County public.
Moreover, he seem unconcerned with the Nimishillen Township antics even to the point of suggesting that CenCom can do whatever it pleases for now, but in the long run he is convinced that CenCom will be absorbed into the reworked countywide system.
His rationale? Once the new 9-1-1 gets up and running and Stark County's villages, cities and townships see how well it is working; any malcontents outside the system (including CenCom) will tuck tail and make their way into the centralized countywide system.
Loudiana firmly believes that Stark centralized dispatch will be a reality on a schedule promised to Stark Countians in the context of one dispatch center and a backup.
The last time the SCPR talked with Peterson, he was boasting about the number of non-Nimishillen communities CenCom is serving.
But what he did not address is this question that Loudiana raised anew.
Why would community residents want to pay twice? Pay the imposed 0.5 per cent sales/use tax imposed by commissioners in January, 2009 and then pay CenCom to provide the same but disconnected (to the rest of the county, in a fully integrated sense) services.
Loudiana make another good point. Stark Countians provide a lot of emergency services to out-of-towners (non-Stark Countians). How better to have them share in the cost of those services, but through a sales/use tax.
It is more than touch ironic that Rich Peterson and his "lone wolf" strategy could hurt Commissioner Todd Bosley in his re-election chances. If for some reason Peterson's foot dragging causes delays in moving the reconfigured 9-1-1 along, it could come back to haunt Bosley in the 2010 election cycle.
And this would be ironic.
Peterson convinced Bosley in the first place (back in the days that Bosley was a Nimishillen Township trustee) to get squarely behind fixing Stark's 9-1-1 system. So much so that Bosley made it the centerpiece of his campaign when he ran against and defeated incumbent Republican commissioner Richard Regula.
Undoubtedly, Bosley appreciates Peterson's winning idea and has tried to reward him
What he and Peterson didn't calculate was Bosley's inability to deliver the 9-1-1 chief job to him. Bosley argued vehemently for Peterson, but Stark County Democratic Party chairman Randy Gonzalez has proved in the selection process that he has more political clout than Bosley does.
Being the spoil sports they are turning into, the SCPR believes that Peterson and the Nimishillen Township trustees are primary factors in undermining Bosley's 2010 reelection effort.
In the end, however; the Nimishillen folks will not win this battle and Bosley should be unaffected by their pot stirring.
The more serious political threat to Bosley remains the Stark County Citizens for the Right to Vote.
If these folks get the repeal of the imposed sales/use tax on the ballot, then it's anybody's guess whether or not the imposed tax will stand.
In tough economic times, the advantage is clearly with the would-be repealers; notwithstanding the huge political effort (manpower wise, money wise) the pro 9-1-1 forces will muster.