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Monroe Native

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Re: I will be supporting the 911 surcharge increase on August 7th
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2018, 06:54:59 PM »

You'd be surprised how many people don't pay any attention to any of those items.  Many are only focused on the home itself (it looks just like the one in the magazine) or a particular school district. 

Out of curiosity are you in an area that has smart 911 already?

https://www.michigan.gov/documents/msp/Smart911_5-8-17_562928_7.pdf

According to this none of SE Michigan has it yet, and since I don't live in the City of Milan I would guess the answer is no.

Kind of funny that most of the rural counties are ahead of the curve.

Question.....

Is the fee a fee on cell phones?

If so - how do they know what County you live in to charge it?

My phone number is out of Wayne County - I've had it for years and way back when a customer wanted me to have a "local" number for them to beckon me from.

I am with a contract / monthly cell phone provider - one fee covers everything, I don't see separate taxes, but I'm sure they are in there.

I went to do a change of address with them - and there is no place for me to do it.  They don't have my old address on file, and they don't have a way for me to give them a new one.  All they care about is my name, and a credit card number to bill to each month.

How does a cell phone fee on a county level work with them?
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Monroe Native

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Re: I will be supporting the 911 surcharge increase on August 7th
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2018, 07:58:04 PM »

I like how Government officials can talk out of both sides of their mouth.

Often - in polite circles - this is called lying.

http://www.monroenews.com/news/20180714/central-dispatch-asking-voters-to-help-improve-services-for-county

So - at one point the fine Government Official - who makes his money off of taxpayers - tells us:

Quote
The additional money will be used to help pay for better equipment, including GPS location information that will make it easier for dispatchers to find locations of cellphone 911 calls.

Using the current system, dispatchers must Google coordinates to discover the location of cellphone callers in case they are unaware.

“It will save time,” Gramlich said.


So - if it saves time - then it should save money - right?  Buy the equipment, we save time which should equate to money - pay off the equipment...  maybe a good deal?

Wait - there is more information in the article.  Read on.

Quote
The current 42-cent local surcharge generates roughly $740,000. The state-shared technical surcharge generates roughly $380,000. The total budget for Central Dispatch yearly is roughly $2.4 million, meaning $1.3 comes from the general fund. That covers wages and benefits for 24 full-time employees and day-to-day utility and operational costs.


If voters approve the increase to $2 per device, roughly $3.2 million would be raised by the local surcharge. The Monroe County Board of Commissioners could allow the first two years of the surcharge to be set at the $2 per device rate to allow for much-needed equipment.

After major equipment is purchased, the rate needed for operational costs would set the surcharge rate at roughly $1.56 per device.


So you mean - it takes 2 years to pay off the new equipment - but the surcharge kind of stays in place?

That sure makes me think that our fine County really wants a new increased "fee" to cover far more than what they are talking about.

Looks to me like the County wants to FULLY pay for the 911 service through this "fee" and then take the 1.3 million they spend now at of the general fund - and use it to pay for something else I would assume?

Maybe help offset that big coal power plant and Fermi 2?

Here is a key statement from the article.

Quote
There is no end date for the surcharge.


So....  you pay off the "enhanced 911" in two years....  but you get to pay the fee forever.

That sounds like a BS trade off to me.  Sounds like a typical Government Money grab.  Wrap it in fire or police or public protection to get you to bite on the hook - then pay for it forever.

Again - this is a typical Government BS sell job.

Create an urgency to do something RIGHT NOW to save lives - raise a fee - but then use that money to pay for something that is already covered elsewhere - thereby freeing up money to use elsewhere.

Vote No.  This is typical.  Just say H no.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2018, 08:10:21 PM by Monroe Native »
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BigRedDog

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Re: I will be supporting the 911 surcharge increase on August 7th
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2018, 08:20:34 AM »

I don't disagree with you on much of what you've said....

you're just to hung up on 'every' tax increase...

but getting back to the original topic of this thread.

Will a smarter 911 systems help our first responders (LE, Fire, Emergency Medical) provide quicker responses in situations that are frequently very, very time sensitive?

My years of being a first responder plus my personal observation with my son being hit both tell me that the system needs upgrading and that it will in fact save lives. 

Is there 'pork' in the project...

maybe so but I am willing to pay the $2... 

we have 5 devices by the way so we may be paying $10 a month.  Three are phones so at least the $6.  One is my tablet but it has a phone number so not sure about that.  The 5th is our mobile wifi device which I will question if they put the tax on it. 

I believe we had some discussion here several years ago about how it was determined who paid what tax.  I'm fairly sure it's based on the zip code of your bill.  Our daughter uses her phone in Florida but we pay the bill so her phone will get taxed the $2.

The situation with 'no fees' on your bill is interesting.  Maybe by not keeping the records of where you live allows them to do that.  Maybe you're considered 'off shore'!

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blue2

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Re: I will be supporting the 911 surcharge increase on August 7th
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2018, 09:56:44 AM »

I just don't like the idea of governments always looking to raise taxes and fees when they want something new. 
They never leave me with the feeling that they review their processes and try to eliminate things they don't need anymore.
And aren't we paying another fee on our phones to provide free cell phones to every family memmber in the hood?
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BigRedDog

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Re: I will be supporting the 911 surcharge increase on August 7th
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2018, 10:40:52 AM »

I just don't like the idea of governments always looking to raise taxes and fees when they want something new. 
They never leave me with the feeling that they review their processes and try to eliminate things they don't need anymore.
And aren't we paying another fee on our phones to provide free cell phones to every family memmber in the hood?

Those are all good points (as are NM's) and there is certainly some concerns with all of them.  Those concerns have been going on for decades and I really haven't seem much improvement. 

But don't let those issues cloud this particular issue. 

Will this improvement help first responders save more lives?

I haven't seen anyone argue that it will not.

Is it too expensive?

MN has a valid question why there is not a bigger drop if in fact the system will be paid for in 2 years.  Maybe we can get some feedback on that question.

Like everything else in life we need to look at the details...

way too much use today of the words everyone and no one, everything and nothing, etc.  Take a little time to do some research.

This issue happens to be one I am already familiar with plus I have personally seen how fast it allows responders to get to the victim.

When our son got hit all he really knew was that he had been walking on the shoulder of a road 'north' of Bowling Green.  He could not tell the operator the name of the road or how far he had gone. 

She was able to home in on his phone (not get an 'about' location from triangulating 3 cell towers or just know where the closest cell tower is which is what Monroe County currently has I believe). 

Within seconds he could hear sirens and within a couple of minutes the ambulance drove up and stopped just a few feet from him.  He had been knocked far enough off the road and out in a field that the ambulance easily could have missed him the first time by.  He had critical injuries and they originally were going to lifelflight him to Toledo but decided to stabilize him down in BG and then transported him to Toledo via an ambulance.  He ended up staying in ICU for three days plus a few more in the hospital. 

This new smart system will help with 911 calls each and every day. 

And it just may your life or the life of a loved one that it saves.

Not sure how anyone can argue that this isn't worth $2 a month!!!
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blue2

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Re: I will be supporting the 911 surcharge increase on August 7th
« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2018, 11:01:00 AM »

Politicians have all lost credibaility.  I can envision their thought process now. 
Lets put the $2 fee on every phone and buy our new equipment.  Then when that's done we'll have more monety to do other stuff that will get us more votes.
Have they laid out how many 911 calls they've had where the person suffered serious harm or death because they couldn't find them. 
Of course they haven't..
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BigRedDog

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Re: I will be supporting the 911 surcharge increase on August 7th
« Reply #21 on: July 16, 2018, 12:07:22 PM »

Politicians have all lost credibaility.  I can envision their thought process now. 
Lets put the $2 fee on every phone and buy our new equipment.  Then when that's done we'll have more monety to do other stuff that will get us more votes.
Have they laid out how many 911 calls they've had where the person suffered serious harm or death because they couldn't find them. 
Of course they haven't..


I have no idea if they keep those figures or not.  My thought would be there might be a potential liability issue if they shared those kinds of figures.

I do know this.  I listen to the scanner a lot and there is not a fire department in this county that doesn't waste time and put extra miles on their vehicles looking for all kinds of incidents and especially up and down the freeways.  Some people have no idea where they are when calling in to report something.  Sometimes they're 10 miles away.  This system should help with that at least some. 

We got toned out one night for a crash on 75.  We responded and drove from Otter Creek down to Luna Pier road and across and back up to Laplaisance road and across and back down to Otter Creek.  No sign of the reported crash anywhere.  About that time central was toning out Summerfield for a crash on 23.  That was the same crash...   just on a different freeway 20 miles away!!! 

Again, this new system would have caught that instantly. 

People up north are on combined 23-75 north of Flint and when they take the split at Flint don't even realize that it's not 75 they're driving on. 

The IRS gives you credit for operating your personal vehicle at $.535 per mile.  What do you suppose it costs to operate a fire truck or a rescue squad per mile.  What does it cost (inderectly) to get a half a dozen responders out of bed at 3:30 am? 

I see potential major savings on equipment and personnel once this system is implemented.  That 'may' allow for a reduction or at least fewer future increases in ad valorem property taxes in our area. 

You've heard before that sometimes you have to spend money to save money.  This is one of those cases in my opinion...

what a deal...

save lives and money ;) ;) ;)

One interesting twist is that we've been paying for this technology to be built into our phones for a long time already but it's not able to be used at our local level. 
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Monroe Native

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Re: I will be supporting the 911 surcharge increase on August 7th
« Reply #22 on: July 16, 2018, 07:15:18 PM »

Politicians have all lost credibaility.  I can envision their thought process now. 
Lets put the $2 fee on every phone and buy our new equipment.  Then when that's done we'll have more monety to do other stuff that will get us more votes.
Have they laid out how many 911 calls they've had where the person suffered serious harm or death because they couldn't find them. 
Of course they haven't..

Because they can't find a case to show off - or they would be the poster child for this tax.

Face it - this isn't a tax fee for Smart911. 

This is a tax fee to pay for 911 with fees - and to save the money from the General Budget.

Vote NO.  Vote in County Commissioners who won't use public safety to dupe the public.
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You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered.
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Professor H

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Re: I will be supporting the 911 surcharge increase on August 7th
« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2018, 10:16:32 PM »

While I agree we need the equipment -  I would rather see it as property tax  vs   phone tax 

Phone tax is too unreliable -  and as we have seen - there are ways to get around it by "moving" your service to another address. 

I can see the "Lottery pays for education"  theme...  where they no longer put General fund $$ into the public safety / 911 budget.   
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NewDawn

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Re: I will be supporting the 911 surcharge increase on August 7th
« Reply #24 on: July 17, 2018, 07:49:24 AM »

I like how Government officials can talk out of both sides of their mouth.

Often - in polite circles - this is called lying.

http://www.monroenews.com/news/20180714/central-dispatch-asking-voters-to-help-improve-services-for-county

So - at one point the fine Government Official - who makes his money off of taxpayers - tells us:

So - if it saves time - then it should save money - right?  Buy the equipment, we save time which should equate to money - pay off the equipment...  maybe a good deal?

Wait - there is more information in the article.  Read on.

So you mean - it takes 2 years to pay off the new equipment - but the surcharge kind of stays in place?

That sure makes me think that our fine County really wants a new increased "fee" to cover far more than what they are talking about.

Looks to me like the County wants to FULLY pay for the 911 service through this "fee" and then take the 1.3 million they spend now at of the general fund - and use it to pay for something else I would assume?

Maybe help offset that big coal power plant and Fermi 2?

Here is a key statement from the article.

So....  you pay off the "enhanced 911" in two years....  but you get to pay the fee forever.

That sounds like a BS trade off to me.  Sounds like a typical Government Money grab.  Wrap it in fire or police or public protection to get you to bite on the hook - then pay for it forever.

Again - this is a typical Government BS sell job.

Create an urgency to do something RIGHT NOW to save lives - raise a fee - but then use that money to pay for something that is already covered elsewhere - thereby freeing up money to use elsewhere.

Vote No.  This is typical.  Just say H no.



I never thought that I would ever agree with you, MN! lol But you have it right on point, about the 1.3 million dollars and of the county eventually wanting to eliminate 911 from the general fund and the surcharge fee fully supporting 911 operations.      I have the utmost respect for the police, fireman and EMTS, etc. They get paid very good for doing that job and they already get money from the taxpayers for their budgets, to buy what is needed for their job. They all need to stay within their allotted budgets.
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NewDawn

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Re: I will be supporting the 911 surcharge increase on August 7th
« Reply #25 on: July 17, 2018, 07:59:20 AM »

Saw this on Monroe News FB: If this surcharge request passes, Michigan will be in the top five of surcharge costs.  https://www.nena.org/page/911RateByState
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BigRedDog

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Re: I will be supporting the 911 surcharge increase on August 7th
« Reply #26 on: July 17, 2018, 08:55:37 AM »

Saw this on Monroe News FB: If this surcharge request passes, Michigan will be in the top five of surcharge costs.  https://www.nena.org/page/911RateByState

The enhanced 911 is a county wide issue so not sure how they can lump it into a statewide cost overall.

Several years ago when money was extra tight the state implemented a bunch of 'fees'.  Some of them were driver impact fees and many of those have recently or are on the table to be rolled back soon. 
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BigRedDog

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Re: I will be supporting the 911 surcharge increase on August 7th
« Reply #27 on: July 17, 2018, 08:57:40 AM »

I don't object to that fee.  I don't like the fee that provides for free phones for people that don't want to spend their drug money on one

I believe that fee is a federal fee and not state or county.  Have you let your congressional rep know how you feel about that?
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BigRedDog

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Re: I will be supporting the 911 surcharge increase on August 7th
« Reply #28 on: July 17, 2018, 09:24:06 AM »


I never thought that I would ever agree with you, MN! lol But you have it right on point, about the 1.3 million dollars and of the county eventually wanting to eliminate 911 from the general fund and the surcharge fee fully supporting 911 operations.      I have the utmost respect for the police, fireman and EMTS, etc. They get paid very good for doing that job and they already get money from the taxpayers for their budgets, to buy what is needed for their job. They all need to stay within their allotted budgets.

The smaller fire departments in the county are still strictly 'volunteer' or they receive a very nominal financial compensation.  I believe many of them would take exception with your words that "they get paid very good". 

Our township does charge a fire department tax or maybe even two.  I haven't looked lately because I have no problem giving them the money they need to do their job. 

Townships are the most fiscally responsible level of government around.  We need to let more services go back to the townships.

I am not aware of any of our township taxes going to central dispatch.  The city police and the sheriff department may pay directly toward it or it may be entirely supported from the county budget. 

I do know that central dispatch is a critical link in the overall Emergency Responder system.  I listen to the fire scanner very regularly and I have 20 years of experience working as a first responder (not all in Monroe County).  They do an excellent job with what they have to work with.  Their one big shortfall is they can't 'see' where the 911 calls are coming from so it often ends up making first responders have to 'search' for the emergency scene. 

A house on fire is usually not too hard to spot...  often from miles away. 

A car that goes off the shoulder of the freeway and out into the brush at 2 am is a different story. 

Quote
They all need to stay within their allotted budgets.

As far as I know central dispatch has been staying within their budget.  Staying within your personal budget does not mean you're never going to decide to increase your budget at some point.  Maybe for a new home or a new vehicle. 

That is exactly what this request is about.  There is an improved cell phone tracking system available which will make it easier and more important 'much, much faster' to locate a cell phone when the caller is not able to tell the dispatcher their precise location. 

If this isn't passed then we will just continue with the 'status quo'. 

Firefighters and EMTs will continue to waste time driving very expensive vehicles many extra miles and burning up very expensive fuel but at least that is all budgeted for. 

I have mentioned before that this new fee has the potential to drive down costs over on all the budgets that are paid out of ad valorem property taxes at one level or another.

As far as switching the entire cost of Central Dispatch over to cell phone fees, that may be a logical move.  As we've discussed in another thread we're going to lose some tax revenue from DTE at some point in the next few years.  Everyone is going to have to tighten up their belts and my guess is we're going to see an increase in property taxes or plenty of new 'fees' to cover these costs. 

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BigRedDog

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Re: I will be supporting the 911 surcharge increase on August 7th
« Reply #29 on: July 17, 2018, 10:27:57 AM »

A video about Smart911:

Smart911: Revolutionizing Emergency Response
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