The Immokalee Fire Control District is mighty big. The taxpayers of this district would have their taxes increased if the referendum were passed to increase taxes to raise $400,000 more. The millage rate would be increased from 3.0 to 3.75 which would appropriate the extra $400,000 for the Fiscal Year 2013. More taxes will occur every succeeding year.
The local union president supported by union lawyers inspires this tax increase desire (motioned by Edward Olesky). Their solution always is to pass the cost to the taxpayers because there isn’t any other way to solve the problem in their minds. The Immokalee Fire Control District Board of Commissioners voted 3-2 to put the referendum on the 2012 presidential ballot, with Joe Matthews and Lonzo Morgan voting no.
But there are other ways to solve the problem. No doubt firefighters and EMS are needed out there in the rural area, including Ave Maria. If the union would just move out of the way a little, the private sector could provide these services. The private sector would also need Collier County government’s support not interference. Needless to say the union can be disagreeable, too, because of the feeling of being threatened, but they should try to see that Florida is a right to work state.
The referendum will probably be defeated because taxpayers don’t want anymore taxes, but they do want solutions. One solution could be that the laid off firefighters and EMS could form their own company and provide the support services. Why not try the idea? It can work.