In comments on my earlier post, someone pointed out that leaving the dispatching services in Marion County may be in the best interest of Ralls County citizens. That would not be my first choice or even my second or third. However, if it was the only choice left and all other avenues had been exhausted, I could accept it.
I have accepted a lot of things in my life that I didn’t necessarily like but ended up being the best for everyone involved. Of course, that was only after I had made sure there was no other alternative.
In the end, it’s always about what’s best for us. I think though that we should never accept someone’s word without the proof to back it up. That’s all I ask.
For anyone who isn’t aware, Becky Leake was like a second mom to me. I know what she would do before she would ever advise the board to pay Marion County 911 for dispatching services. And that is what I expect this board to do. I won’t pretend that she was the best 911 director ever. I will say she was obviously better than a lot of people wanted to give her credit for. Gone less than 3 years and look what has happened. Yes, I am saying if she were still here and in the directors chair, this would never have happened the way it did.
So, what would Becky do?
- find someone to do a feasibility study on the current and future operations at Ralls County 911
- take bids on any new equipment that may be needed and incorporate them into above study
- find out training costs to get dispatchers back to full staff and ability
- search out any grants available to help offset costs
- consider possibility of incorporating 911 with sheriff’s office in order to keep all services within the county
- pray for guidance
- talk to other directors in counties with comparable population and budgets to see what they are doing
These are just a few things off the top of my head. Each one could be a post of its own. And maybe they should be. Wouldn’t that be interesting? To see the public commenting and posting links and other information available. I wonder what would happen then?
Maybe moving services to Marion County 911 will be the best option in the end. But I hope that decision is made only after the board has looked at all the alternatives out there and have been transparent in all of their actions.
Thus far, they have proven to be anything but. When I am told by a board member that the formula given to the Quincy Herald Whig was supposed to be kept under wraps until the next board meeting, I have to wonder about their real intentions. As I stated in my previous post, with those numbers, it seems very unlikely that they would ever be able to rebuild 911 in Ralls County. But that isn’t what they told the Whig, is it?
However, both Adair and Reed say the Ralls County 911 board has no plans to consolidate with a neighboring county.”Rumors fuel the community, but I don’t think there’s any board member who wants to see the 911 center closed,” Adair said. “If we start building from the foundation up, and we logically and intelligently build it and not rush it, Ralls County will have a 911 center on par with Marion County, if not better.”
“Our intent as a board, our mutual intent, is to restructure and rebuild this 911 center into something that this community deserves,” Reed said. “We can do this ourselves, but it’s going to take time.”
There are plenty of questions that need to be answered, but before they can be answered, they must be asked. Some have come close in comments on earlier posts, but none have come right out and asked. I am going to address one issue at a time.
I won’t say I don’t have any emotion involved in this, but I can and will look at things rationally.