Wednesday, March 14, 2007

City Council Pulls the Plug on Local Business

Yesterday Michael Ashford, Wilma Brown, Phil Copeland, Mike Craig, Joe McNamara, Mark Sobczak, and Frank Szollosi voted to euthanize several local ambulance businesses. The city plans to take 40% of the ambulance runs away from private business, in order to supposedly raise $600,000 yearly. According to the Emperor’s spokesman, 40% is a “small percentage” of the business. To business owners, could you survive a 40% loss of your revenue? What business experience does the mayor’s spokesman have to indicate that this will not cause a company to close its doors?

Well, looking deeper into the plans reveals a key items The vast majority of the ambulance service will be in west and south Toledo, with minimal ambulance service on the east side and in the central city. By concentrating on the wealthier portions of the city, instead of where the majority of emergency runs come from, the city is cherry picking the profitable runs, without having to cover the costs of the runs that gross little or no funding – those without insurance to cover the ambulance run cost. So, in reality, while taking 40% of the runs, the city plans to take a much higher percentage of the revenue away from private business.

Executives of the major ambulance companies in the city have announced cuts, and in one instance, the potential of moving their headquarters outside of the city. According to them, the city is not friendly to business. Welcome to Toledo, folks – ask the people over at Costco, Rite Aid, and the Pharm – they’ll tell you that Toledo hasn’t been friendly to business for years. Unless, of course, you’re a failing automotive company – then you get free land (stolen from citizens), tax abatements, and hugs and kisses from the administration. I heartily recommend that these companies withdraw all service from the city in emergency services – and begin your cutbacks immediately. Keep a minimal staff to service your private health care contracts, but no sense waiting for the axe to fall. After all, if the city provides such high quality care (like the quality one gets from every other city department) it makes no sense to wait – let the people of Toledo get their Cadillac ambulances immediately. After all, what’s a few hundred jobs.

It is also my understanding that the billing portion of our ambulance service will be contracted out – and a RFP was issued before City Council voted. If so, is this added expense already considered in the yearly planned $600K? Somehow, I think that this is a hidden line-item. Is the $200K for ambulance lease included? I’m no fortune teller, but I suspect that a new emergency services fee” will be included on our property taxes – right next to the trash pickup fee.

6 comments:

Lisa Renee said...

You raised some of the same concerns I have, especially on the billing issue. Unfortunately, this was passed before any of us were given those answers.

Right Wing Toledo said...

The same people have been in charge, doing things the same way, for far too long in this city. The same "rush it through, there's nothing they can do" attitude makes this no different than the steam plant, bike paths, etc.

What makes this even worse is how long the mainstream media has been part and parcel to this type of activity. I suppose that's why the mayor was so surprised at the poll results - he's never faced criticism from the masses because the underhanded behavior was so seldom reported.

BizzyBlog said...

I didn't see a link. Here is one I found in the Blade.

Hooda Thunkit said...

There is much more that has yet to be told, apparently to both city council AND to "We the Sheeple."

Time will tell my friend, time will tell.

Tired of Toledo said...

And does anyone know if the city is making money on the police towing business they now own?

Now that they own the ambulance business in Toledo, what will be King Carty's next takeover of private enterprise?

Right Wing Toledo said...

It dosn't matter if the city is making money or not, what has happened is that taxpaying companies have been replaced by an inefficient city department.

As to what the Emperor plans on taking over next, why not the hospitals - after all, it would mean continuity of care! I tell you, there are times I wonder if Carty dosn't think of Toledo as one big game of Sim City...