Thanks again to Linda Meyer for providing the following:
// Nov 11, 2011 at 7:53 pm
The pay increases for the 17 employees were not in the budget. Most of them probably deserve it some don’t. The sherriffs department deserves a raise the town police make more. They all talk on their cell phones for me. Everytime you pass one of them they are on their cell phone. Thought they had radios.
The rescue thing is totally different. We had just as many qualified volunteers that never missed a call. The paid squad thing is not a good idea. Rumor has it that their leader Ms Crigger I think stated in a board meeting that if one of the BOS needed their help they would take their time on responding. Is this true
// Nov 12, 2011 at 5:02 pm
I have, in fact, a video of that meeting & she did NOT say that. Volunteers had dropped off, whatever the cause, & service needed to be provided with the paid staff resulting. Books are open for your inspection, & if you’d like to volunteer, in any capacity it would be appreciated.
I also did not find any “memos” in the 280 pages Dalton put on the website that indicates persons were in line for “merit” raises or a “step up” which results in the same. In the line item budget, salaries are one lump sum, so you don’t know much. I have a copy of 2011 salary projections but have not “found” such for 2012/I will look again.
I do not know what the salaries of the town cops vs. sheriffs guys are. Perhaps you could provide that info to the new BOS , as the budget process starts early 2012.
We knew about the 3% across the board BUT were unaware of this merit business. Dalton will do anything to increase his stash, even if by 2.5%/which is sugnificant when you make $107,000.
// Nov 12, 2011 at 6:44 pm
I believe if you recall ,Mr. Dalton was asked by a gentleman at the meeting when the 11 and 18% raises were recended if his state retirement was based on the amount of his last three years of income. the one word answer he gave was yes.I wonder what the % of retirement on $107,000 would be? it would seem to me,and i may be wrong , that someone is possibly trying to “feather the nest” or “make hay while the sun shines”. me thinks somone from the State Attorney Generals office should look at the Wythe Co “budget”. $877.000 of tourism money here 11% and 18% there. Millions spent to push dirt on 262 acres and $650.000 for a road to nowhere. A board when questioned about any of it always defer to the County administrator. They should know i would think, since they are the sitting board what they are voting to spend these large amounts for. They are not being paid to be potted plants to dress the Board of Supervisors meeting room. Hopefully when the new board is seated the meeting will not just be a “one man show” with paid Supervisors sitting in their chairs nodding their heads when Mr. Dalton speaks like eight hula girls mounted on the back dash of a 57 chevy.
// Nov 13, 2011 at 9:14 am
Hula Girls & Potted Plants!!!!!
The BOS may now see themselves in a new light! They are adding to the ambiance of the boardroom, I just knew they were there for some reason!
I tried to get the WC salary Projections last evening. I may not be savy enough but I couldn’t find them on the county website. Perhaps someone else could give it a try-most appreciative.
// Nov 13, 2011 at 8:42 pm
It is true! Ms. Crigger did say it. Ask the RR Rescue Board abd Lead Mines Board
// Nov 14, 2011 at 12:17 am
Paid squad sucks thanks to her and her coments bring the volunteers and her donated equipment back!! The paid squad sucks! We should not be paying for donated equipment let them leave graysons resturant long enough to answer a a call they suck. The volunteers more were reliable and efficient thna the paid squad. A hell of alot cheaper on the county budget. Guardian stlll responds to 80 percent of the calls. WCRS is in trouble because of these comments.
// Nov 14, 2011 at 8:14 am
There must have been a misunderstanding in the back of the room. The video clearly does not say this. That is why all meeting will be on tape & unedited!
// Nov 14, 2011 at 10:20 am
The video was edited.
// Nov 14, 2011 at 8:14 pm
Volunteerism is great and all, and I think it’s awesome if people have the time to give, but I don’t agree that we should be naive and expect people to do these jobs for free any longer. Would you expect the police to work for free? How about your doctor? We know the County Administrator makes over $100,000 a year to be in his nice comfortable office.
How about you volunteer to do your job for a year and then see how well you make it? Or better yet, work your job for 40+ hours a week and then spend the rest of your time on an ambulance or fire truck, you might as well forget about free time, or family time. Even just to get started it is time consuming and expensive to get these certifications. These people are hard working and dedicated and deserve just as much to be compensated for their time as you do.
I don’t know what alternate reality you are living in, but all of our county rescue squads have been suffering from a lack of volunteers for years. I had a friend that volunteered, and she would go to the squad station and calls would come out and time after time no one would show up to help her. Then when someone was there, she was at work and couldn’t go, or was busy with family things and couldn’t go. This is not the fault of the volunteers, the squads or any individuals, it is just the times. People are busy, the economy is bad, and our emergency services are utilized now more than ever. Some people have 2 or 3 jobs, most have families to keep up with, anyone with kids knows how demanding school schedules are.
All three squads have moved to some sort of paid system now. I commend ALL of our county’s rescue squads for their efforts. While our county’s leaders sit back and debate administrative raises, water projects, lot 24, etc. these people are out in the weather all hours of the day and night to be sure people get the care they need.
To be honest, I am just 100% disappointed with our current county leaders. Not just in regards to this rescue squad thing, but as a whole. They have failed the citizens of Wythe County. They have turned a deaf ear to the concerns of the citizens, and have time after time made decisions that are NOT in the best interest of the people.
We can only be thankful that Bucky, Maggie, and Martha will be GONE after this year. Time to move forward and clean up their mess.
// Nov 14, 2011 at 9:06 pm
I agree. “local” says having paid rescue is a bad idea, but says the sheriff’s department needs a raise because the town makes more. A lot of logic in that.
Let’s make all of our local law enforcement volunteer, and when someone is being robbed or shot at or has any other emergency, just set off their radios and hope that someone has time to come out and take the call. Obviously this is a BAD idea and I am not serious but I hope you get my point.
It is a shame we live in a society where people will pay money for anything and everything, but when it comes to emergency services they tighten their wallet and throw up their noses.
People pay monthly without question for services like phones, cable, internet, etc. and you pay for these services whether you use them that month or not and regardless of how much you use them, WHY? Because you want and expect them to be available when you DO want/need to use them. What’s the difference with our emergency services? I may not use the police/fire/rescue services this month, or next, but that doesn’t mean that I might not need them in the future, and when I need them, I want them there and I want them there fast.
I think it’s time that people get their priorities straight and stop trying to live like it’s 1900.
// Nov 15, 2011 at 4:21 am
this is what my campaign was all about. we can fund the Historical society to the tune of $20,000 but we have leaders who complain when they have to give the same amount to the fire depts and rescue squads. have you ever seen the Board of Supervisors or County Administration have a hot dog sale to fund their depts?. Think about it. We need to better fund these depts and cut out the blackberrys and “under the table” raises. our citizens deserve better.
// Nov 15, 2011 at 12:52 pm
So let me get this straight… Buford Bailey, Linda Meyer, and the Wythe County Tea Party oppose “Obamacare” free national healthcare but support government funded free local healthcare? How ridiculous.
I say let the free market system work. Pulaski, Carroll and Smyth Counties aren’t having trouble. Our local EMS sounds like a group of incompetent adrenaline seeking rednecks who want a free handout.
Contrary to what Bailey and Meyers are saying, these are FOR PROFIT businesses, so they should start acting like it. If they want to become charities / volunteer organizations that’s fine, but they can’t have their cake and eat it too.
// Nov 15, 2011 at 5:34 pm
i believe jeff is just a little bit confused as to what a “essential service’ is that is funded by the government. Rescue Squads do not provide “free healthcare’ to the community. Wythe Co has about the same population as Salem, Va. and they have a paid squad. When you are providing a “service” that you are not paid for as the squads are now doing, you can’t run on business principles unless you quit ‘soft billing” of non paying users and take them to court as the paid services do. As for Obamacare and the Tea Partys opposition, it seems that we are in pretty good company as over 60% of the nations wants it repealed according to a recent poll. when it was passed we were promised that our heath care cost would “stay the same”. funny mine just increased by about $60.00 per month. Of course if i had won the election my health care would have been 100% funded by the taxpayer. So Jeff it looks like we are all paying for the “free” healthcare insurance that the County Administration and Board members are now getting. life just aint fair…
// Nov 15, 2011 at 8:15 pm
Contrary to what Jeff says, ALL three of the our county rescue squads are NON-PROFIT organizations. For starters, they all hold current and legal 501(c)3 not-for-profit status. Maybe Jeff is just confused about what a non-profit is.
FOR-Profits companies exist to make a profit, their sole purpose for doing business is to make money. Non-Profits CAN and must generate revenue to continue to operate. They use these revenues to cover the cost of their service. Any surplus revenue generated must be retained by the organization for its self-preservation, expansion, plans, etc. The rescue squads MUST have money to operate, this does NOT mean that they are trying to make a profit. They are trying to pay the bills.
Non-Profits CAN, and often do, have paid staffing to insure they are able to function. This is especially essential when providing a vital service such as what our rescue squads provide.
Even if someone is ignorant enough to believe that a volunteer system could work in now days, they could not deny that without employees there are still expenses, medical supplies, medications, equipment, fuel, electricity, heating, phones, vehicles, vehicle maintenance, building maintenance, etc. that must be funded each year. Money has to come from somewhere. Fundraisers? Sure, let the volunteers who already don’t have time to answer calls go out and have fundraisers on top of trying to answer calls.
The question comes down to this: How important is this service? We expect our government to provide police, fire, education, roads, etc. but an ambulance? absolutely not! I for one see no difference in the rescue squad and the fire department or police department. I call 911, I expect a fire truck, police car, or ambulance. I would quite honestly rather tax dollars go to this than to lot 24 at “progress” park.
I suggest we stop teaching our kids to dial 911 in an emergency if we aren’t going to support the services on the other end of the line. Next time you or someone you know needs an ambulance, remember where you stood on this matter and try to look those people in the eye as they are saving the life of someone you love regardless of your ability to pay.
// Nov 16, 2011 at 6:37 am
Excellent article! As for Progress Park and Lot 24, no local taxes have been used at this time.
// Nov 16, 2011 at 7:38 am
Jay I agree but Ms. Crigger should have never made the comment that the BOS should hope they or their families ever need their services because they would not respond or be slow to respond. She shoudl be fired from her position for making such a comment. The tape was edited and I was in the room and heard the comment along with everyone else present.
// Nov 16, 2011 at 8:28 am
In response to L. Meyer’s comment posted on 11/12, Crigger of the Wythe EMS did threathen the supervisors in that if the board did not grant monies she would post the supervisors’ address and NOT respone to calls at those addresses. Supvervisor Houseman did offer to give his address to Crigger. This comment from Crigger was a pure threat and nothing else!
The video Myers refers to was posted on YouTube and the length was 40 minutes of a 90 minute meeting. If that’s not edited what is? Meyers twists the truth and offers half truths only to support her mis-guided positions, she never states the WHOLE truth.
Better watch out for her…nothing good from this person.
// Nov 16, 2011 at 1:41 pm
I agree with Jeff on the incompetent adrenaline seeking rednecks. And this goes for the entire county! To be blatantly honest our county needs to do away with ALL of the fire depts and rescue squads and start fresh. I have been a firefighter here in the county for years and you would be surprised what you see on the inside.
Our fire depts and rescue squads are made up of a bunch of backwoods hillbillies that don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground. No matter how much they will deny it there is a constant battle going on between depts. Speedwell is mad because Wytheville got this or Max Meadows is pissed because Rural Retreat got something. It’s ridiculous! Right now there is a grant outstanding for turnout gear and it’s being held up because Max Meadows is whining because it’s not the kind they wanted. It’s not costing the depts anything for this gear. It’s FREE to the depts. Do I need to say this again?? It meets NFPA standards and is good turnout gear but because Max Meadows has their panties in a wad and now they’ve got Ivanhoe on board to whine too, all of our depts must suffer and wait. Has anyone paid attention to the Speedwell fire dept chief and his embezzlement case? He was found guilty and is serving time. Guess what, he’s STILL the fire chief. SERIOUSLY?? Live in Wytheville? Best wishes! Because if your house catches on fire the Wytheville fire dept WILL burn it to the ground.
And as for the rescue squads, shut’em down!!! Mark in lead mines was picked after their last captain has issues with drug abuse. He seriously doesn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground but I will give him credit, he did manage to milk the county’s workers comp out of thousands after he was “injured” on a call but then continued to run calls! Jay in rural retreat is a two-faced sumbitch and someone needs to investigate his books, enough said. Beth in wythe county is a monster that must be stopped. She thinks she is God’s gift to ems and she has been on a mission to take over the other rescue squads in the county so she can be installed as supreme ruler of the new dictatorship. It’s time to clean house and start new with fire and rescue.