A vote for public safety

CLAY B. STAMP

We have come to a crossroads in Talbot County related to the delivery of public safety and emergency services to our community. To attract and maintain a well-educated and well-trained emergency services team and to expand services to meet lifesaving needs, we need the support of the voters in Talbot County this election year.

We live in an amazing community here on the Eastern Shore. Talbot County is that perfect mixture of a rural and suburban culture, with abundant natural resources, vibrant small towns, and the ability to reach more urban areas in about an hour. We’re also fortunate to pay the lowest county property tax rate and the second lowest income tax rate in Maryland.

The challenge in maintaining that perfect balance when it comes to the delivery of public safety and emergency services depends on a number of factors.

We must be able to recruit and retain a high-caliber workforce in a very competitive environment. To continue to stay on the cutting edge of a rapidly changing field, we also must be able to acquire and maintain sophisticated advanced technology such as emergency life support equipment. Finally, we must be able to expand our emergency medical response capability if we are to continue to reduce response times, thus improving outcomes for life threatening emergencies.

In recognition of these and other emergency services and public safety needs, the Talbot County Council assembled a citizen-based Property Tax Referendum Committee, comprised of individuals of varied backgrounds and expertise who worked diligently to explore critical needs of county citizens.

This committee evaluated various ways to meet those needs in a measured and responsible way. The group’s recommendations to the County Council included Amendment B, Amendment C, and Amendment D, all of which are included on the November 3 election ballot.

Voting YES on Amendments B, C, and D will allow the County to address critical needs such as competitive wages and benefits, including reasonable retirement benefits. Passage of these amendments will also allow for the expansion of emergency medical services to reduce response times to emergencies.

Additionally, the passage of Amendments B, C, and D will address critical needs for our Sheriff’s Office and will support the efforts of our volunteer fire companies to attract and retain dedicated volunteers who serve as a lifesaving backbone to our community.

It is truly an honor to serve as your emergency services director, to serve beside such a great team of public safety and emergency services professionals, and to be a part of such a great community. We have worked hard over the years to build a premier emergency services team that is well-educated and equipped to give the best service possible.

It is now up to each of you — the voters of Talbot County — to provide us with the opportunity to even better serve you. By voting “YES” to Amendments B, C, and D on the ballot this year you will be choosing to support improved public safety and emergency services.

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