Cumberland Times-News


May 5, 2014

Why has no action been taken concerning fire coverage tax?

 The Allegany County Commissioners and Department of Emergency Services continue to provide nothing to this county but obfuscation and slothfulness.

Since the closing of the McCoole Fire and Rescue Company, both the commissioners and the emergency services board have taken a passive role in the continuing debacle playing out still today.

Unbeknown to most residents of Rawlings, all tax funds collected from Rawlings residents are used to provide fire coverage not only to Rawlings, but, since the closing of McCoole, also to approximately half of McCoole residents, who pay no such tax.

The commissioners and emergency services board have stated that they can take no immediate corrective action because they have put a “process” in place and they choose to follow their process rather than do the honorable and ethical thing and act decisively.  

As the commissioners and the board have come to no final decision about the disposition of fire coverage for the McCoole area, and as the next fiscal tax year is imminent, the residents of Rawlings will continue to carry the financial burden of providing this additional fire coverage for half of McCoole for at least another year, but, quite possibly and most probably, will continue to do so for several years.

The fact that one member of the emergency services board is chief of a fire company which borders McCoole and stands to gain financially from decisions made by the board in regard to McCoole, seems to be of no concern to the board or the commissioners.

 I urge residents of Rawlings to inform the commissioners that this situation is unacceptable. I urge all residents of Allegany County to demonstrate their approval or disapproval of the current administration during the next election cycle.

Consider the laissez-faire attitude of the current administration to the rampant financial mismanagement of funds in the volunteer Fire services. Consider the $3 million U-about fiasco. Then ask yourself, do these people really represent me and what I want for this community?

Paul V. Gaetani


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