Hospital District should operate ambulance service

To the editor:
The Caribou Secession Committee, regret that our statements at the June 11, 2015 public hearing about the Caribou Ambulance Department were not adequate enough, nor contain enough details for the general public to understand what we wanted them to know. A perspective about the city’s operation of the ambulance department is needed to accomplish this.

As citizens and residents of the city of Caribou, you are the shareholders in what the state laws term is a publicly-owned municipal corporation. Unlike a privately-owned corporation, where you can buy as many shares of stocks as you want, in a municipal corporation each resident owns one (1) share. You are entitled to vote that share by registering it with the city clerk of the municipality you live in.
The registered shareholders of the municipality of Caribou voted in the past to divide the task of delivering needed services that it would provide into three (3) functional units (districts) — The Hospital District, the Utility District and the General Government District. Historically this was not always so, in the past the hospital, the utilities and the ambulance services were privately owned.
When the shareholders of Caribou voted to have a Hospital District. They mandated in the bylaws that they shall (not may, could or opt-to) but shall provide for the health and well-being of city’s and surrounding communities residents to the standards mandated by the State of Maine. We the shareholders of the Hospital District can proudly say that they have met that requirement and have done so without requiring the taxpayers needing to fund their operation. They operate as a business with business ethics and standards.
The Secession Committee believes that the Caribou Ambulance Department could logically be transferred to and operated by the Caribou Hospital District, much the same way The Aroostook Medical Center owns and operates the Crown Ambulance Service. Doing so would reduce the size and cost of city government, which in turn could lead to a reduction in the taxes levied to support it.
The Caribou Secession Committee feels strongly that we do need a reliable Ambulance Service but it needs to be taken out of the city government hands. They do not know how to run a business, they only know how to spend tax dollars.

Maynard St Peter, member
Caribou Secession Committee