The following letter to the editor was published in the El Segundo Herald newspaper (HeraldPublications.com) on Thursday, September 24, 2015 in the Letters section on page 2. The El Segundo Herald has a strict 250-word limit, including the title.
Feels Neither is Right
A “fee” over $1,800 to any El Segundo resident, for the transportation and mileage only, to the nearest emergency room, by city paid (taxpayers) paramedics in a city paid (taxpayers) vehicle. Why? the city wants to “recover” back some of the 14 million dollars it pays to the fire department for doing their job. Please note, at 3 a.m. paramedics would still be paid the same whether they responded to a 911 call or were left sleeping.
June 2014, Thursday morning at 7:30 A.M. a special council meeting, agenda page 4, to charge an “additional fee” (unknown to most citizens) for the transportation by El Segundo paramedics. They claimed a “recovery” of $180,000 to the city. I have invoices from Wittman, who’s doing the “recovery” collection, and what was paid to the City from June 2014 to July 2015. $180,000? try over $800,000.
The 9/15/15 council agenda about the budget, on page C-2, states “collecting for fire inspection fees and for non-resident paramedic transportation”. So is the budget fee statement incorrect or the city wrongfully charging its citizens? Either way taxpayers already paying for their city paramedic service should not be charged an “additional fee” if they use that service. What would happen if the people of El Segundo hired someone to “recover” the money for the days, months and years for fire services that they didn’t call for?
Neither is right, yet the city is doing it. Again why?
– Marc Rener
A scan of a bill for more $1,850 received by an El Segundo resident for a fire department paramedic ambulance transport to a local hospital will be provided as soon as time permits.
This is clearly a case of double-billing or double-taxation, because taxes already pay for the entire city fire department. Furthermore, is is even more unfair to charge so much money when the City pays the firefighter (and police) union members total annual compensation of $150,000 to more than $350,000 each, as a reward for their endorsements, contributions, and campaign expenditures of thousands of union campaign dollars in support of past City Council Candidates.