My name is Jeremy Rugen.
I am a Candidate seeking budget accountability and keeping insurance rates low for the taxpayers throughout the fire district. Also, we need to keep open the fire stations that are planning to be closed.
I have volunteered for Mid-County Fire for over 9 years and worked at Gravois Fire for 3 years. I believe with my experience as a firefighter and paramedic I can give some insight on the budget to save the district money. I have worked for organizations that use tax dollars to operate and I feel I have great understanding for saving tax dollars. I want to focus on providing service to the tax payers.
I believe the district severely needs overall budget accountability. Some of the trucks and equipment that are currently owned is not needed to provide service or to maintain insurance standards. I feel in our country today our government does not prioritize spending and wastes tax dollars. I don’t feel it is okay for our government or the fire board to do the same. I believe that if you have $2 you cannot spend $3. In my budget at home I cannot spend more money than I have in my account. My goal is to eliminate unneeded vehicles and equipment. I want to prioritize spending and have a complete audit performed. Once this is complete, I can determine more accurate needs of the district.
The district will need a operational increase to create truck replacement program and air pack replacement program. The issue I have with the current levy is these two issues are not being addressed and will not solve the budget problem. I would like to see the district balance the current budget and wait until 2017 when the bonds are paid off. This will take the current amount the tax payers are paying for the bond and place it into the operating account. This will require a vote from the tax payers. This will be no tax increase.
There are currently no one in the code enforcement department. There needs to be one person in my opinion in code enforcement. One option is a grant the district has a pending grant for a fire inspector. If awarded this grant it will pay the salary and benefits for two years. If the grant is unsuccessful I believe someone will need to be hired but not at the pay and benefits of the previous Deputy Chief.
I am committed to stopping the current wasteful spending. I believe with budget cuts the budget can be balanced until 2017. The district has very little in reserves and this will not be easy task, but I am up for the challenge.
Jeremy Rugen, featured in yesterday’s article ‘One Name, One Vote’ represents a clear change from the ‘status quo’ in local government. His candidacy, and campaign slogan, is a departure from the direction currently taken by the fire board. Fiscal responsibility lie at the heart of his platform and a desire to make common sense decisions for the benefit of the taxpayers are appealing to those in opposition to the closure of outlying stations.
On April 8th, candidates will go to the polls to decide issues crucial to our future. One of these is the election of the Mid-County Fire board. It will determine whether the taxpayers will live under the threat of higher insurance premiums or whether the fire district will modify its budget to spare taxpayers this burden.