A Unified Response
February 18, 2010 4:24 PM
I was joined this afternoon by over a dozen area police chiefs and chief executives to announce that we were coming together to oppose two unilateral actions by the County regarding 911 nonemergency calls.
The County Executive announced on Tuesday that she would begin a phone tree system for nonemergency calls on Saturday. She also said that she would stop dispatching Madison parking calls on Monday unless we agreed to pay the County for the service. The show of unity against these actions essentially lines up almost every community in Dane County in opposition to the lack of public notice on the phone tree and to the public policy with regard to parking calls.
The phone tree makes some sense, but not on four days notice. Moreover, it's a policy change that is in the hands of the Public Safety Communications Center Board, not the County Executive. They will take it up again at their March meeting.
The parking call dispatch issue is a major breech in policy that would inevitably lead to the County charging for other calls both in Madison and in other jurisdictions. Here again it is a policy that must come from the Board, not the Executive. The impact for Madison taxpayers is that we would pay for parking dispatch everywhere else in Dane County through our County taxes and then pay again for that same service within the City of Madison. Our neighboring communities, far from cheering that, recognize its unfairness and the threat it extends to them in the future.
Court action to stop these unilateral moves is planned for tomorrow.
My statement is available here http://www.cityofmadison.com/mayor/documents/Statement18FEB10.pdf,
and my latest letter to the County Executive and our City Attorney's legal analysis can be found here: http://www.cityofmadison.com/mayor/documents/Falk18FEB10.pdf.