Residents of the Bolivar Peninsula should approve an emergency services district.
Early voting begins Monday. The election is May 11.
A vote for the district would allow peninsula residents to decide how much they want — and are willing to pay for — in terms of fire protection and ambulance service.
Since Hurricane Ike struck in 2008, the county has supplemented ambulance service and some fire service. Politically, that’s not tenable forever.
Peninsula residents should take the decision about what kind of service they are willing to pay for into their own hands.
The district, if approved by voters, will have taxing authority.
It will provide funding for fire and emergency medical services for peninsula residents, including those in the communities of Port Bolivar, Crystal Beach, Gilchrist and High Island.
The district would start by levying a property tax. Later, the district’s board could ask voters to approve a sales tax, with the revenues dedicated to lowering the property tax.
If peninsula residents say yes, they’ll have a say in what level of service they want. If they say that they’re not willing to pay for those services on the peninsula, it’s only a matter of time before taxpayers in other parts of the county decide it’s time to cut expenses.