City has tried to communicate with county over 911

Published 7:26 am Saturday, September 23, 2017

Dear Editor,

After reading the Thumbs Up Thumbs Down in Tuesday’s edition titled, “Poor communication over potential dispatch split,” I applaud your accurate reporting, so I take no issue with the facts, AS REPORTED. Nevertheless, there are additional facts, NOT REPORTED the public should know as the City Commission and City Administration have attempted to achieve the very communication you have proposed.

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On July 20, the City Commission and Staff held an open meeting to share information and thoughts about the advantages and disadvantages of the choice we needed to address, concerning 911 services to the city and county. We also discussed the facts, as known at the time, and we discussed the variables, including possible contractual changes in the Bluegrass 911 proposal.

Prior to this meeting, we invited all members of the Boyle Fiscal Court, and all first responders, as we sought to have a dialog and exchange of information and opinions with the magistrates and county judge, as well as anyone else in attendance. Only ONE magistrate attended. It’s difficult to have a conversation by oneself.

In all fairness, the fiscal court did host a meeting on August 29 wherein they inclusively invited the City Commission and staff to attend, as this was to be a further effort to share information and opinions. All commissioners and the city manager were in attendance, as well as other city staff. This meeting did result in some exchange of pros and cons, opinions and perspective.

In the interim, City Attorney Stephen Dexter prepared a detailed draft proposal of a service agreement to clarify all areas of responsibility, instituting a regular meeting of all parties to foster more efficiency and a way to professionally resolve any operational issues. Apparently, this draft received little, if any, serious consideration.

What was unexpected at the August 29 meeting, and a surprise even to some of the magistrates, was a prepared motion by the Boyle Fiscal Court to pursue a formal relationship with Garrard and Lincoln County’s Bluegrass 911. Because of this vote, which was not unanimous on a 5-2 split, it appears the dialog with the City, as to the BEST option, was ended.

The county has apparently chosen their course of action. Accurately, your article sites some of the critical questions that remain to be resolved. It may take a while for all the necessary answers to be derived. In the meantime, the City will move forward with the planned technological upgrade and move to a more secure and efficient location of our community’s 911 Center. It is our intention to continue providing the best and most efficient emergency call center and first responders in the best interests of the citizens of Danville, other agencies and municipalities.

Should there be a desire to revisit this issue, the City of Danville’s door is open.

Mike Perros

Danville Mayor