Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Editorials

Closer look at emergency services needed

By just one vote, the Pinellas County Commission took the right approach this week in hiring a consultant to study how to make the county's emergency medical services operation more efficient and less expensive. If $300,000 in public money is going to be spent on a private consultant, the least that taxpayers ought to expect is a thorough review of all of the options.

The county's current EMS system that uses both fire departments and a private contractor is no longer affordable, and County Administrator Bob LaSala proposed reasonable changes last year. That triggered a fight with St. Petersburg, some fire departments and the firefighter unions that are more interested in their cash flow and job protection. It's tempting to say wake us up when the gridlock ends and somebody decides something, but EMS is an essential service that demands attention to the details.

The county staff already has poked enough holes in a proposal by some firefighters for fire departments to take over emergency transport to hospitals from the private contractor. That hasn't silenced the critics and conspiracy theorists. LaSala is understandably frustrated, but an independent study that analyzes all of the options is the only way out now. It's an awfully expensive way to clear the air, and it delays a solution to a festering financial mess. But there's no other way forward. Commissioners Susan Latvala, John Morroni, Karen Seel and Ken Welch reasonably voted for the wide-ranging study by the consultant. The conservative obstructionists who voted against it: Nancy Bostock, Neil Brickfield (who are both seeking re-election in November) and Norm Roche. Remember: Elections have consequences.

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Tuesday’s letters: Amendment 4 is a matter of reason

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Updated: 4 hours ago
Editorial: DeSantis, Scott send mixed messages on oil drilling

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Updated: 4 hours ago
Editorial: Florida needs uniform standards for voting by mail

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Published: 09/21/18
Editorial: Borrowers need protection from Marlin Financial

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Published: 09/21/18
Editorial: Putnam hire stinks of patronage, secrecy

Editorial: Putnam hire stinks of patronage, secrecy

In addition to a lesson on political patronage, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam needs a refresher on the particulars of state public records law.In January 2017, Putnam hired the 27-year-old son of a former Publix executive to a high-pay...
Published: 09/20/18
Editorial: Investigate first, then hold Kavanaugh confirmation vote

Editorial: Investigate first, then hold Kavanaugh confirmation vote

There should be a timely investigation of the allegation of sexual assault against Judge Brett Kavanaugh before senators hear from him and his accuser, let alone vote on whether they should confirm his nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. The proces...
Published: 09/20/18
Editorial: Immigrants help to make America great

Editorial: Immigrants help to make America great

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Published: 09/19/18
Updated: 09/20/18
Editorial: FDA acts to keep e-cigarettes from kids

Editorial: FDA acts to keep e-cigarettes from kids

The federal Food and Drug Administration is bringing important scrutiny to the increasing use of e-cigarettes, requiring companies that make and sell them to show they are keeping their products away from minors. Vaping is the new front in the nation...
Published: 09/18/18

Tuesday’s letters: Honor Flight restored my faith in America

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Published: 09/17/18
Updated: 09/19/18

Editorial cartoons for Sept. 18

From Times wires
Published: 09/17/18