Measure B upholds safety

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The Newcastle Area Business Association’s Board of Directors hereby signals its support for Measure B — a parcel tax proposal seeking new support funding solely for fire protection and emergency response services in the Newcastle area. NABA fully realizes and appreciates our local fire station’s plight: a condemned building, firefighters paid near-minimum wages with no benefits; overnight accommodations in a trailer parked adjacent to the station; and no options for consolidation with surrounding fire districts. Fire protection is a fundamental and obvious necessity for any community’s business success, from responding to structure fires and accidents to medical emergencies. Without new funds from the local community, our area will face double or triple the response time, creating greater risk to life and property. Furthermore, a loss of local fire protection will trigger significant insurance rate increases and possibly adversely affect the ability to borrow capital. We are not fans of tax increases, and continue to call on our county, legislative and congressional leaders to look for ways to reduce the tax burden on businesses and citizens so that our free market system can flourish again. Yet we also understand the dire circumstances facing our community at this time in the way of fire protection services. For these reasons, we strongly encourage voting residents of Newcastle to support Measure B on the special election ballot this March 6. JOE IRVIN, president 2011-12; ELLIOTT ROSE, MARCIA BICE, TODD DeKELLIS, AL BLANCA, SUSAN HANSEN, NAOMI DOWNEY and SHARON WILLIAMS, Newcastle Area Business Association Board of Directors