Editor’s Note: The following is a reader submission. If you’d like to submit a letter or op-ed to be published on FingerLakes1.com send it to [email protected].
I write to endorse Tim Lattimore for Auburn City Mayor. I moved to Cayuga County in 1988 because Mr. Lattimore, then a City Council member, reached out to me through a mutual friend to relocate and work to improve ambulance service to Auburn and surrounding communities. Those who know me understand that my whole life has been dedicated to emergency ambulance and rescue services up to the day I retired after 57 years of experience at the age of 72. Mr. Lattimore had the intelligence to find someone with the proper expertise to solve a problem for the community at no cost to the taxpayers.
In 2006, when Mr. Lattimore was serving as Mayor, he and the city council at that time once again stood up and worked with me to create Auburn City Ambulance through contracting with a new provider, TLC EMS. Once again, this effort brought more resources and better coverage to Auburn until 2021 again at no cost to the taxpayer. This new arrangement also brought in a small revenue stream to the City which grew to over $300,000.00 by 2020.
The decision to cancel the TLC contract and “municipalize” the ambulance service was made with the full knowledge and awareness that this would place a huge financial burden on the taxpayers. The City had studied the financial requirements involved in doing this no less than 4 times since 1992 and knew they could not do so with financial success. In fact, the City would now be “double dipping” by both using the taxpayers money to fund their project and also charge those same taxpayers substantial rates if they need an ambulance!! Although they vehemently and publically denied this, they proceeded with “Dygerts Folly”. As a former fire chief he was bound and determined to appropriate the ambulance service and bring it under the control of the fire department and did so with the full complicity of the Mayor, Michael Quill, (also an ex fire chief), Jimmy Giannettino, Terry Cuddy and Debbie McCormick with Tim Locastro being the only dissenting vote. This gross deviation from financial and operational ‘sense’ has destabilized emergency ambulance service in the County and City for two years with City ambulances traveling to distant facilities while you may be waiting for an ambulance and AMR was being under utilized. and now has driven AMR to leave Cayuga County as of January 1, 2024. As a result, county officials and volunteer agencies are scrambling to make emergency contingency plans.
I just thought you should know.
Lon A. Fricano,