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Court officially nixes EMS privatization talks

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By Shannon Brock

Nearly six months after its formation, the EMS Privatization Committee of the Fiscal Court made an official recommendation Monday night not to privatize the county’s EMS services.
Magistrate Mike Moody brought up the topic at an August 2012 meeting, and Judge-Executive Bill Karrer appointed Moody, Magistrate Jerry Davis, Magistrate Woodie Cheek and EMS Director Jeff Coulter to the committee to investigate.
More than 500 people signed a petition in September against privatization, and conversations — as well as committee meetings — stalled after the court decided in November to purchase the former cooperative extension building as a new headquarters for EMS.
The committee could rarely get a quorum of three members present in order to meet and take official action. Cheek eventually asked to be removed from the committee, and was removed without a replacement.
Coulter missed some time because of health issues, but ultimately remained on the committee.
According to Davis, who reported on the committee’s behalf Monday night, the committee officially recommended the county not go forward with privatization when it met Monday evening.
Moody was not present at the committee meeting or at the Fiscal Court meeting because he was ill, Karrer said.
The court voted unanimously to accept the committee’s recommendation and Karrer officially disbanded the committee.
At one point, the members voted in a committee meeting to change the committee’s title and purpose to that of an EMS committee. However, that action was voided because Karrer created the committee and its purpose, meaning the committee couldn’t take action to change itself.
However, Karrer said Monday night that members of the Fiscal Court could vote to create an EMS committee if they chose to do so at any point in the future.
No EMS committee was formed Monday night.