Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hard Work Pays Off for City

"I think we have come a long way," said Alderman Kyle Cook, a member of the Fayetteville City Council's ad hoc ambulance committee. "I know it's taken awhile, but I firmly believe we end up with a better agreement in the long run." The City Council is scheduled to vote on a resolution tonight approving an interlocal agreement with the county and several other cities for a public utility model ambulance service. It is now a far better document than was first presented, and it protects the interests of the city and its residence in affordable and efficient ambulance service.

It would be easy to criticize the delay in reaching an acceptable agreement -- and some have already done so -- but the end result was clearly worth the city ambulance committee's hard work and persistence in getting answers to hard questions instead of just signing off without considering the consequences. Chairman Lioneld Jordan and the other members of the committee, supported by the detailed draftsmanship of our dedicated City Attorney Kit Williams, deserve credit for a job well done.

The devil is always in the details. Getting things right for the citizens requires attention to those details, asking good questions, making necessary improvements, and solving the problem for the benefit of our community. It requires dedication and hard work by our elected officials, and the job is often made more difficult by detractors who seek publicity over progress.

We will soon have better ambulance service for our community and our neighbors. It didn't happen because some political candidate wrote a nice speech; and it didn't happen because of childish threats and mysteriously leaked letters. We got a better agreement and will have better ambulance service because of hard work by those in the trenches of government who kept negotiating despite the distractions of political opportunists.

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