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SargeUNN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-05-10 03:07 AM
Original message
When reason and justice are compromised no good comes from it
Let's look at the story of the man's house and the fee of 75 dollars. Ok some say the fire department did the right thing, but my question is this, was it reasonable, and just? I say no because it was harsh and unusual punishment. The man lost valuables and personal keepsakes, pets were lost that belong to another, the equipment was on hand even used to keep the fire from spreading to the neighboring houses. Wouldn't it be more sensible and reasonable to save the house, and then have the man pay the $75 plus a substantial but reasonable fine? Wouldn't it be more cost effect to save the house and reduce the amount the insurance company would have paid to rebuild the part of the house ruined by the fire than paying for the entire house which in turn cost each person paying into the company more? Wouldn't it be more humane to save the pets instead of sitting by and watching as the firefighters were reported to have done?

So who got what they deserved? Seems to me a lot of people lost because of the stupidity of the one or ones who decided not to save this man's house over $75 and now if anyone can give me a rational answer to justify that the decision was justified then please I would love to hear it.
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RandomThoughts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-05-10 03:15 AM
Response to Original message
1. It is the old arguement actually.
Should you help someone because they have something you want. Or should you help someone simply because they are a person or are hurting. Do you need to be paid in some way?

Within the money concepts of the world their are times when money is equated to what someone can have, mostly because that has made society work and operate, although it was more useful centuries ago.

But there should be a base line, so firefighters do not have to stand by and just watch a fire burn. There should be a way to help them if they don't have money. On some topics that create much suffering without any good, there should be a baseline where a person can help someone even if they are not a friend.

Or the firefighters can put the fire out anyways, and not follow the orders of money.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-05-10 03:26 AM
Response to Original message
2. They can put a lien on the property
So if it's ever sold the fire district has to be paid. It just sounds to me like that's a county that's stuck on stupid.
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LiberalAndProud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-05-10 03:29 AM
Response to Original message
3. Wouldn't it be more reasonable to impose a mandatory fee -- a tax, if you will?
The political philosophy of the voluntary fee is intrinsically flawed. How do you change that mindset? This has been an issue in the county since at least 1987. How do you address the underlying moral flaw?

Sure, fines could have been imposed. And they might have been paid if the property owner chose to pay them. Those are voluntary too.

The laws as written leave the city in an impossible position, with a moral responsibility to provide service, without any means to enforce participation in cost sharing.

This tragic event is the logical, if heartless, outcome of a tragically flawed policy.



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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-05-10 03:34 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. As far as I can tell Obion county is in Tennessee..
And North Fulton is in Kentucky..

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=obion+county+tn&um=1&ie=U...

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=south+fulton+tn&um=1&ie=U...

That makes it kind of hard for North Fulton to tax Obion county against the will of the residents of the county.

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LiberalAndProud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-05-10 03:48 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. The county could impose a tax and contract with North Fulton.
You're right. Cities can't impose taxes outside of their jurisdiction. The county can, but won't because they don't want to impose mandatory fees. So the city is put in a position of providing free service or letting houses burn down. They can't place liens on property. They can't collect on fines.

It's not a sustainable system.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-05-10 03:56 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Apparently it was 19-1 against a tax in the county...
My guess is it's not going to happen..

I really do not like that the man's home burned down, it's a horrible thing to have happen, I lost a home to fire in 1973.

But the system is utterly screwed up and the county residents seem to like it that way, or at least like it better than paying a modest tax to change it.



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JustAmused Donating Member (261 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-05-10 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #4
13. True, but
South Fulton, which I believe is on the TN side of Stateline RD is actually in TN. This isn't uncommon.Bristol TN is that way and so is Texarkana
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TheMadMonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-05-10 03:58 AM
Response to Original message
7. Because it costs more to levy the fine than it returns.
Since it's not a criminal matter,lawyer argues fire fighters had the choice not to fight the fire and thus client need not pay and the whole thing devolves into civil litigation where nobody but the lawyers win.

Those making this choice, were making the bet that they could benefit free of charge, because "No one would really be that much of a bastard." They lost.

Your choice: put up with more of this, or make essential service levies a mandatory part of property rates.
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-05-10 04:11 AM
Response to Original message
8. The problem with letting him pay after the fact is that it makes it even harder to collect the $75..
from prospective subscribers in the future.
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Pithlet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-05-10 04:14 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. This is what I've been trying to get across in other threads.
It's basically making them work for free. They can't afford that. That's why they did what they did. It's not fair to their community they serve. People are condemning this fire company, but from accounts I've read they were financially strapped. They had to do something, and the county was putting them in a bad spot.
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REP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-05-10 04:23 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. Sadly, the outcome would likely be, "No need to pay; they'll put out the fire anyway"'
And then everyone loses, because with few people paying in, there's less money for equipment, etc to fight these fires.

Put out a fire at one unsubscribed house and soon others will figure that maybe they can get free service, too. It's human nature.
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SargeUNN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-05-10 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. NO NO NO
you must not start supposing such an attitude by the people in general but what we as America stand for. The man's house was on fire and could have been saved, the decision was inhumane and cruel which is against the very standards we embrace as America. As for the fine reply that is so incorrect and not close to reasonable because if it were then why is there fines that are in almost every law we have? No that is not valid.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-05-10 11:37 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. they did it. it wasnt working. people didnt pay. not a mere 75. it is about collective pay
if just 75 when have a fire it does not cover cost. cost would be much higher than the 75. cant take them to court cause that raises cost more and most not paid. so it is a right off.
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-05-10 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #11
15. There is some good evidence of that attitude from the news article
"I thought they'd come out and put it out, even if you hadn't paid your $75, but I was wrong," said Gene Cranick.

http://www.wpsdlocal6.com/news/local/Firefighters-watch...

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Pithlet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-05-10 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #11
21. It was a last resort. No one is supposing anything.
This city and its fire department is at the end of its rope. The county simply doesn't want to pay. It may seem inhumane and cruel. But really, what the county was doing was putting the city in an impossible situation, one that could lead them to losing their fire department. What were they supposed to do?
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REP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-05-10 04:59 PM
Response to Reply #11
23. I don't 'suppose' anything - I live here in America
If you think that citizens in general are ready to pitch in and do their part by paying into the pot for something they may or may not need ... I used to believe that too, but then I left grade school.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-05-10 11:35 AM
Response to Original message
12. i am not hearing anyone say the FD did the right thing. i am hearing there is an issue with op pay
and the repercussion is this.

no one is saying anything about deserve either.

the ass didnt pay because he thought he would get the services. the ass put his family, animals and community at risk

the community should be pissed at the ass that did this to them all and demand their county vote to roll taxes for FD in so they are all protected.
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JustAmused Donating Member (261 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-05-10 11:46 AM
Response to Reply #12
16. Thank you sea
You keep trying to bring people back to point here. From what I am hearing, people think the city should just double taxes on city residents, and not charge the county anything...lol. I have lived about 40 miles from there in Murray, KY and I can tell you that South Fulton is not well off by any standards. In fact, the county has a higher per cap income than the city does.

The point is, services have to be paid for somehow and by someone. This should be handled by a county assessment, but it won't be. If I were the city, I would suggest to the county that they try to work out an arrangement with Union City, Jackson, or some other municipality.
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DirkGently Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-05-10 02:18 PM
Response to Original message
17. I think the conclusion here is just that making critical services opt-in / out is a mistake.
Edited on Tue Oct-05-10 02:20 PM by DirkGently
Figuring out who was more "wrong" here misses the point. It's a mutual mistake to have these "opt-in" government services.

The only way it can be upheld is if the critical service in question, e.g., fire protection, actually IS withheld when someone who didn't "opt-in" needs it. That's going to be a tragedy every time, so why set people up for that situation to occur? Why set up the FD to not get the resources they need, and set up the citizen to not recognize he needs the service?

I "get" why a rural community might choose a system like that -- sounds more like an attempt to deal with limited resources gone wrong than the ideological battle we're all discussing here -- but whatever the motive, here before us are the ugly consequences. Setting people up for a situation in which firefighters stand around watching someone's home, posessions and pets burn to a cinder is madness, even if it only happens 1 in 100 times.

It's not worth it, and it's helpful to take a good hard look at why, because (while that's not what's going on this case) this is also what the Haves would like to do to the Have Nots -- privatize everything so only THEY can call the FD, the ambulance, and even better, the police. Lock off all the "good" roads with tollbooths for only those who can pay. Every man for himself.

Trouble is, the consequences of allowing these kinds of catastrophes to happen to anyone in the community outweigh whatever benefits government "a la carte" is supposed to provide. Why do you "have" to pay for fire service? Because if you don't, your house will burn down, and everyone will be sick about it, and you'll be on television asking why a humane exception wasn't made in your case.

(Editted for speling)
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-05-10 02:22 PM
Response to Original message
18. Correct, Sarge.
The argument for taxation is that it gives us a more compassionate society. If we want to support that argument, we need to act with compassion.
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Orsino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-05-10 02:26 PM
Response to Original message
19. A private insurer wouldn't sign you when your house is already in flames.
Why would we want a fire department to act like a soulless, for-profit corporation?

We ought to be taxing so that no one need worry about coming up with extra money for fire protection, and so that no one can cheat by not paying until disaster strikes.
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SargeUNN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-05-10 02:33 PM
Response to Original message
20. I find it disturbing that
this thread and the others about this get so many opinions and yet a thread such as http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph... is all be ignored. Why?
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REP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-05-10 04:54 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. I was born the year after Kennedy died
I am immune to Kennedy hagiographies. Plus it's not news.
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