Letter: Tells Stow residents to vote 'No' on Issue 23

Kent Weeklies

On the November ballot there will be Issue 23. Should Stow turn over our Police, Fire and EMS dispatching to a large county wide regional dispatch?

Stow has one of the top-rated Fire/EMS Departments in the state perhaps the country, our Police Department is also top notch. We have some of, if not the best response times in the county, maybe in the state. It is hard to imagine how an organization four times the size could provide quicker or better service at a lower cost.

In the past when this was considered there were months of public meetings to provide information that included the other cities involved. Citizens were able to ask questions in public meetings. Stow Council has not had a single public hearing or meeting dedicated to providing details where citizens could learn about the proposal and ask questions. As a matter of fact, the council had not actually seen the full proposal until after they voted to put it on the ballot.

In 2016, then-Mayor Sara Drew wanted to merge with the county and others. After the council insisted on details, this idea was scraped by everyone involved after discovering the building they wanted to use had a history of flooding and there were no cost savings. It may have cost Stow more.

Fast forward to 2020, Summit County is now heading up another proposal.

They are asking you to decide on what literally could be a life or death decision in the future with no pertinent information.

Issue 23 is risky and a huge leap of faith. Vote "No" on Issue 23.

Bob Neidert, Stow