To The Daily Sun,
To the voters of Ashland: I call on you to support me and vote "Yes" on Article 8 for a lease/purchase to replace our oldest police cruiser as well as outfitting it. This will replace the aging Crown Victoria-style police cruiser that is no longer manufactured by Ford with the new style of Ford Police Taurus utility AWD, as well as provide the necessary equipment for the new vehicle.
Our cruisers are one of the most important pieces of equipment that we rely on daily for responding to calls. The police department is the only department that does not have the ability to get our vehicles out of the weather, so the cruisers sit outside in the weather 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, which takes a toll on the car and its equipment. As it ages, the Crown Vic has been needing more and more high cost maintenance, often with days lost on the job.
The old equipment and cages from the Crown Victoria will not fit the newer style cruisers. The radio equipment (15 years plus in age) and other electronic equipment in the Crown Victoria is also at the end of its life span. In terms of public safety, it is not a good idea to use vehicles or equipment to the point of failure because when they fail, it will be at the time the public needs us the most.
I have been the Police Chief in Ashland for six years, and one of my goals when I started was to get the cruisers into a systematic replacement rotation so that we were not using them to the point of vehicle failure and crisis. The periodic rotation has helped to stabilize our small fleet of three vehicles, and by spreading out these purchases, we are trying to keep property taxes from spiking by minimizing the impact that purchasing vehicles on a crisis basis has on the taxpayer,
If we get off the cycle of vehicle replacement rotation, this goal will be lost. Without the rotation, you can be assured that it will cause a spike in the future taxes as we will very likely have to replace two vehicles at the same time, again something I would like to avoid.
The police department has a second warrant article (Article 9) for capital reserve funding in the amount of $30,000 which would be used for future replacement costs. While I would appreciate a "yes" vote on both Article 8 and Article 9, I understand not wanting to vote for both, so I ask that if you need to choose between Article 8 or Article 9 that you support Article 8 as that will take care of the immediate needs for the Police Department and allow us to serve you more effectively. Also, keep in mind that Article 8 needs 60 percent of the people that vote to approve the article or else it will be defeated which will put not only the police department in a tough situation but will ultimately put the tax payer in a tougher situation later.
So please support me in my efforts to stabilize our taxes and provide reliable equipment to better serve those in need, which may be you.
Anthony L. Randall
Chief of Police
and Ashland taxpayer