Saturday, September 12, 2009

Just a BIT out of my Comfort Zone

The observer is not quite a basement creature, but my ability to collar people and do a cold type of sales call Definitely not comfortable for me! But when you feel that something is important, you sometimes make yourself stretch your limits and do things that maybe are not the easiest for you. I have taken time to speak to strangers about my faith in the past--I always reminded myself that I was one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread--but it is not a natural thing. Today, I went out with another Citizens to Save MAST person and solicited signatures to place the issue on the ballot so the people can have a say. Again, reminding myself that the management of our city's ambulance service impacts the way it is run, and that has a direct effect on the care given and the lives of patients, I stretched myself and collected 20 signatures. It was not easy, and sometimes I was riding the coat tails of my partner, but I did it.

The next events in the great MAST odyssey are the public hearing on Thursday, September 17th at 1:30 pm at city hall. Normally this is the business session, held on the 10th floor of city hall, but if you plan on going, be alert for a location change. If enough people come, the room on the 10th floor may not be big enough. Then the City Council will be meeting on the 26th floor for their regular council meeting, around 3:30 PM. Dockets and ordinances will be available on the city's web site Go to the city clerk's section or pick meetings from the menu. Also if you park in the garage at 11th and Oak, you can go to your city council person's office and have your parking stub validated.

There will be a meeting at the Southeast Community Center, 4201 E. 63rd St., Friday September 18th starting at 7 pm. There will be more information shared about the situation, and an opportunity to sign the petition if you have not yet done so. We will continue the petition drive, no matter what happens on Thursday.

Finally if you can't get to city hall (and let's face it, most people are not able to come to weekday meetings held during business hours), you can call 816-513-1368, the city council office. For more info on the city council click this link here. You can use that info to determine who is your council representative and to read about the council members. When you contact them, tell them you want the decision regarding how the ambulance service put to a vote of the people, not done without true public input by the city council and the mayor.

Proper management of the ambulance service means excellence in patient care. In its current configuration, MAST is one of the best ambulance services in the country. Any changes to MAST's administration need to be carefully considered. Putting the issue before the people will insure a full airing of the facts. This change is not one to be taken lightly or done quickly.

Lives are at stake.

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