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Christianson for Mayor

 


The upcoming Mayoral election is an important one. An important question to ask is, is the city better off than it was 4 years ago. The quick answer would be yes. But that’s an easy answer. Four years ago, the economy was bad all over the country. In Arlington, like the rest of the country, about the only direction to go was up. So things are looking up, returning to normal. Arlington is rebounding, thanks to Mayor Tolbert. Really?

Why yes, the latest acquisition of funding for road improvements was very important. Now citizens will eventually have an easier time driving to the west side of the freeway to shop. And all that sales tax revenue will go to ... not Arlington, but Marysville.

How much money does the dilapidated Bayliner complex, excuse me, the aka manufacturing/industrial center bring in to the area?

Public Safety; 5 years ago it was evident the city could not fund the Fire Department in the way it needs to be funded. It was made clear to Mayoral candidate Tolbert at that time by the labor group that finances were an issue. City controlled Fire Departments are virtually non-existent. The majority of Fire Departments are districts or fire authorities. Just check Arlington’s surrounding neighboring fire departments, they all fit this description. Five years later, at a cost, the city is planning on contracting a study of the current services and cost. It took that long to figure the finances weren’t working? In the meantime, the city is exploring the possibility of suing neighboring Fire District 21 because the district refuses to be strong-armed into an agreement for services. The district that, up to this point has been a lifetime friend and partner in Arlington’s public safety.

So far, all I see is losses. The biggest loss during Mayor Tolbert’s reign is personnel. I know there have been losses in various departments in the city. The biggest loss I know of is in the Fire Department. Since July 2014, seven members of the Fire Department have left the city’s service. One person was fairly new with a couple of years of service. The rest had 5+ years of service. Five of these people were paramedics, all fall into the 5+ years of experience. Losing experienced people like this is significant. More than 80 percent of responses for present day fire departments is EMS related, emergency medical responses. All other responses; fires, fire alarms, smoke in the area, downed power lines, etc. make up the rest. Arlington Fire Department was actually hovering near 90 percent EMS at one time. Once upon a time, before Mayor Tolbert, Arlington had an EMS program that provided for the whole Stilly Valley. Now the city plans lawsuits. People wanted to come here and work. Now, people want to leave. I myself served as a paramedic/firefighter for the Stilly Valley, city of Arlington for 25 years. I am still working as a paramedic, just not for Arlington.

So when you think of Mayor Tolbert’s reign, think of the Land of Oz. If you want to believe everything is great because you’re being told everything is great you need to look further. Pull back the curtain, see the smoke, mirrors and intimidation.

Craig Christianson, a lifelong Arlington resident, retired firefighter and yes, a person who will put Arlington back on the right track. Vote for Craig Christianson.

Marty Ruffner

Former AFD Firefighter/Paramedic

 

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