VOL. 18  ISSUE NO. 45   |    NOVEMBER 7 – 13, 2012


Town divided over heart monitor purchase

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mike durkinMike Durkin (standing) asked APS representative Kendra Cea if APS could provide a fact sheet showing what the franchise revenues were under the old agreement and what they are projected to be under the new one. 
Photo by Linda Bentley

CAVE CREEK – With Councilman Thomas McGuire appearing telephonically, council voted unanimously on Monday to submit a franchise agreement with APS to voters in the March 12 election.

Kendra Cea from APS said the town’s 25 year agreement is coming up for renewal in January but needs to be approved by voters.

Cea said APS would be responsible for doing all the required legal postings.

According to the terms of the agreement, APS will pay the town 2 percent of its gross revenue within the town, including commercial and industrial.

Vice Mayor Ernie Bunch asked if the terms of the agreement were the same as the old one.
Cea explained the previous agreement involved a more complicated formula.

Cea responded to Mike Durkin indicating APS could provide a fact sheet showing what the franchise revenues were under the old agreement and what they are projected to be under the new one Ted Bryda asked, “What happens if voters turn it down?”

Cea said APS has never lost an election and generally has an 80-90 percent approval rate.

By a vote of 6-1, with Councilman Steve LaMar dissenting, council approved a resolution regarding council terms for the next election. Unless the state’s consolidated election law (HB2826) is repealed or overturned in court, the resolution would extend the 2013 council term that would normally run from June 2013 to June 2015, to December 2016.

According to Town Attorney Marlene Pontrelli, this will also give fair warning to citizens and candidates that the term of office would be 18 months longer than usual.

LaMar qualified his no vote by stating he didn’t feel it was necessary to pass a resolution in order to comply with state statute.

Town Marshal Adam Stein presented the last agenda item, seeking approval to purchase a Phillips MRX Heart Monitor in a community partnership with Rural/Metro Fire Department and Scottsdale Healthcare at a cost not to exceed $20,284.56.

Stein said the town would outlay the entire funds for the monitor and would be reimbursed $6,761.52 each from Rural/Metro and Scottsdale Healthcare, so the town’s share of the purchase would be $6,761.51.

Stein said the monitor is state of the art with telemetry capabilities to transmit information directly to the receiving hospital, allowing paramedics to bypass the emergency room at times and get their patients into the cardiac lab within 60 minutes.

John Ford, director of contracts for Rural/Metro, and Michelle Pabis from Scottsdale Healthcare were on hand to answer questions from council.

Anderson indicated she thought it stepped over the line of what the town should be providing.

During public comment, Reg Monachino disagreed with subsidizing a for-profit company.

Councilman Jim Bruce, who moved to approve the purchase, said, “Unbelievable. The museum, as nice as it is, the library … are not going to save my life.”

He said, “What an embarrassment!” referring to anyone who disagreed with purchasing the heart monitor.

Vice Mayor Ernie Bunch stated, “This piece of equipment can save lives,” as he pointed out the aging population in the room, and said, “I think this is the most responsible thing we can do for $6,700.”

Anderson said, “I feel this is beyond the boundaries of what I should be approving. I’m voting against it.”

LaMar stated buying the equipment was part of public safety and “not even close to the edge of frivolous,” and said, “I think Barry Goldwater would roll over in his grave.”

Councilman Dick Esser said his concern with spending $6,700 was the town has employees who haven’t had a raise in eight years.

“The road to somewhere is paved with good intentions,” said Mayor Vincent Francia, who said he was not comfortable with the purchase but was going to go along with it.

Council approved the purchase by a vote of 5-2 with Anderson and Esser dissenting.

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