There was a telling moment last week when Fire Chief Matthew Poole was talking to Garner council members about how to generate enough money to run his department.
After he pitched his idea to charge a fee to out-of-town car wreck victims, he worried aloud that any attempt by the town to raise money on its own might result in future decreases in funding from the county.
That’s a sad commentary on the state of affairs between Wake County and the town of Garner, and frankly, it doesn’t make Wake County look all that good.
Of course if Wake County did such a thing, we suppose there is precedent. The state of North Carolina hasn’t hesitated to let lottery proceeds supplant state funding.
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But as the great philospher Arthur Fonzarelli once opined, “Two wrongs is definitely not a right make, honey.
In other words, just because the state did such a silly thing doesn’t mean the county has to. It doesn’t even mean they plan to.
But the fact that Poole would worry so openly about that prospect suggests to us that Wake County commissioners and Garner’s town council need to have a sit down and hash out a plan for providing fire service to Garner residents before the needs become any more critical than they are now.
The fact is, both Wake County and the town of Garner have a vested interest in having a well-trained, well-equipped fire department. The Garner fire department serves areas in unincorporated Wake County that would be up a creek without a proverbial paddle if the town of Garner wasn’t there to provide fire protection.
Garner residents have an equally vested interest in that department, and they should be willing to pony up a reasonable share of the cost.
But right now, Wake County has the town of Garner stewing over a barrel on the issue.
That’s a state of affairs that needs to come to a close.