ROTTERDAM, N.Y. – The process of taking
bids for a permanent EMS provider in the Town of Rotterdam has become an out of
control situation since town leaders won't speak to the public.
The board decided to open up for bids of the EMS
provider in hopes of offering the best care for residents. But now some
residents think it's really a ploy to oust Rotterdam Emergency Medical
Town leaders said they want to publicly engage
concerns at board meetings and not behind closed doors.
Rotterdam Town Supervisor Harry Buffardi said, "I
think its hostile, and it's getting increasingly more hostile."
Buffardi has been the target of many attacks by people
who are worried board members aren't giving REMS a fair chance to bid to
continue as the primary EMS provider.
"It's still an open process," Buffardi
explained. "There's been no one selected, yet. There's been no one
Buffardi was accused of avoiding calls and not
responding to e-mails. However, he said he's following the process of the
Open Meeting Act Laws, and residents had the chance to make their opinions heard.
He said speaking openly about the bidding process isn't
appropriate because he will have to impartially review companies that submit
"So it's going to be based on quality of
service," he said. "From my perspective, that's what's going to cause
me to vote for one of the parties or not."
Buffardi and Deputy Supervisor Wayne Calder recently
decided not to attend a neighborhood association meeting for fear of being
attacked as well as not being able to accomplishment anything significant to
the bid process.
"If I think that it was going to be constructive,
and I could sit down and talk to them, I probably would," Calder said.
More than 150 people, who were not a part of the
association but support REMS workers, attended the meeting earlier this week.
Calder said, "It's impossible to sit down and
have a sane conversation with that group, and I won't do it anymore."
More criticism came when Mohawk Ambulance was allowed
to use the town's senior center. Buffardi said the company was given use of the
center to cut down on response times.
"Certainly there has been some criticism of this
that I think has been unfair," he said. "I [attribute] that to the emotional
stage of this process."
Companies interested in trying to win the bid have to
submit a proposal no later than November 27.
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