Ambulance fee critics file suit
Opponents of a Montgomery County ambulance fee filed a lawsuit Friday to stop what they claim has been an improper use of government resources by county officials who support the fee.
The Montgomery County Volunteer Fire-Rescue Association claims that county officials sent fire-rescue vehicles to early polling sites so staff could hand out materials in favor of the ambulance fee.
Officials have used county e-mail lists for missives in support of the fee.
"Defendants' illegal activities are likely to influence the outcome of the election with respect to County Question A," the suit reads.
County attorney Marc Hansen has rejected the charges of improper “electioneering.”
“The county is entitled to engage in speech supporting and explaining its policies, including speech that advocates support of a ballot measure,” he wrote.
Hansen said the bill passed by the County Council creating the ambulance fee remains "a validly enacted law." The fact that "a mere 5 percent of voters, by signing a referendum petition," got the fee on the Nov. 2 ballot "cannot and does not" repeal "a policy determination made by a majority of the elected representatives of the entire body politic."
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