I watched the construction of the new fire station in Cedar Rapids occur and thought the brick and the cove designs are nostalgically beautiful. I also wondered about the $20 million price tag.
I would be lying if I was not discouraged to see the amount of money spent on that, but not more on mental health care. I am more than OK to pay taxes on things that I may never use (a fire station, schools, roads I never drive, police, sheriff, 911) as it is meant to equally serve everyone. Yet, we hesitate about taxes for mental health because we do not talk about it and therefore we do not need adequate support for it, even though mental health does affect 1 in 4 Americans.
Imagine if we funded the other services the same as we do for mental health. You call 911 because of a fire and you hear, “Sure, but you need to pay a co-pay, or that it is not available until next fiscal year, or you have to fill out paperwork to determine if you qualify for the service, or recent legislative action has regionalized the service and we are still working on how that will actually work, or that our governor has a plan that is cost effective; it will bring the fire truck just to one end of your street and we believe the fire hose can make it to your house at the other end …”
Are we really OK if the services cannot make it to your home when you need it? I am not.
Jackie Smith Duggan
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