My friend Ben gets feisty in a letter to the Ann Arbor city council …
“Date: Wed, 22 Oct 2003 01:11:02 -0400
Subject: Proposal re: non-resident emergency billing
To: JHieftje@ci.ann-arbor.mi.us, JLowenstein@ci.ann-arbor.mi.us, MReid@ci.ann-arbor.mi.us, HHerrell@ci.ann-arbor.mi.us, JCarlberg@ci.ann-arbor.mi.us, MHiggins@ci.ann-arbor.mi.us, firstname.lastname@example.org, MTeall@ci.ann-arbor.mi.us, CEasthope@ci.ann-arbor.mi.us, RJohnson@ci.ann-arbor.mi.us, KGroome@ci.ann-arbor.mi.us
Dear Ann Arbor City council,
I am writing because I am concerned about the recent proposal that would charge out of town students for emergency assistance. In my opinion, this is simply ludicrous and is another way that the city tries to extort money from the students. All you see us as is a source of revenue in the form of parking tickets and exorbent rent, and now for emergency services. I pay rent in Ann Arbor, I have lived here for four years. I am as much a resident of this town as someone who has changed their drivers license. My money pays for the businesses in this town to operate as much as yours does. I pay taxes on the
money I make at jobs here.
The council’s worries that a student would hesitate to call for help is well founded. We are paying for schooling, rent, food, all without the time for a real job and with parents who don’t all live in West Bloomfield. Some of us simply could not afford an emergency call. People should not have to pay for emergency service, especially if they are residents of this town. The safety of anyone in this town should be of more importance to the city council than the increased revenue potential. If this proposal would keep students from calling 911 in an emergency, then it is not worth the money you would make with it. Is the well being of 39,000 humans who reside in this town not important to you? We are not cash machines, we are living, breathing people who need a fire truck for an emergency as much as you do.
Benjamin C. King”