The Deschutes County Fair Board unanimously and enthusiastically supports the 911 levy proposal coming up in the election on May 21.

Your Fair Board is charged with the responsibility of overseeing the year-round operation and success of the Fair & Expo Center. Every year, more than 500,000 people participate in the events held at the Fair & Expo Center. Their safety has the highest priority for those of us on the Fair Board as well as Dan Despotopulos, our Fair & Expo chief executive officer, and his staff. Without the vital service 911 provides in emergency situations, the safety and security of those 500,000 people would be in considerable jeopardy.

When the need arises for emergency police, fire, paramedic or ambulance services, time is of the essence and it is by no means an exaggeration to say these services can be life-and-death matters.

Voters are being asked to continue a temporary levy passed in 2008. This request is not a new or increased tax. In fact, the original request to continue the levy at 23 cents per thousand dollars of assessed value has been reduced by three cents. A yes vote continues the temporary support of the 2008 levy but at reduced rate.

Without this continuation of the 2008 temporary levy, the 911 system cannot continue to provide the level of service needed to protect the county’s citizens and the visitors who attend events at the Fair & Expo Center.

Jim Morrell, Deschutes County Fair Board chair