Finance Committee to consider ambulance billing proposals
By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD — The Marshfield Common Council decided to forego a review team and have its Finance, Budget, and Personnel Committee review proposals received from outside entities interested in managing the city’s ambulance billing.
The action took place at the March 28 council meeting following the group’s decision to authorize a request for proposal (RFP) following the retirement of a half-time staff member and the departure of a full-time individual who were previously administering the billing.
The recommendation to assign a special review team came from City Administrator Steve Barg but was contested by Alderman Ed Wagner, who emphasized the aspect of transparency in dealing with such a decision and requested that the proposals go straight to the Finance Committee.
“At the same time, I think that they are supposed to be getting a comparison with what the cost is from the city, and that should be evaluated at the same time,” said Wagner. “That should also be done publicly. I don’t think that this should be done in staff, behind closed doors.”
Alderman Chris Jockheck spoke in support of the review team, stating that the council was just looking into options for outsourcing and not considering official bids.
“So basically the request for proposals will be reviewed by this team that has been set up and take something from that to make a comparison to what we have or what we could have in house, and that still is going to have to be presented to the Finance Committee as well as the council, probably also the Fire and Police Commission since it involves the fire department,” said Jockheck. “We didn’t spend this much time eliminating the assessor’s office, the whole department, which is really going to come back to bite us when people get their assessments and come back at us and say, ‘We are talking to someone in Madison or wherever they ended up.’”
The council voted 7-3 to place billing considerations directly in the hands of the Finance Committee.