March 25, 2020

KEY LARGO — Local resident Ken Edge has filed for Seat 5 on the Key Largo Fire Rescue & Emergency Medical Services District commission.

Edge has been a member of the Key Largo Volunteer Ambulance Corps, the contracted services provider with the district, for more than 28 years and has served its corporate board intermittently for about 15 years.

He is currently the vice president of the ambulance corps board and, until recently, served on the fire department board.

“I served on [the fire department] board approximately six years,” Edge said. “I held the position of treasurer and vice president. I resigned from the board to allow the fire department to gradually run their own department.”

The fire department is a subsidiary of the ambulance corps, but changes are afoot to separate the two entities.

Edge said he was a member of the Water Emergency Team, or WET team, that was formerly associated with the Key Largo fire department until the team was disbanded in 2017. He was a scuba instructor for approximately two years.

“I am running for district commissioner because I care about both departments. I feel that my knowledge and hands-on experience will help. I am community-oriented and want to continue providing first class 911 service to this community,” Edge said. “I feel we need cool heads, without an agenda.”

Edge said the current one-mill cap, or $100 property tax per $100,000 of assessed value, is enough to maintain fire and EMS services for the next few years.

“I feel the current millage rate is sufficient to continue providing excellent service. Two years down the road, we will need to look at that again. I believe in the volunteer system, along with paid staffing,” he said.

“In my personal opinion, the two most important jobs a district commissioner has are: provide excellent 911 service and care; maintain a fiscally responsible budget to the taxpayers,” he said.

The Key Largo Fire Rescue & Emergency Medical Services District commission race is non-partisan and each seat has a four-year term. Seat 1, the other open seat this fall, has netted no candidates to date.

tjava@keysnews.com