Communication must continue
Wabasha County officials determined last week that keeping emergency dispatch services "local" makes the most sense for now.
Given all the circumstances --- including financial, because a combined dispatch would not save millions of dollars as we projected in an earlier editorial -- the timing wasn't right. Probably of supreme importance, neither county was ready.
Wabasha County approached Goodhue County last year to discuss combined operations. Being open to the idea is a good indicator, we think, that the two counties have a fairly healthy relationship.
We predict good things still can and will come out of those discussions, because the more local governments look for ways to work together, the more opportunities they'll find - and not necessarily only involving those things they met to discuss in the first place.
As we said in our June 26 editorial listing some reasons why joint dispatch could work, "Help will still be just a phone call away, regardless of whether Goodhue and Wabasha counties combine their dispatch centers."
No one wants to compromise public safety.
No one wants to rush an important decision.
No one disputes that joint operations is the way of the future, either.
To paraphrase Wabasha County Administrator David Johnson, multi-county -- not two-county -- regional dispatch operations will become reality down the road. That could happen within 10 years.
Open communication is the way to get there.