The latest political brouhaha in North Riverside, this time involving statements online (now amended) about the village’s paramedic provider has generated plenty of spectacle, but little in the way of actual meaning.

To date, in fact, spectacle is about all there has been in the 2013 campaign for mayor, trustee and clerk. There has been plenty of wrangling over the length of political party names, where people live and whether they’re still employed by the village or not. But there has been little in the way of any substance coming from any candidates looking to voters for their approval.

On Monday at a special — and mighty odd — meeting of the village board’s police and fire committee, much was made over some verbiage on the website of the TAP Party, which denigrated the paramedic service provided by the village’s longtime contractor.

The committee spent lots of energy making theater when the members could have been contemplating policy.

TAP is proposing getting rid of the paramedic contractor and training the village’s firefighters to become paramedics. The party claims that it will result in better service and lower costs.

OK, that’s an actual proposal. How about spending some time on that? Of course, as far as we know, TAP hasn’t provided a detailed analysis of how costs would be lower. We don’t know how much it would cost to train the firefighters, how many more firefighters would have to be hired to make up for the loss of the contractors, how much more firefighters would have to be paid after gaining a new skill set or how much impact those expenses would have on a pension obligation that village can’t meet now.

As for providing “better service,” we’re not sure what that even means. How is that being quantified?

But, it’s a reasonable proposal to make. At the very least, the village — if it’s really interested in saving money — could seek to re-bid the paramedic contract and get some competitive pricing. The board already knows that’s a good idea, right? They saved a bundle on waste hauling last summer by re-bidding those services.

Or, if the village really wants to look at cutting costs in the fire department, maybe they could look to convert the department to paid-on-call, like Riverside. You want to save money — particularly pension costs — a paid-on-call department does the trick. How would that affect services and safety?

Right now we don’t know, because no one wants to have any of these discussions. Instead, it’s easier to manufacture some outrage over perceived slights — whether it’s the VIP majority fretting over the paramedic contractor’s hurt feelings or TAP’s outrage that Mayor Kenneth Krochmal made a crack about police officers not wanting to get out of squad cars.

Hopefully, this week a judge will settle once and for all who’s actually in this election and we can steer the conversation toward dealing with issues that will actually affect North Riverside taxpayers in the next four years.