Letter to the Editor

Burning questions

Grover BeachJanuary 5, 2014 

The Five Cities Fire Authority has approved a ballot measure to raise more than $1 million from the South County to fund its operation.

I think the public deserves answers to a few questions:

1. Why wasn’t capital replacement budgeted when you started the district? Would it have killed the formation because of excessive costs?

2. What were the total costs per year of our fire departments before forming the FCFA?

3. How much has the FCFA budget increased each year? How much have total salaries increased each year?

4. How has the public benefited from these increased costs?

5. How many actual fire calls, not ambulance chasing calls, per year?

6. Is it true that proposed rates of $64 per residence and $445 for commercial properties suggest commercial is seven times more likely to need fire service?

We are coming out of a terrible recession where government spending, particularly on employee salaries and benefits, proved to be unsustainable.

Is this just a case of fire authority personnel not getting the message?

Ability to pay and fair compensation questions need to be addressed before the public is asked to vote.

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