The fire departments of Grover Beach, Arroyo Grande and Oceano were combined a few years ago in a cost savings measure. Less than 10 years ago, the budget for the Grover Beach Fire Department was less than $600,000. Today the figure is more than $1.2 million. More than a 100 percent increase.
They are now asking for a vote to put an assessment on properties with a guaranteed increase every year. Prop. 218 criteria states an assessment may not be levied on properties to pay for general benefit. A large majority of the fire department calls are public related and not property related.
If the city needs to raise funds, it should be done through a vote by all the people in the form of a general tax increase such as through a sales tax.
Another source of income could come from a fee charged for repeat offenders of non-emergency calls as is being done in some cities for false alarm calls from homes or businesses after their second false alarm.
I strongly urge a no vote on this open ballot.