I am tired of reading all these scare tactics regarding Measure S. After years of inaction by the BOS and now the current commission, the tough decisions have not been attempted to correct the operational model and save cost.
Since the union came into the district, they have almost completely wiped out the paid on-call (POC) firemen. I saw this when I was on the Transitional Fire Commission and it has continued going on for 10 years. I saw this with major arguments between the union and the POCs. The POCs in the past were an integral part of the district. POCs are used throughout the U.S. very successfully and not just in rural communities. POCs are efficient and save money.
No one has stepped up to restructure the pension program that is underfunded and taking up too much of the operational money that could be used for district operations. Ten years ago this was brought to the attention of the BOS and nothing has been done except dig the district deeper in debt.
Back in 2003, Cal Fire came in during the City Gate report and showed it could be effective in running the district while saving money. However, the union fought it, as they would have to go under Cal Fire’s work rules, and the union did not like it. The BOS, in my opinion, caved in to the union and decided not to pursue this cost-saving operational model.
We all know there is a financial problem and the alarms having been sounding for many years. It is time to step up and make the hard decisions to restructure the district operationally and financially. Then revaluate if and how much revenue is needed. Measure S makes no corrections and puts the financial burdens on all us taxpayers. It is time to say to the commission and the BOS: do your job. Make the difficult decisions then let’s talk about revenue increase.
As a Discovery Bay resident of 24 years, I believe Measure S does nothing regarding opening the station that was closed in DB or Byron. In fact, the plan calls for a new station in year five and not reopening any of the stations that were closed. I can see no reason to support the measure with those types of commission recommendations.
This reminds me of ObamaCare. We all agree that healthcare needs to be reformed but many believe what was passed a few years ago does nothing to solve the problem but add cost to the taxpayer. Measure S is the same. We need a real solution to our fire district. Vote No on S.