The board approved the first of three educational mailers planned for between now and the election. The flier, which should appear in residents’ mailboxes next week, explains that the ECCFPD answers 5,300 calls per year covering 250 square miles and 105,000 people. It goes on to say a 35-percent drop in district revenue in recent years has outstripped the district’s ability to make ends meet, and draconian cuts could result if the measure is not passed.
“We have undergone significant budget cuts in recent years, including the closure of two fire stations, eliminating administrative positions and deferring equipment repairs, but we continue to face a structural deficit of 2 million dollars annually,” the flier states. “At our current rate, all of the District’s resources will be exhausted by July 2012, resulting in additional station closures and significant layoffs that would reduce staffing levels from 54 to 24.”
The board also approved a timeline for a series of public meetings aimed at informing the public about the tax, why it is needed and what will happen if it does not pass. The meetings, which will include sessions in each far East County community the district serves, will begin with a town hall meeting at the Discovery Bay Elementary School on Monday, Dec. 12 at 6:30 p.m.
In addition to the town hall gatherings, district officials will be making the rounds speaking to community groups and service clubs. Any organization that would like to hear firsthand about the measure is encouraged to call Fire Chief Hugh Henderson at 925-240-2131 or e-mail email@example.com.