How much more or less will a stand-alone Coastside department cost the community?
According to their own budget, a standalone Coastside department will cost the community approximately $1.7 million more each year. This amounts to $119/year in additional cost for each Coastside resident. Our communities would also be responsible for an additional two million dollars in “transition costs” which have never been adequately documented. The proposed standalone budget for the next year’s wages and benefits is $8.5 million while the CalFire bid is “not to exceed” $5.6 million. The proposed standalone budget for wages and benefits is 98% of our expected revenues leaving essentially nothing for needed reserves or new equipment.
We simply cannot afford this unnecessary and dangerous disruption to our services.
How is the level of service of CalFire better or worse than the level of service of a stand-alone Coastside department?
The level of service has improved since the board contracted with CalFire. No more short staffing of engines. Always fully trained professional firefighters and paramedics on every engine with solid leadership. The firefighters know they can do their jobs without interference from board members. CalFire has economies of scale that present the Coastside with efficiencies that no stand alone department could possibly match.
In addition, several Chiefs and the independent San Mateo Grand Jury has issued several reports praising CalFire and exhorting the board majority to cease attempting to replace CalFire.
Why Vote Yes or No on the Recall?
Vote yes. The only way to preserve the superior service we currently have with CalFire is to recall the board majority because they have refused to listen to the community. The past year, citizens have been coming to board meetings and providing glowing testimonials praising CalFire. The board majority refuses to listen to the citizens or the independent grand jury. They must be replaced by new leadership who will be accountable to Coastside residents.