How much more or less will a stand-alone Coastside department cost the community?
One of the reasons I am running to replace Riddell is simple back of an envelope calculations indicate that a standalone fire department will have extremely high labor costs.
It doesn't even take a calculator to realize that 21 firefighters and 14 captains, managers and support personnel will see their 5 years of service crumble as the selfish voting majority of the Coastside Fire Protection District destroys the CalFire service relationship.
Here are the calculations: The stand alone department incorporates no management or labor saving technical improvements to the required fire and emergency medical services provided. That means you have to staff 3 fire stations with 3 firefighters for 24 hours per day and 7 days per work. The only cost difference will be the monthly salary.
Here we compare monthly salary between Cal Fire and a San Mateo fire department:
Cal Fire starting monthly pay for a Fire fighting apparatus engineer (paramedic) =$3557/month.
San Mateo Fire Department Firefighter/EMT starting monthly pay = $6959.68/month.
The pay ratio = $6959.68/3557 = 1.96.
How is the level of service of CalFire better or worse than the level of service of a standalone Coastside department?
Level of service in connection with fire and emergency medical services has a narrow technical meaning in the field of fire and emergency service. This is a well researched public safety goal that is not a valid justification for changing the fire department from CalFire to stand alone.
Director Riddell, the person I am seeking to replace, invokes something like level of service in his recall petition rebuttal statement. It seems to me Riddell is magnifying discontent with a deliberately complicated contract. A retired fire chief tells me Riddell was using the same language about failure to meet contract obligations 9 years ago when he was on the Point Montara Fire Protection District. Buried in the distant past is a problem with getting better ems service presence for Montara. That original legitimate problem that a Director should try and solve has festered and grown to enormous proportions.
My goal is to provide you the best possible services regardless of who provides them, CalFire is not doing that. CalFire failed to meet its legal obligations in our contract and the California Fire Code and its moral obligations as a fire services provider.”
Source: Gary Riddell in the Petition for Recall served June 6, 2012.
There is a background story about “our contract”. The contract negotiated between the Directors and CalFire has reportedly 270 special statements called bullet points in a part of the contract called Exhibit E. With that many bullet points, it is obvious that Mr. Riddell can find as many breach of contract instances as he needs at any time for any reason.
Why Vote Yes or No on the Recall?
Yes. Here are three reasons:
1. The three Directors are showing unstable conduct by reversing a fundamental fire protection policy.
2. The three Directors are showing inappropriate care of more than $2 million dollars of accumulated operating cost savings by squandering that sum on “Transitional Organization”. Source: CFPD Budget for 2012 to 2013 showing Transitional Organization item
3. The Directors have become prisoners of too much outside campaign money and an oversized solution to a tiny little emergency services problem that started over 12 years ago.