The public -- and CoCoTAX -- expect ConFire to provide high quality firefighting services and ensure the long term sustainability of those services. Measure Q simply does not measure up.
- The proposed $75 tax does not meet the financial needs of the District as it is currently delivering services. The $75 figure does not accurately reflect all expenses necessary to operate the District, such as the cost of replacing fire trucks and maintaining facilities.
- The District is in severe financial distress of its own making. The District continued to run through its reserves as pension expenses grew and revenues were reduced.
- Retired Contra Costa County Treasurer-Tax Collector, William Pollacek, shared his candid insights about the District's finances here.
- Only 3.3% of the District's calls are for fires. The vast majority of their calls are for medical calls. They send a $1,000,000 truck and crew to these events where an ambulance with a trained paramedic will also be sent. This is a very expensive form of duplicative care. It is up to the District to determine how to best provide services but there are a number of models out there that should be considered by an objective outside source. Attached is the ConFire incident summary for calendar year 2011. 2011 Incident Summary (3).pd
- Over many years the District has been living beyond its means. There has been a lot of talk about declining revenues for the District but in the peak year of the property tax boom (FY 2007-08) the District still spent 5 million more than it took in. District revenue is less, but pension costs are now (including pension related debt) $26 million and continue to grow. Retiree health expenses make up another $7.6 million. The Chief revised a budget in August and IT STILL SHOWS THAT THE DISTRICT WILL NOT BE SAVED BY THIS MEASURE.Chief_Louder's_revised_budget_Aug_2012_annotated.pdf
- The Chief wrote in his budget statement: “In real terms, the rate increase adds $5.5 million in costs to the District’s FY 2011-12 operating budget. The employer pension rates for FY 2012-13 continue to INCREASE AT AN UNSUSTAINABLE RATE (emphasis added) – from 32.3% in FY 2011-12 to 40.8% in FY 2012-13 for Safety Tier A." 10 Year CON FIRE Financial Summary from Twa.pdf
- CoCoTAX has also raised concerns about UNsustainability of the District's capital investments, due to delays in replacement of trucks and maintenance of facilities. A huge backlog has been created for needed replacement vehicles and building repairs.
This is why we urge a NO vote on Measure Q.