Rodeo-Hercules Fire District Benefit Assessment Passes, Station 75 to Reopen

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Rodeo Hercules Fire

The Rodeo-Hercules Fire Board announced a victory at last night’s board meeting on the passing of a benefit assessment for Fire and Emergency Services.

The assessment, which was approved by the board at the same meeting, will bring up to a million dollars of much needed revenue to the Fire District. As with other Fire Districts in the county, the Rodeo-Hercules Fire District was forced to close one of its two fire stations due to the loss of property tax revenue after the housing market crash of 2008.

With successfully passing a ballot measure and the awarding of a SAFER grant, the Fire District will be hiring 9 new firefighters and will re-open fire station 75 in October of this year.

The Rodeo-Hercules Fire District is made up of two stations. Station 76 located in Hercules and the currently shuttered Fire Station 75 in Rodeo.

This is great news to the community of Rodeo and the areas surrounding them. The battalion has experienced the closure of two fire stations; one in the City of Pinole and the other being the Rodeo fire station.

“This puts another much needed resource back in service and couldn’t come at a better time,” says Vince Wells, President of the United Professional Firefighters of Contra Costa County, Local 1230. Battalion 7 was once made up of 6 fire stations and has been down to 4 for the last couple years. Bringing one of those resources back this year will be much appreciated by the citizens and the firefighters who work in the area.

Congratulations to the Fire Chief, Board of Directors, the Firefighters of Local 1230, and the citizens who supported this measure. It was a worthwhile effort and these efforts will result in the increase of the number of firefighters on the street, the reduction of response times, and safer working conditions for the firefighters who serve Rodeo and the communities of West County.

Source
contracostafirefighters

 Editors Note:

Here is the breakdown of what people would pay:

  • Single-family houses: $82 a year
  • Condos and apartments, $46.93
  • Stores, $60.30 per one-fifth acre

31 COMMENTS

  1. Nice to see the residents of this area actually get it! Hopefully the same will happen out here.

    Ok..time for the naysayers rhetoric. Bring it on, Spin your tales, tell your imaginary stories and make up the facts to suit your argument. We are always amused by them and by you.

    • Much needed revenue indeed!

      Fire District Board Passes Tax Increase to Sustain $263,000 Median Annual Compensation – http://unionwatch.org/fire-district-board-passes-tax-increase-to-sustain-263000-median-annual-compensation/

      It was very unfair for the chief to only make $345,000 in 2012 for overseeing this 15 person department. Even his raise to $395,000 in 2013 might not have been enough. At least this new tax will give the district the much needed revenue to continue doing their jobs!

      If they run out of money in the next few years, I will support that tax increase too. And those who are against it support people dying in fires! I believe in paying firefighters at as much as they want, especially with other people’s money.

      • TL,

        Exaggerate much? Think you can trick people by printing innuendos, half truths or deceptive commentary? Well welcome to our little part of east county where that B.S. doesn’t fly.

        The fire chief you are referring to (Charles Hanley) had a salary of 167,708.00 as of last year-2013 in case you were wondering. Far from the “395,000” you insinuated for 2013. That’s right, this data comes straight from the public salary data base your beloved CCTimes hosts. But then again taking things out of context is what you tried to do. Consider your effort an “epic fail”.

        I guess the fine folks over in that part of the county didn’t fall for your B.S. either. They VOTED through a democratic process to properly fund their small fire district.

        Public salaries are not the problem. It’s people like you that are the problem.

        What a rube.

      • TL, or can I call you Tough Love?

        Thanks for taking a break from the screechy, anti-union hard right swamp that is Unionwatch.org to visit this little corner of the blogosphere.

        You are not the garden variety of internet troller we usually see around here, so in that respect it’s refreshing.

        Let’s click off a couple of the deceptive debating tactics to start.

        Case in point #1 – citing “median annual” rather than average. Which is a deliberate attempt to inflate the number.

        Case in point #2 – an oldie but goodie, citing fully loaded costs of public sector employees while offering no comps in the private sector. Deliberately leaving the false comparison of fully loaded public costs to simple salaries people are familiar with in the private sector.

        Let’s try to have an honest debate for a change. Starting with the first point. A professional fire fighter with a few years experience is equivalent to a college grad engineer in say, Silicon Valley.

        The fully loaded cost of that Engineer in SV: $20k/mo or right about the same as that fire fighter. If you don’t believe me, ping your buddy Ed Ring, Executive Director at Unionwatch.org who has both Silicon Valley and finance backgrounds to work with. See how accurate the number really is.

        So Google has several thousand of these running around their campus on any given business day.

        Now I know what you’re thinking. We’re talking taxpayer funded fire services versus a private sector corporation.

        That argument is lame. Always has been. Google is funded through taxpayers as well, just a little more indirectly. That is unless you want to claim you have never used a computer or a search engine or bought from any Fortune 500 company who has paid millions to Google in advertising dollars that ultimately come out of a consumer’s pocket.

        We have pretty clearly established that:

        a)Fire fighter salaries are not at all different than comparable private sector for equivalent education or professional skill set within this region.

        and

        b)That the long overused argument to sanctify tax dollars for government services is a ruse. Since there is no real distinction between those and dollars spent on goods and services in the private sector.

        As for the Chief’s salary, well he’s the equivalent of a private company CEO. While your out of context citation of his compensation is brazen in its attempt to stoke the anger of the readership, keep in mind the average compensation of a CEO in California is $1.5 million. That’s average, from 1 person companies all the way up. Which would put him well below average in a comp comparison, now wouldn’t it?

        If you want to cite ridiculous outlier data points, how about a 13 person company that was Instagram getting bought for a billion dollars. Somebody has to pay for that. And that somebody is who? The taxpayers. Through ad sells on the Facebook platform, their new owners. Ad costs paid by corps are passed on to the consumers of their products and services. Can we at least agree on this basic economic fact?

        Ahhh, but the obvious rebuttal!

        You get discretionary control over those private sector expenditures, right!?

        Then please explain the supposed alternatives available for the effective monopolies(utilities) like PG&E or Comcast cable. Or maybe you could identify the consumer friendly oil company who is peddling markedly cheaper product and giving the consumers choice in that vital commodity item?

        A couple points about the groups you follow and your internal mindset which I’ll quantify in dollars and cents. That seems to be the overarching priority in your world, even eclipsing common sense. But to do so requires some degree of assumption on my part.

        You are 1)anti-union and see the pension issue as means to an end to tilt the table in power or 2)you are just an ideologue who doesn’t understand the political process and the unconstitutional nature of the demands made by the like people within your sphere.

        One thing that does not require speculation. You are willing to risk public safety and deliberately put hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Californians in harm’s with pursuit of government services on the cheap.

        That’s pretty stupid any way you slice it. In my opinion, natch.

        Your local cohorts in the Contra Costa Taxpayers Association have beat the drum on this “pension reform” line for many years. Yet to this day not one of them can verbalize in any level of detail what that means.

        Can you?

        There can be no debate, pension reform has taken place. But the results of that reform take time to show. Further demands from your group which draw false lines in the sand and attempt false polling at the ballot box are reprehensible.

        Pension reform is not on the ballot in either Confire, Hercules or ECCFPD. A “No” vote at the ballot box does not have the affect of forcing governing bodies to break all kinds of State and Federal laws to further chop costs which are beyond their control. What it does is confuse the voter and starve a vital public safety service with no regard to the ancillary costs to the taxpayer that come later.

        At the end of the day the taxpayer is both less safe and poorer as a result, with you hoping he doesn’t figure out who fooled him into that position.

        That takes hubris. Hope you don’t believe in karma or I’d advise not going out in a thunderstorm.

        But rather than go further into the weeds, let’s make some real dollars and cents comparisons for the average family’s household budgets in Contra Costa County.

        On average:

        Per household spent on fire services for ConFire: $40/mo. give or take
        For ECCFPD it’s about half or $20-$22/mo.

        Other typical household expenses in comparison:

        Homeowners/fire insurance: $120/mo or 3x-5x
        Gas/Electric for average size home: $300/mo or 7x-15x
        Triple play cable bills(phone, internet, tv): $200/mo or 5x-7x
        Family cellphone plans: $175/mo 5x-8x
        Monthly gasoline costs avg: $275-$300/mo 7x-12x

        I could go on, but we’ll keep to those few essentials. If you disagree with any of these, I’ll be happy to provided citations of respected private sector research or government agency reports. These are from memory.

        So in your infinite wisdom and in light of those costs cited above, we should be focusing all our energy on beating up the lowest cost service??

        If your California Policy Institute brethren were REALLY interested in protecting the California taxpayers, why aren’t they going after the out of control cost drivers? Why does your group protect oil companies who hand out $400 million dollar retirement plans to departing CEOs, as was the case with Lee Raymond at Exxon? Was that pass the hat at work money that funded his golden parachute? Or was it the taxpayers who paid for their product?

        I could go on, but I think the point is made.

        Orgs like UnionWatch are just dark money front groups exploiting IRS non-profit status to promote a corporate agenda. Your voice is just the flipside of the unions, except, that corporations outspend unions 10:1 in elections. You advocate trying to make it so there is no counter to your message. You also like to hide behind BS hypocritical causes like demanding transparency, while practicing nothing of the sort in your own advocacy.

        Since you decided to weigh in, Mr. Tough Love, and since you are not the garden variety troll who haunts these pages, perhaps you want to step up and address the inconsistencies in your platform and your sales pitch? If you did, it would be a welcome first.

        But I’m going to guess that you will either quietly leave as quickly as you arrived, or you’ll go with the standard Plan B of changing the subject.

        If you were at all honest about the costs of government services you would be talking about the cost drivers. It is not a fire fighter or a fire chief who is driving up the cost of pensions or OPEB. They play a very, very small role in the big picture and in the extreme case that is ECCFPD it’s pure insult on your part to even suggest compensation is the problem here.

        It is the private insurance and health care industry. Instead of railing on symptoms, a more honest discussion would center around the disease that is a runaway for profit healthcare industry. But I suspect you don’t play by those rules.

        For the readers who didn’t tip over asleep from reading this far, I know very little about unionwatch.org. The bios of their Board of Directors told me all I needed to know about where they are coming from. But they hang in the same circle as CoCoTax.

        So the question you should be asking yourselves is, why do companies like AT&T, Shell Oil, Comcast, Chevron and the like hide behind organizations like this? Why do they send their pitch men out to rail on a $40/mo service that could save your life while at the same time the cost of their product or service has doubled in less than 10 years?

        If you don’t care for that fact, you’ll really love this. According to a third party independent study, that cable bill that is already insulting is expected to rise another 70% over the next 6 years. But Comcast’s shills like Mr. Tough Love here will still be telling you in 2020 that it is those greedy fire fighters who are to blame for your financial squeeze.

        Lovely, huh?

        Starting to get the picture on how you’re being played?

        Don’t get me wrong. I have no problem with free enterprise and to a degree companies charging what the market will bear. But I take great offense to someone stepping in to pee on my shoes and try to tell me it’s raining.

        If you looked at the numbers above and you really think the $40 is the figure you should be obsessing over, I have to question your analytical, if not your basic math skills. If you’re starting to think that maybe guys like Mr. Tough Love here or Mr. Alex Aliferis of CoCoTax are pulling your leg, start making them explain their rhetoric.

        If the words “pension reform” are all it takes to set you off with no idea what that means or what it really could save you in the pocketbook, well, remain blindly aligned with the people who pull their strings. Because while they make you look left, rest assured they are picking your pocket on the right with their agenda.

        On the off chance you want to know who the wizards are behind the curtain, you could start with these. The Executive Board members of CoCoTax. The people who give Mr. Aliferis his marching orders. The names will be different for unionwatch, but the industry representation the same.

        If you like what you’re paying for their products, call them up and thank them. If you don’t care for the fact they are advocating to reduce your public safety services while doing little to nothing to reign in the cost of their own products(and their internal salaries which push them up), then tell them you’re not pleased.

        But if this problem is ever going to be fixed, voters are going to have to stop buying the BS in the CCTimes and these front groups. Start asking pointed questions of the people responsible for the message and question their motives. Looking out for your financial interests isn’t in the cards.

        This CoCoTax contact list which is part of the public record. If the information is out of date(comes from 2009) then I trust Mr. Aliferis will be able to get you the current contact information. And if he won’t………well, draw your own conclusions.

        But be patient with him. He’s a little tied up threatening Hercules with a lawsuit over the recent ballot measure. Because when it comes to the will of the people, at the end of the day you don’t count in their eyes.

        President:
        Pete Babiak
        Sharkeye Technology(Formerly LHComputer)
        838 Escobar Street
        Martinez, CA 94553
        Tel 925-335-5125
        Fax 925-228-5515
        [email protected] com

        Vice President:
        Will Rigney
        Director – External Affairs
        AT&T
        1611 Clayton Road, Room 214-A
        Concord , CA 94520
        Tel 925-671-2465
        Fax 925-680-1107
        [email protected] com

        Secretary:
        Pete Conrad
        Sr. Excise Tax Analyst
        Chevron
        Finance Shared Services,
        Excise Tax
        P 0 Box F-Sec 610, Rm.
        3404B
        Concord, CA 94524-2056
        Tel. 925-827-7056
        Fax 925-827-7267
        [email protected]

        Jay Clements
        Manager, West Coast Business
        Analysis
        ConocoPhillips
        1380 San Pablo Avenue
        Rodeo, CA 94572-1299
        Tel. 510-245-4558
        Cell. 925-766-3392
        [email protected]

        Larry Lippow <— Landlord supplying below market rate office space for CoCoTax
        Lippow Development Co
        838 Escobar Street
        P. 0 Box 469
        Martinez, CA 94553
        Tel. 925-335-5122
        Fax 925-228-5515
        [email protected]

        Arne Simonsen <— wave to the fans, Arne
        813 Putnum Road
        Antioch, CA 94509
        Tel. 925-779-0534
        Fax 925-779-0905
        [email protected]

        Richard Coleman
        President
        Biomed, Inc
        2352 Stanwell Drive
        Concord, CA 94520
        Tel.: 925-609-2820 Ext 203
        Fax 925-393-7798
        [email protected]

        Wil Hardee
        Director of Public Affairs
        PG&E
        1330 Broadway, Suite 1535
        Oakland, CA 94612
        Tel 510-437-2551
        [email protected] com

        Scott Gudmundsen
        Manager of Finance
        Shell Refining Co
        P O. Box 711
        Martinez , CA 94553
        Tel 925-313-3301
        robert [email protected] corn

        Dave Fry
        Logistics Engineer
        Tesoro Refining and Marketing
        150 Solano Way
        Martinez, CA 94553-1487
        Tel 925-370-3246
        Fax 925-372-3139
        [email protected]

        W.B. Vick <—–a non-resident? Surely watching out for _your_ local interests, right?
        Manager
        Downstream Property Taxes
        Chevron Services Company
        P O. Box 285
        Houston , TX 77001
        Tel. 713-754-5738
        Fax 713-754-5777
        [email protected]

        Philip Arndt
        Government Affairs Manager
        Diablo Valley Area
        Comcast
        2500 Bates Ave
        Concord, CA 94520
        Tel. 925-349-3335
        [email protected] com

        Alan Gardner
        Manager – Accounting & Finance
        USS-POSCO Industries
        P. O. Box 471
        Pittsburg , CA 94565
        Tel. 925-439-6710
        Fax 925-439-6032
        [email protected] com

        Just a who's who of people who are watching out for the little guy, don't you think?

        For the bonus kicker, guess which political activist group is the ONLY one to get private audience with the County's Grand Jury when they are seated? I'll give you a hint, it's a revolving door of GJ members with a certain taxpayer group!

        No possible undue influence there.

        So what do you think, TL? Will they let me do a copy and paste of this for guest commentary over at unionwatch.org?

        Too rain-on-your-parade-ish?

        • What a fantastic post! Long, but definitely worth the read!!!! You should send a copy of this to the clueless editorial board over at the Times.

          Too bad it will be lost on the purposely ignorant.

          Thanks for posting it.

        • @Don’t Feed Trolls… depending on what the Taxpayer Association does with a couple of the November Measures, we will use this post to context them directly instead of dealing with their Executive Director.

        • Epic rant. Very wise to not address the facts and go off on tangent, instead.

          Of the precious few words you spent actually addressing the facts, it was pretty embarrassingly wrong.

          I’m not sure you understand the difference between median and average, median is more representative of what those in the middle receive. Said differently, average will be higher because of top end pay, like the 400k a year chief.

          So the median is 263k. The avg, using the data provided by the dept itself, is $279k. Remember, you are alleging the author used median to “deliberately inflate.” This is rather revealing. You know, just know, this article is written by someone who hates pensions and in your words, “deliberately inflates” the numbers to make things look bad. Yet, he used a metric that was lower than the avg. If that doesn’t give you pause about your righteous fury, not sure anything else I say will.

          I don’t know what Tough Love is, I don’t have any idea as to what you are talking about in the rest of your rant. But it reveals one thing – when you copy and paste the Dept’s payroll report and highlight the #s, the defenders of the system respond by running as far from those facts as possible and going off on how everything is run by an evil group that hates pensions or something.

          The one bright spot was at least you don’t pretend his base salary is the only part of his compensation, so thanks for that.

          • Do you always refer to yourself in third party? ie. “the author…..”

            Tough Love is the alias you use on the unionwatch website, is it not?

            Since we are faulting extreme pay examples, I ask again why the discrimination against public sector employees on your part? Extreme examples of private sector pay are supported through dollars given up by the very same taxpayers. Those have a much, much larger impact on household costs and overall standard of living at the end of the day. You want to dodge that fact.

            I realize that is inconvenient for your slanted agenda, but I talked about absolute costs within context so as to better explain the full impact on a household budget. But you will have none of that because it distracts from your goal……..to attack the public sector unions.

            I could go on about the avoidance of a number of other issues, but your most recent response has demoted you from my earlier lofty analysis.

            In that respect you are no different than the garden variety of troll here who either refuses or is incapable of discussing the issues in proper and full context.

            I have little patience for the discriminatory and deceptive tactics employed by the right wing extremist mindset, if you couldn’t tell. Your ultimate agenda has nothing to do with saving the average taxpayer any money.

            It’s why you engage in this copy/paste/highlight of outlying data points without context to support your propaganda. It’s all you’ve got. Context is not your friend, which is why you didn’t address any of it.

          • TL aka: Tough Love,

            It looks to me like you done been called out! Lol!

            DFTT definitely has your number.

  2. Too bad your article left out the fact that fire district are not allowed to for Benefit Assessment Districts under Prop 218.

    • BS.

      Arne, if you bothered to read the engineering report that was done in support of this benefit assessment, you would know what you just posted is a lie, or at best an uneducated opinion.

      http://rhfd.org/download_files/RHFD%20ER%2003%2005%202014%20.pdf

      The legal assessment of Prop 218 is on page 5 along with the cited case law. Your OPINION on the matter is not worth more than the 2 cents of effort you put into posting it. Only a judge in a court of law can make the final determination.

      You CoCoTax drones are a menace to public safety because you put saving a buck before the general welfare of the public. That’s _MY_ opinion. Worth exactly what you paid for it.

  3. Perhaps a better use of your time would be better focused on your Antioch City Council and lying going on with the budget in regards to Measure C and the hiring of police officers instead of putting out misinformation regarding the law on Benefit Assessments. They have actually become quite popular for Fire Districts due to the Prop 13 allocation issues. If your not allowed to have a benefit assessment because you say so then I say Antioch is not allowed to have measure c funds because the council lied and the city manager is moving around the budget from one line to the next.

  4. @Arne,

    Not true. I suggest you go back and read the law. Also, according to the ECCFPD consultant, they are legal and rarely fail. 🙂

  5. The problem is at it has been for the past several years since Desaulner and his union buddies gave away expensive early unaffordable retirement to certain public employee departments. The problem cannot be fixed with taxes.The golden parachutes of yesterday are killing services today.The salaries are not a problem, the golden pensions are. Make all the new taxes legal or illegal no one but government allows retirement so early and so easy. Unlike the private working taxpayers, public employees can even manipulate the system and not go to jail for it. Tax on all you want, raise salaries all you want, the problem is unsustainable high pensions at early ages. That’s a fact.

    • Chuck, Chuck, Chuck,

      I’ll go through it once again since it appears you are not grasping the fundamentals. I’ll assume most of the other readers here already have.

      First and foremost, the public safety retirement was not a product of Mark DeSaunier or anyone in Contra Costa County. It was introduced by the California Highway Patrol at a State. It quickly became a statewide “industry standard” because it enabled public safety (police and fire) to retire at a safe age, before age related injuries occurred. Prior to the public safety retirement enhancement a large majority of public safety workers were retiring “tax free” due to injuries related to the physical nature of job. Public employers cannot discriminate due to an employee’s age, therefore the safety retirement serves as a rational enticement for employees to retire before reaching their 60’s or 70’s where they would be at increased risk of getting injured on the job. Public safety retirements are in no way, shape or form, “Golden Parachutes”. Apparently that is just another catch phrase that you are taking out of context. Possibly because you don’t really know what it means.

      Second, in east county you have never paid the proper amount of tax to fund the service you received and now expect. You have basically been getting a dollars worth of service for .50 cents. Now that you are asked to pay the fair market rate you cry, whine and invent scenarios which simply don’t exist. No one, I repeat no one in east county fire is retiring with a golden parachute or “lucrative” retirement. East co. firefighters work for peanuts and fund their retirement with at least 25 percent of their own salary. This leaves them with little more than the starting wage at In and Out Burger. Nice huh? Feel better Chuck?

      Thirdly you wrote, “no one but government allows retirement so early and so easy.” You are kidding right? Have you not read hundreds of examples of private companies that have allowed everyone from CEO’s to day to day employees retire with millions? News flash Chuck it happens every day and is where the term “Golden Parachute” was originally coined. You don’t think private industry manipulates the system? Maybe you slept through the dot com bubble, housing market melt down or great financial recession all of which were driven, caused and manipulated by the private sector.

      I’m sorry to break it to you Chuck but the only thing that you presented as fact is that you don’t know what you are talking about. The fact that you may actually believe your opinion is “fact” is where the real problem exists. Until you figure that simple fact out you will continue to talk in circles. In short, you cannot back up your own opinion.

      Thank you for giving me yet another opportunity to educate you and any other reader that happens by this post. You make this far too easy!

    • Poor Chuck. Reduced to old disproved lies is all he’s down to.

      There is a reason the fire fighting profession is structured as a young person’s job. Because the human body isn’t up to the strenuous physical requirements as they approach age 60.

      Ever use a little common sense? Like looking at professional sports figures. Why do you rarely see one play past the age of 40? Because their body is no longer up to the task and they become injury prone. The average career of an NFL running back is like 7 years. Because the human body can’t handle the environment abuse. In their case, the constant pounding.

      Fire fighting is also highly strenuous on the human body. There are also serious environmental threats and abuse playing a role. Heart disease is the number one killer of firemen over the age of 40 for a reason.

      But Chuck here thinks pushing out retirement age to 60 or more in light of those facts is a good idea. I guess until you see them dropping like flies right in front of your eyes you’re not happy, Chuck? Or more likely, you just don’t care.

      You see this as just another expendable portion of the labor force who can be used and abused to suit your needs.

      That mentality is disgusting and the reason I consider you just a garden variety troll here, Chuckie. You care nothing about the fire fighter’s health. Only about your wallet.

  6. Facts are something that few people can’t deal with. Math is a fact. Math always tells the truth. By doing the math comes a factual result that has proven itself by the calculations.Pensions depend on correct math. Today they are eating up services meant for public protection. Both Stan and Clue touched upon this fact by stating there never was enough money to support certain public services that deserve and allow those workers to retire early. There is no debate about those facts or workers as they were presented, minus the personal attacks of course. I merely stated that the fact remains pensions are non sustainable as is today. The better factual question is why our civic leaders knowingly continue the spend our money faster and more than they receive it. No one who runs a household can do this without filing bankruptcy. That is factual math.It is kind of like the trillions of dollars in debt that will burden the younger generation for their entire life unless they stand up and say no more. If they don’t their children will live a life of poverty and hell paying for services already rendered to you and me promised by politicians. ECT is half correct. My mind is made up because I have read the math facts on this. It mirrors a pyramid scheme where the current top people benefit until the bottom figures out they have been scammed by politicians, then collapse begins. This is where we are right now. The beginning bankruptcy of several cities, counties, districts, etc. that over spend what they do not have in the first place. It doesn’t matter that much to me because my life is about over. Still I expect to exercise my rights to an opinion while this country is still free. By the looks of comments from liberals extremists and many others, freedom may end sooner than you think.

    • Nice rant, Chuck.

      We’re talking about local fire suppression resources, You wander into babbling about the national debt and poverty.

      Not that those issues are not important. But implying that the underpaid ECCFPD fire fighters are somehow responsible for that is about as ridiculous as it gets.

      Once again, you think you have it figured out when you don’t really have a clue.

      The formulas that were set in place to fund this fire District were done in 1978-79 post Prop 13. At the time this was largely a rural area. Nobody, to my knowledge, had the foresight to envision this becoming the bedroom community that it is now. So rates were set at volunteer fire department levels.

      That worked fine while it was a sleepy little area in the last century. It does not work today with the massive influx of people and traffic congestion that exists today. This is where you and most of the naysayers go off the rails. You can’t adapt. Evolution eventually takes care of people who think like you, but the rest of us who are willing to adapt have to suffer in the meantime.

      Previously you said you recently bought a new home. So when you bought that home you demanded a 1978 price on it, didn’t you? Or did your “math” go on vacation that week? If you didn’t pay that 30 year old cost, then it clearly shows what a confused individual you really are. The selective mentality that some things should cost the same as they did 30 years ago while others should not. Maybe instead of engaging in public therapy here, you should hire a professional counselor to teach you a few basics in life coping skills and reality?

      Let’s apply some Chuck logic to a related issue. The cost of healthcare in America. It’s related because that is the real cost driver here that is pushing up the costs of all government services including fire.

      So let’s say Chuck is told he needs open heart surgery. Chuck asks what it’s going to cost. Chuck is told $200,000. Chuck thinks it should only cost $30,000 or what it did some 30 years ago. Chuck is not happy and throws a fit. He engages in protest by not agreeing to have the operation, all the while protesting that the Surgeon’s rates are too high.

      Two months later Chuckie is dead. Taking a dirt nap because he thought standing on some logically broken principle was more important.

      That’s kinda where we are at with the fire department. Costs have risen in 30 years. Costs that are outside the department’s control. People like Chuck are not happy and instead of putting theirs and their family’s safety as the top priority, they are going to engage in some half baked protest by denying funding. That would be acceptable if they weren’t so set on blindly blaming others.

      The fire fighters are not the ones to scapegoat. They don’t control the cost drivers. If you’re going to fault them for trying to eek out a middle class standard of living, and it appears Chuck is doing just that, then you have to be called for what you are……an idiot.

      So stations will close. Stuff will burn up. Some people will inevitably die. But Chuck will have saved a couple of bucks with his protest.

      You’ve got some weird priorities there, Chuckster.

      Bankruptcy is not now nor will it ever be an option for this District. It you understood the solvency metric of a Chapter 9 bankruptcy you would understand why. So all the arm waving on that idea can stop at any time. You just look like loons without a clue. People unwilling to educate themselves on the full scope of the issue and the viable options for solutions.

    • Chuck,

      You sound confused. Actually math is a variable; The sum of which depends on an array of factors. The example you raised was pensions. However the math involved must take into consideration many variables such as contributions amounts, variable rates of return and most importantly the duration of contributions and withdrawal. There is no constant in that equation.

      Stating that pensions are not sustainable without the exact figures to plug in defeats any fact that you are implying math would merit. Since all of the mathematical and economic factors are moving targets, the absolute becomes nothing more than a guess or at best a estimate.
      Your confusion stems from viewing a snapshot instead of watching the entire film.
      Those “civic leaders” have more information and more industry experts at their disposal than you give them credit for, filling in those blanks where you simply assume certain factors.

      You made a analogy about pensions without even realizing it. Take your home for instance. Like many people, you could not afford to buy it. That is to say you could not afford to buy it out right, correct? Then you learned how it works. What amortization, variable and fixed rates meant amongst other things. Therefore you were able to afford a home, by spreading out your purchase over 30 years. So while initially purchasing a home (outright) was unsustainable by your own definition, financing one was not. Pensions work off many of the same principles which industry experts, civil leaders, and many people understand. Given enough time you might also.

      In the end, they are not running a household, they are running a business which operates extremely different than your personal views dictate. You believe that you have it figured out, yet your statements say something quite different. No offense but you seem to be a “headline” kinda guy. You might want to start doing a bit more research into the information contained below the headlines.

  7. ECV, For second I thought you were smarter than that. Then I got to the part of the home mortgage loan example, laughed, and found out how dumb you are. Your home loan example reveals the stupidity of taking out a loan for more than you can afford or pay back. The housing crisis with stupid loans like that created the last depression recession comes to mind. Government in many places are spending that way. Thus, bankruptcy as I stated. You and the other DS would do much better in a communist or dictatorship society. You know the ones that always crash and fail when the government has no one else to take money from.

    Buy a Clue has the same philosophy. Spend now and figure how to pay later. Just the stupid statement about the district can never go bankrupt is pretty lame. He must have the same mentality as Obama.So while both of you spend money you don’t have and then ask the public to give you some more to spend, I will wave my hands and appeal to the more intelligent part of society that believes in spending only what you have and try not letting morons like yourself ruin the future of generations to come.

    For the record Clue. I never said anything of the sort that blames the firemen. They are innocent victims of your stupid theory about over spending to make it alright. Eventually, you have to pay the piper.

    If both of you mouths really want a challenge. Use your self declared intelligence to make the state or county revamp the tax distribution. The state did it with redevelopment money and you didn’t even see a return to source on that one. Go ahead and take the challenge if you think you DSs are so smart. It sure beats flapping your jaws with spin comments and talking down to people on here.

    • Still ranting about unrelated nonsense, Chuck? Now it’s Obama. You got some issues, Bud.

      Make the State and County? So you didn’t read a lick of the earlier posts? Like I’ve said many times, it’s too bad their isn’t some basic IQ test before people are allowed to vote. The low information types like you are more than willing and quite able of being duped by orgs like CoCo Tax into voting against their own best interests. I have no doubt you’ll be one of the first whining when this goes to hell with the first big fire.

      When you go to such great lengths trying to argue that the $20/mo you pay now for fire is just too much to pay for a life saving public safety service, then you’re clearly arguing from the twilight zone,

      That is underscored by the fact that you suggest someone else go to Sacramento and fix the distribution formula problem.

      You can’t have it both ways, Chuck, One minute you’re insisting they already get enough revenue and the next you say go get more. Talking out of both sides of your face isn’t a great credibility move.

      You speak purely from emotion based on BS some org with an agenda fed you. It has little to do with real math or your claim that you have any meaningful understanding of it.

      Carry on, Chuck.

    • Chuck,

      I realized you were ignorant in half that time. Welcome to the modern world.

      For starters, do you even know how to post a response on this blog? Your replies to comments don’t even post where they should. C’mon Chuck, for such a self-proclaimer you might want to at least figure that one out! Hint: Click on the little word that says “Reply” accompanied by a tiny down arrow.

      So you’ve never heard of a 30 year mortgage (loan)? You are trying to tell us that the 90 percent of people that have home loans are “stupid”? Your words, not mine. Now that’s funny stuff! Then you spew on regarding “communists and dictators”…. You can’t honestly believe anyone would take you seriously by now. You certainly are challenged in more ways than one.

      Actually, Buy a Clue was correct in his assessment. Districts cannot go bankrupt. What is it that is so difficult to understand about that? Do you have a mental block or is it that you were hoping that bankruptcy would be the end result so you could take your ball and go home? Either way Chuck you lose. For the record, when a district goes under and ceases to provide services, the taxing mechanism (revenue and collection) stays in place until all debts are paid in full. Much to your disappointment, that is why they cannot and do not go “bankrupt”. If you want examples look at the healthcare districts that are no longer with us yet still collecting tax dollars. Perhaps you need to enroll in a financial course which explains credit, debt, bankruptcy or better yet government economics. That way you won’t appear to be stuck on stupid.

      And speaking of “challenges”, the only real challenge that Buy a Clue and I have is remotely trying to educate your special level of ignorance. You see Chuck, you are the odd man out. Waving your hands and flailing about is not considered normal behavior when it comes to trying to get your point across. You need to come to grips with the fact that your views are at odds with the way rational people operate. You obviously are angry at a lot of people. Perhaps you should get a clue as to why that is. It is no wonder you are so frustrated.

      p.s. I don’t make you look bad. You own that all by yourself.

  8. Stan,
    Just responding to ECV and Clue that money will fall from the heavens to pay its bills because the district can’t go bankrupt. Let’s face it according to ECV and Clue a tax is illegal so we are doomed and nothing can be done. According the ECV and Clue every idea that has been offered is unrealistic and by their superior intelligence should be ignored. ECV is also in wonderland regarding the 30 year loan. At first he says that’s how district spending works by mortgaging the future because you don’t know what costs are coming. Who would give money to a ship that is already under water. Maybe ECV is dreaming of another Obama bailout stimulus loan because the grants ran out. What he missed was loans are normally given out to responsible people with a credit history and collateral. Unlike his friends on the left who gave loans out to anyone with a name along with a free phone. The results of that are another reason districts are failing. Then he writes that the fire district can’t go bankrupt and even if there were no firemen and fire stations we would still have pay taxes to pay the district debt off. So I guess the ten million that it has already indebted itself for pensions remains the peoples problem. What he fails to state is the fire district still has an elected official conflicting with LAFCO law. I’m sure the attorney ECV and Clue LLD will balk at that one. Therefore, the entire county is on the debt hook when the commission drives this district into the ground. The only solution left is merge. These cohorts will still only provide personal attacks with no solution. They spend countless hours moaning about prop 13 and how unfair it is. People do not pay enough taxes, yet they have no desire to accept any change. They talk down to every idea that has surfaced, they sit high and mighty talking down to anyone who does not agree with. So to sum up what ECV and Clue are saying is, a tax assessment is illegal, the district will be sued, the money the district has is not enough for safe fire coverage, the ten million dollar pension debt has no affect on anything, the sky will fall, houses will burn, and eventually there will be no more firemen but we will still pay taxes with no service and the district will only exist to collect tax money that it has overspent this last ten years.

    I guess you guys have summed it up for us. No need to try saving the district. By your standards it is too far gone and illegal.

    • Chuck, you should really see somebody about that inferiority complex. Just because someone points out that you’re wrong, it’s no reason to have a public meltdown.

      By the by, the SAFER grant under which the District is being supported at this time was enacted during the Bush Administration. Perhaps studying the topic before commenting would cut down on your blog face plants? Ohhh, that’s right, you don’t research before commenting or voting on issues. I forgot.

      http://fas.org/sgp/crs/homesec/RL33375.pdf

      Pensions are just another term for deferred compensation. Not my opinion. Look it up. If Tools like Borenstein would use that term in his hit pieces we could be a little closer to having an honest discussion.

      In other words, they are pay/benefits that an employee/employer agree upon in the form of a legally binding labor contract. So when you and the clowns say you want to engage in “pension reform”, what you’re really saying is you have buyer’s remorse and you don’t want to hold up your end of the contract.

      Another btw, pensions do not disappear in a bankruptcy. See United Airlines. Ohh the corporation and the shareholders escaped the liability alright. They turfed it off to a federal guarantee agency, so now instead of being on United’s balance sheet, it’s all the taxpayers in the US who are now paying those pensions, through the PBGC, a Federal guarantee agency.

      I know what you’re thinking. But at least they were rewritten to a more sustainable level and “we taught those union people a lesson”! Think again, Einstein.

      http://www.pbgc.gov/wr/large/united/

      So keep thinking you’re going to screw them and get away from it. You’ll just pay in more indirect fashion. But you’ll probably be fat, dumb and happy about it because you don’t know any better.

      The phone thing is funny as the rant that will not die. Lifeline phone service has existed for decades. It was implemented by a Republican administration. Recently(ie. 2008) it was morphed to include wireless phones to reflect the 21st century evolution of phone technology. The program is called SafeLink Wireless. Now if I’m not mistaken a guy named Bush was running the show in 2008. But like horseshoes and hand grenades I guess you figure you just need to be close. Obama Derangement Syndrome(ODS) strikes again.

      You pretty much stuck on stupid with the whole merge thing. There aren’t any economies of scale there that will bridge the combined budget deficits to any serious degree. You claim you’re a big follower of math, but I’ve yet to see you cite even one actual number to dispute what I just stated.

      The potential illegality of a benefit assessment is nuanced. Depends on how the engineering report is written. Has to do with general benefits versus special benefits. Legalease that could never possibly be explained to a troll with an agenda. Your mind is already made up. Explaining it even to 5th grade level is a total waste. Because you are not here to learn or debate honestly. You’re here to push and agenda. You sound more like Gonzales with each passing post. The question is, will he pop in here now with the “someone told me my name was mentioned” line that has become classic.

      I’m still waiting for one of you to man up. Just admit that it’s not reform you’re looking for. You just want to stiff these people who have had your back. Just be honest about it for a change, Chuckie.

    • Wow…I can say one thing, Chuck should write for humor and parody magazines. His pointless, uninformed rants make me CHUCKle.

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