An altered photograph is making its round on social media and websites that mimics a recent informational flyer sent out by the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District.
Posted on the Contra Costa Times website, here is a look at the flyer posted by Dave Roberts, a known advocate against the fire departments parcel taxes.
The actual flyer looks like this.
In reviewing the photograph presented by Mr. Roberts, I find it to be a disturbing mindset and disgusting portrayal of firefighters. Its unfortunate Mr. Roberts has crossed the line with his rhetoric because it’s simply not true in terms of the message it sends by opening up ones wallet for service.
He also changed the fire district name to “East Contra Costa Protection Racket” which says a lot about his character which has not changed in the two-plus years of misinformation he has spread about the fire district, salaries, overtime pay and pensions. His lies and misinformation he spread helped defeat Measure S as well as Measure Q.
While we certainly can disagree about a parcel tax with the pros and cons, we cannot assault and defame a firefighters character with lies. That is the lowest of lows.
The reality is the opposite of the flyer is true because of a firefighter’s personality will not allow death to intentionally occur based off an outcome of a tax measure. I’ve been around firefighters to know that even when they mentally down from the politics behind the scenes, when that alarm rings all is forgotten and they go at an incident 100% focused only on the task at hand.
In fact, all firefighters in all of Contra Costa County will actually work harder when stations are closed later this year to ensure public safety needs are met.
I say this with the most utmost respect to my firefighter friends when I say firefighters are their own worst enemies when it comes to a tax measure because they work to hard to protect the public and the public sees little to no change in service when layoffs occur and stations are closed. This has why East County has not felt the pain of previous station closures because of the outstanding job firefighters have done when with just a five station model. Remember, the District used to have eight stations just a few years back.
Why can I say the public has not felt the pain, because a recent poll says so. They have a public approval rating of 75% according to polling done presented at the February Board meeting.
Considering the graphic used the ECCFPD logo to defame the agency, I would encourage the Fire District Board to seek legal action against Mr. Roberts. As a former journalist, he should know better. Even worse, the Contra Costa Times has left the graphic up on its website and has not removed it.
Going forward, lets have an honest debate the funding of a fire department, but lets leave the assault on a firefighters character out of it.
By Michael Burkholder