Aug 30, 2018
by Deborah Taylor-French
Rancho Adobe Fire Protection District has operated responsibly for many years, and has been an excellent steward of the public’s trust. However, the District faces a severe financial crisis that could lead to drastic measures, including laying off personnel and closing stations.
If property values decline in the future, our financial shortfalls could be even worse. Future needs for staff retention, new capital equipment, and overdue capital improvements to stations will impose additional strains on the budget. Also, RAFPD could better protect the lives and health of residents by adding paramedic ambulance service.
● Major budget shortfall in beginning in FY 2018/19
● Potential loss of $300,000 Graton Casino revenue in two years
● Possibility of station closures – response times can double
● Employee retention:
Engineers and Captains paid 22% less salary than neighboring departments
Part-time firefighters paid minimum wage and no benefits.
Losing staff to larger agencies frequently.
● Growth in Cotati, Rohnert Park and SSU Increased demand on public safety.
More people, more housing, taller buildings.
● Capital improvement projects; equipment replacement
Deferred maintenance long overdue.
The need to replace firefighting equipment in the future.
● Current $40 parcel tax inadequate
Current measure 24 years old. Worth $23.02 in 1993 dollars
Neighboring districts pay parcel taxes from $70 to $520.
No cost of living adjustment.
Ballot initiatives to increase assessment have failed by narrow margin.
• Explore efficiencies to be gained by services shares with neighboring districts and departments.
• Work to ensure Graton Casino mitigation funds are continued for another five-year period.
• Ask SSU to begin paying for services it has long enjoyed at no cost.
• Ask Green Music Center to also pay its fair share for services.
• Attempt to get Sonoma County to contribute more than its current share of tax revenues.
• Propose a ballot initiative for a parcel tax increase that would help the District maintain services even if the Casino funds disappear and property values decline.
Presented by the Administrative Staff and Board of Directors, Rancho Adobe Fire Protection District, February 2018.
Contact: Jennifer Ober, Administrative Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org (707) 795-6011.
September 5th: Penngrove Fire Station Time: 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
October 10th: Liberty Fire Station Time: 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
October 24th: Penngrove Fire Station Time: 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
October 29th: Cotati Fire Station Time: 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
NOTE: Agenda items will include state of the District, financial outlook for the future, possible rolling station closure.
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