East Contra Costa Fire District Meeting Recap

In a short 45-minute meeting that began with three presentations, it followed by a discussion on the planned parcel tax outreach which will begin in the coming weeks that shed some light on their approach.

The board discussed the draft version of the flyer which I believe has some flaws. It may be to late to correct as its expected to be mailed out in a few weeks.

Board Member Eric Stonebarger created the biggest debate as he was adamant on changing a word in Chief Henderson’s message from “resources” to “reserves”. Personally, I do not understand this change because if they do this, it is counterproductive and essentially says “we have money”. Thus, it hurts their cause as this would be the first material to reach the community.

By definition, resource means “a source of supply or aid”. Meanwhile, reserves means “to keep back or save for future use”.

While the flyer is well intentioned, they are taking the wrong approach.

I understand they want to “educate” the community rather than “sell”. But education is boring; selling is impactful and will get people behind the cause to support our fire district much faster. It can also be argued that selling and education go hand-in-hand, but the Fire District needs to be bold and show why the parcel tax increase is a benefit, not tell why it’s a benefit.

The truth is, when you start to build support quickly, you can then focus more of your time energy on the hard sells later which they need 2/3 approval. Build a base through selling, then educate later.

An interesting tidbit that came from the discussion of the flyer was the staffing levels on the flyer states 54; however, they are currently at 48. Since the process of looking at a parcel tax bagan, due to the budget issues, they have already lost 6 staff members.

Other Agenda Items

Three gentlemen were awarded Citizen Commendations for assisting Fire Fighters with the August 4 fires in Knightsen and helping protect animals and shelters. If you can recall, multiple fires were occurring at that same time and resources were thin.

They then presented the Firefighter of the year award to Capt. Craig Auzenne of Brentwood.

Finally, a presentation was given for the Retirement of Paid on Call Assistant Chief Magdaleno ”Maggie” Fajardo with 44 years of service. He received the biggest ovation from those in attendance.

The board approved its 2012 schedule.

  • January 9, 2012
  • February 6, 2012
  • March 5, 2012
  • April 2, 2012
  • May 7, 2012
  • June 4, 2012
  • July 2, 2012
  • August 6, 2012
  • September 10, 2012
  • October 1, 2012
  • November 5, 2012
  • December 3, 2012

The next meeting will be held on December 5, 2011.

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About burkforoakley

I call it like I see it . I love my city, I love my community and I want what is best for the people around me. Do the right thing, I will support you. Do the wrong thing, I will oppose you!
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