Vice Mayor Barr Owns John Gonzalez In Forum Spat

Normally I do not repost comments from a Newspaper’s comments section, but this one has to be addressed as John Gonzales of Knightsen  is making accusations that Brentwood has “hidden funds” available to fund the fire department should Measure S fail.

Check out the back and forth below between Brentwood Vice Mayor Steve Barr and Gonzales. Clearly, Mr. Gonzales has fallen off his rocker one to many times and I would like to think Mr. Barr knows more about Brentwoods budget than Mr. Gonzales.

All comments occurred on the Brentwood Press website.

May 25, 2012
Do people really pay attention to where their tax dollars go or do they trust the money to be spent wisely? Did you know?Brentwood has money for fire suppression but chooses to use it on libraries, police, and recreation. None of the funds go to Fire. So if you are a resident that is in the City of Brentwood and is within one of the five CFD’s (Community facility districts) you will be shelling out for a third time more taxes if you pass measure S. You will also continue to pay county taxes for medical services and loose the quick response vehicles and their paramedics.Here is a section of the exact wording from the City document in one of the five CFD’s that brings in over 1.5 million dollars and NONE of it goes to the fire district.SERVICES

The following services to be provided in the CFD are in addition to those presently provided in the territory of the CFD.

I. Fire Suppression and Emergency Medical Services.

a) Fire fighting and emergency medical service personnel salaries, benefits, and other associated operations and maintenance costs which are needed for the daily activities and normal employment of these types of personnel.

This really sums up that even the City of Brentwood has chosen not to contribute with Facilities District taxes collected to the ECCFPD.

This entire tax is a political nightmare game with our safety. The people are being used for political purposes rather than the true need. They would rather send the CFD dollars

( $1.5 million dollars ) to Parks, Police, and Libraries. My priority would be Police and Fire first. Instead let’s ask for more money to pay down the 11,000,000 million dollar pension hole we made. At the same time they want to send our paramedics and their emergency response vehicles away that we already pay for in another tax!

Send this tax back with a NO on S.

God bless our firefighters. Shame on the Politicians, BOS, and the Union.

May 25, 2012
John,I find it interesting that now you are attempting to rally support for your no on S campaign by suggesting that the Brentwood City Council is not spending CFD revenue for the purpose it was collected. As usual you cherry pick the facts that suit your claims and leave out any facts that contradict. Based on the 2011-2012 Brentwood General Fund Budget, revenue from CFD 2-5 was $3,036,000.00. As you have stated and I agree, public safety should be a priority for Brentwood, it will please you to know that $3,000,000.00 of that revenue was budgeted to the Police department leaving a grand total of $36,000.00 for other uses.With that said you may have a difficult time gaining any support for your personal attacks on my understanding of what Brentwood is doing for or not doing for the Fire District. I stand by my statement that Brentwood does not have a “Fire Fund”.
May 25, 2012
@ sbarr,You want to be Mayor and you have no clue that the City of Brentwood has five benefit assessment districts that generate more than one million dollars and can be used for fire suppression?You may want to postpone running for mayor until you know more about the city you plan to run. Your ignorance about this very important subject says you are being naive about many things in the area of fire funding.No on S…… even “sbarr” has been duped.

May 26, 2012
This what Tracy City and Rural Fire are doing, being fiscally responsible not threatening the public. Maybe our board and supervisors can learn from them instead of threats to close stations or else…..Tracy Fire,James Thoming, president of the rural board, said the move was not ideal but that it worked within the resources the district had.“Three is better than two, four is better than three, but in our financial situation, two is better than none,” he said.

Read more: Tracy Press – Down to two

Tracy has volunteers. Union firefighters oversee the program and feel volunteers are a necessary asset, especially with reduced staffing. Many full time Tfd firefighters came from the volunteer program as well.

Wow, At least Tracy thinks responsible and within budget. We should too. No on S its a waste of our tax dollars the way it’s written.

May 28, 2012
On this Memorial Day I hope all that post on this site remember those that have made the ultimate sacrafice to give us the freedom to do so.Jon G,Thanks for the article from the Tracey Press. I admit I don’t know much about the details of the Tracy Rural and Tracy City arrangement there was a few points that I picked up from the article. A suggestion John in the future when you copy and paste you could make a distinction between the news article and a blog comment, I know you would not want to mislead the public.First of all the ECCFPD already has reduced two of the six stations to two man crews. That decision was made by the District Board 2 years ago, before Tracy Rural. Maybe they were learning from ECCFPD.

Second, two possible service models were presented to the ECCFPD at the last meeting;

1) A four station model with two firefighters per engine.

2) A three station model with three firefighters per engine.

The decision of which model will most likely be made at the June 11th meeting if Measure S fails followed by appropriate staff reductions based on the model.

You call the three or four station plan a threat, when actually it is what you are asking for, the board to to act “responsible and within budget”. Measure S takes an additional step in that the Board wants the public to have the opportunity through the freedoms allowed us, to vote and speak freely. That freedom also allows the majority of the voters to decide who will who will represent them. Asking the voters what they would like the the fire district to provide them is not irresponsible, it’s about choice and I choose to pay $197 to have six stations with ALS on each engine.

Your choice is just that yours. You may want to blame the fire board and the BOS for Measure S and your ultimate decision, but in the end after the votes are counted those that you are most critical of will need to follow the direction given by the voters and their decision.

PS are you suggesting by using Tracy Rural that Brentwood and Oakley have a different level of service than say Knightsen, just asking?

19 Hours Ago
@sbarr,Again you are missing the boat here. The problem is union pension, overhead costs, and duplication of services. This new tax would dump good money into extending the real problems. You do not even mention any of those. You insinuate with the threat of doom. Even Mr. Wells is starting to think that maybe you and him along with the BOS should have addressed these issues in more depth before asking voters to bail out the waste with their hard earned dollar. I like your comment about misleading the public. That is all this entire pro S has done is mislead. What’s more troubling is the list of politicians and government workers that are displayed as suppoting this new tax. I would too if my check was from the government and I was dependant on tax revenue. Why do you think this country is in the mess it is? No one wants to take true fiscal responsibility. The problem is that the public taxpayer is hurting, losing their homes, going without, not paying the their bills while government wants more and does less.No on SThis tax is not good because it does not correct any core problems but rather adds duplication of services at an unnecessary cost to the tax payers.

I’m sorry I upset you with the information that your City can help the fire district but chooses not to. I don’t blame them a bit. I would not want to throw good money into a money pit too. If you want to be successful in leading your City or your Fire District you must be honest with yourself and the public. You also need to take politics out of our fire district as it is affecting the progress of the department by restricting solutions.

In closing to answer your last comment. The Knightsen Station did have a different level as you say of service until the union got a hold of the station. The 20 POC’s were run off. That action actually hurt the district more than it helped because those full time positions could have been applied to more urban areas. Instead, the political union machine pushed out all the POC’s. Good job union, but don’t ask me to pay more for that power grab. All firefighters here and abroad do great service and I commend them. It’s the union and politics that have ruined this district.

Since the union will only except certain alternatives to fix the district ( example; no POCs, paramedics on engines not in their own quick response vehicles, three on an engine, and all the other things they can politically control the district with) the only solution is a new reorganized county fire district. This will satisfy the union, provide equal pay for the firefighters, give equal service to the citizens, reform the pension problems, maximize management and overhead costs, and work within the budget provided.

That budget would be close to $ 100,000,000.00 dollars and we would not need to raise taxes. Therefore, No on S

13 Hours Ago
JCI was responding to your comment about Tracy Rural/City FD, It would have been appropriate to read the article before you post it as a solution for ECCFPD. If you had read the article you would have answered your own accusation about Brentwood CFD and funding of the District, Here is a quote from the Tracy Press;”One option not available, Johnston(Tracy Finance Director) said, is the city pitching in more money than the formula allows.“The city of Tracy cannot gift public funds, even to another public agency,” he said.

That’s also why, Johnston explained, money from the Measure E sales tax increase cannot be used to help staff rural fire stations, even though Tracy voters in 2010 passed the measure to preserve core public services.

Read more: Tracy Press – Down to two Tracy Press;

John this is the first time since 1978 and the passage of prop 13 that the voters of East County have had the opportunity to say what they expect their fire depatment to look like. The choice is not complicated, vote no and the message is clear that the district needs to live with the current level of funding received from the district share of the 1% AV.

Vote yes on S and the residents and businesses of East County will have funding for six stations with three FF on each engine including ALS.

Mr Wells gave an excellent explanation of how a second tier for new employees would effect the districts budget and I aggree with him that the second tier will help with long term savings but it will take time to realize those savings. Even if the contract negotiated included the second tier it would not help the current shortfall without closing stations.

If the voters say no and the stations are closed the only hope to reopen them is for the AV to return to pre recesion amount, which could be a very long time.

Protect your family and your property

Invest in your community

Vote YES ON S!!



So are you accusing the City of diverting public funds when it gave $600,000.00 to ECCFPD for fighters ? Quit twisting words sbarr. I do not think anyone has diverted funds and I do think that the five special benefit assessment districts can be mandated for fire at the choice of the city council. (you only quoted 2-5 leaving out one so it could suit your answer) I do thank you for correcting my 1.5 million to over $3,000,000.00 that the city can use a partial or all for fire if they choose.

My comment was merely one of several options to ease the hardship of the district by using some of Tracy’s ideas along with other ideas. The problem is your union will not let any good ideas that are not approved by them. Instead they want more power by power grabbing our paramedic program we pay for already and now would pay for again. This is another reason to vote No.

sbarr, for you to say this is the first time since prop 13 asking for a new tax is not true. In fact, each and every time a benefit assessment district is created a vote takes place. If this passes those people in those areas will be paying another tax for a third time. When development created this mess the politicians allowed the developers a free ride except for the Sheriff. That’s why you see a “P” district in Discovery Bay and no “F” for fire district in Discovery Bay. That is why you see five benefit assessment districts in your city but you choose to spend it on police, parks, and other things. When I was commissioner I pushed for the benefit assessment in Cypress Lakes that is only for Fire Suppression. It also was to build a new fire station at no charge. Some of this tax is to build another station but you haven’t even gotten the free station yet. The cypress area is the only true committed benefit assessment district that is specifically for fire. That too had a vote to create it.

Sbarr, are you working for the best interest of the people or for the special interest? The people deserve a better plan. So do our firefighters for that matter. No on $


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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