default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
Not you?||
Logout|My Dashboard

Coastside fire approves controversial 'transition' estimate

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2012 3:16 pm

The Coastside Fire Protection District board approved its proposed budget for the 2012-2013 fiscal year with a split vote during a regular meeting on Sept. 26.

Operating expenditures are slated to increase by $2,316,529 when compared to expenses in the current year. Most of that is due to an estimate of costs involved in transitioning from CalFire management to an independent fire department.

“That’s just a number that was thrown at us, which I think is irresponsible,” said Director Gary Burke. “It was exclusively Doug Mackintosh who decided that number.”

The more than $2 million cost is being funded from supplemental reserves, said board President Doug Mackintosh. He called the figure a “place-holder,” because specific costs have yet to be calculated.

“We know we have a transition cost bill coming,” he said. “We don’t know how much yet.”

Director Mike Alifano nominated Mackintosh and himself to form a new committee to study organizational transition plans and costs, as well as the cost of an on-going department.

Burke, who has found himself on the opposite side of the board majority many times since the board decided to ditch the state fire agency, said the money budgeted for the transition would prevent other potential expenditures.

Burke made a motion to instead use the money to eliminate parcel taxes in the old Point Montara and Half Moon Bay districts for the next three years. Mackintosh and Director Gary Riddell were against the suggestion, and the motion failed.

“We lack, in this district, a strategic plan … that identifies what our priorities are,” said Burke. “I think we need to be more transparent in what we’re doing.”

Welcome to the discussion.

4 comments:

  • Cid Young posted at 4:42 pm on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    Cid Young Posts: 114

    “It was exclusively Doug Mackintosh who decided that number.”
    A good Leader would have gotten consensus.

    "Director Mike Alifano nominated Mackintosh and himself to form a new committee to study organizational transition plans and costs, as well as the cost of an on-going department."

    I jusot love how Mike Alifano "Self-Nominates" .....It;s So Tacky

     
  • pae posted at 5:55 pm on Fri, Sep 28, 2012.

    pae Posts: 141

    I've been questioned about the motion made by Dir. Burke, and want to clarify this point. Director Burke moved to remove the $2.220,799 line item for the transition from the current budget document, place it in reserve, and cancel the property tax assessments for all residents of the District for a period of three years. Director McShane seconded the motion. With this money in a "placeholder" in the budget, it cannot be used for other needs that arise or have already arisen. The Board majority predictably voted against the motion, and it failed.

    The majority have no idea what the costs will be at this time, and cannot or will not even state what they will cover. They are moving ahead with no business plan, no real budget, and no idea what they're doing. They're on a freight train heading for a cliff, and they don't know or want to know that the cliff is there.

    They refuse to renew our CAL FIRE contract, despite the fact that personnel will very soon have to be reassigned to other permanent positions, leaving us with temporary replacements. They do not intend to obtain an actuarial analysis to determine what the public is going to be committed to after the first employee gets hired. They do not know the level of unfunded liability they will be adding to our current liability debt. They hope that their newest consultant comes up with something in the near future, yet his contract includes no specific receivables, no measurable objectives. There is nothing in writing available to document what he was told to do.

    This is the Board who will now be managing a nearly $10,000,000 budget for this year, an increase of 46% over last year. And we, of course, have no idea without an actuarial analysis what our ongoing cost will be for this dream of theirs. But we'll have to pay it anyway, unless the Recall is successful. Voters beware!!!

     
  • pae posted at 11:19 am on Fri, Sep 28, 2012.

    pae Posts: 141

    "Burke made a motion to instead use the money to eliminate parcel taxes in the old Point Montara and Half Moon Bay districts for the next three years. Mackintosh and Director Gary Riddell were against the suggestion, and the motion failed."
    Alifano also voted against the motion, joining the other two majority members. These three majority members always vote as a block on every issue. So much for independent thinking elected officials.

    When repeatedly asked about the consultant expenditures and how much they are planning to spend on this, Alifano said it doesn't matter, "$100-150,000, it's just 'peanuts' (his words)"

    When asked what their definition of affordability is for this project, Mackintosh said that "sustainability means money out equals money in." "Within budget" means "within the revenue stream." They're planning to spend everything they get on this new standalone "plan" with no apparent regard for contingencies, capital improvements, equipment replacement needs, etc.

    The $2.2 million transition costs budget item could not be broken down into specific items such a figure might contain. They could or would not define what transition costs they are talking about. It's apparently a blank check for whatever the consultants come up with, though there was also a question of which consultants are actually going to come up with dollar figures. The consultants do not have contracts with specified deliverables or measurable objectives. They have blank checks, too.

    The audience was clearly appalled by the total lack of a business plan at this stage of the game, with only three months remaining until CAL FIRE must start reassigning staff elsewhere. Alifano says they have "plenty of time." We disagree. Strongly.

     
  • John Charles Ullom posted at 5:34 pm on Thu, Sep 27, 2012.

    John Charles Ullom Posts: 1106

    When asked how much the Board Majority considered reasonable for transition costs, Director Mackintosh said it depended on what his consultants told him.

    He really said that. In front of his friends, family, and neighbors.

    When asked to explain the discrepancy between his assertion that it would cost
    us only 32,000 dollars more and his consultants estimate that it would cost us at least 464,000 more, Director Alifano said he would find out why he can't explain when Susan George returns to crunch the transition costs.

    He really said that. In front of his friends, family, and neighbors.

    When asked how much the consultant that they are giving 195 dollars per hour has billed us they said they couldn't because they lump those invoices into the same account as they put their attorneys invoices.

    They really did that. With the money of their friends, family, and neighbors.

    After nine months, a Grand Jury report, a Tri Data report, and a study on costs done by Susan George, they still do not know how much this will cost us. They really said that too folks.

    With three months to go, we have no idea if the numbers we paid for mean anything. Is it 32 grand or is it 464 grand or is it 1.2 million? They don't know. How much will we have to deplete our reserve funds to pay for the transition. Don't know yet. How much are the willing to spend on the transition? They won't tell us until they find out how much the transition will cost.

    And their plan to address all the questions that the community has? They want to create a FAQ on the CFPD website to address rumors of rumors.

    Seriously. Directors Mackintosh, Alifano, and Riddell spent almost an hour advocating for a FAQ that responded to rumors of rumors. In the end, any questions responded to will have to be vetted by the whole board.

    We have to stop this blatant attempt to spend every penny the CFPD has of ours on their desires. They can not be reasoned with. They pretend to be baffled by our objections. They treat the men who serve us with contempt. They don't care what we think. And they don't care how all of this reflects on them.

    They have forgotten who they serve.

    KeepCalFire.com

     

Recent comments

Posted 36 minutes ago by Prunella007.

article: Big Wave’s vision ignores crucial Hope …

does HopeServices provide housing for the disabled in HMB?

More...

Posted 6 hours ago by August West.

article: MROSD to purchase Driscoll Ranch, orcha…

MROSD does not want its lands (not ours, but theirs) to have much active use. Grazing is fine, plus a little light hiking. But …

More...

Posted 9 hours ago by truthseeker.

article: Police blotter

I would like to comment on the story about Ronald Daoust arrest. I noticed on your facebook page he commented and said he was a V…

More...

Posted 22 hours ago by JerryS.

article: Water leak discovered on Terrace Avenue

Wow…was that a STANDARD Empty xx ton MOTOR GRADER heading up Terrace Avenue several days before the water main leak on Terrace?…

More...