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.”