Double the revenue (thanks to you!!) but half the promised firefighters!

Tell FEMA one thing, tell the voter another, just don’t tell both of them the truth.

What Gives?

 

When the fire department asks you for more money, remember this slight-of-hand.

What does this phrase mean to you? It was on the ballot you voted YES for in August.

A Yes vote on the Excess Levy will “allow the district to re-staff an aid car for emergency responses“?

This appears in the Explanatory Statement, last sentence of the first paragraph.

If you thought the fire department intended to use your tax money to hire enough full time firefighters to put one aid car back on the street, you are DEAD WRONG!

Now read what is means to the fire department.

Facts:

In January of this year South King Fire & Rescue (SKF&R) board of commissioners passed resolutions to put forth an Excess Levy to the voters of the district for $3.5 million per year for four (4) years.

At that time explaining in media and other print publications, and on the ballot measure description, that passage would put one aid unit back into service. The staffing requirements for an aid unit in SKF&R fire district have been established to be nine (9) full time firefighters.

In February of this year SKF&R applied for a SAFER Grant (read page 4) from FEMA requesting $1,817,649, which, if granted would require SKF&R to use the FEMA SAFER Grant funds to hire nine (9) full time firefighters

So why two revenue streams? Are we getting 18 new firefighters?

 

On July 20th, I sent a letter to Chief Church asking him to clear up some confusion for me.

 Can you clear up some confusion about what these two funding mechanisms are addressing?

Are the nine firefighters the FEMA grant is seeking to fund the same as the nine firefighters that the Excess Levy is seeking to fund?

If the Excess Levy passes, SKF&R has stated they intend to hire nine new firefighters to staff one aid unit. If the FEMA SAFER grant is approved and accepted, SKF&R is required to hire nine new firefighters. Does this mean that, should both funding measures be approved, SKF&R will be hiring eighteen new firefighters?

 (Chief Church has never answered my request for clarification.)

 

You voted for it but did you get it?

On August 7th of this year the voters approved the ballot measure adding $3.5 million per year to the budget for the next four (4) years.

Honoring the request by the fire department to delay there award, on August 10th FEMA announced that SKF&R was awarded the $1.8 million in SAFER grant money. Needless to say, greed kicked in and the district has accepted the grant in full.

 

 So let’s look at the details

A simple reading of the ballot and grant show that in order to satisfy these two recently approved revenue sources, a total of 18 full time firefighters must be hired starting in 2013

 

Thanks for the cash now “trust” us while we morph into the pit of deceit. 

Among this greedy pack of elected officials and crack administrators, one voice stood alone in dissent. Thank you Commissioner Mark Freitas for seeing the truth, speaking up for the taxpayers and voting NO.

The 2013 Budget that SKF&R to approve today (3-1 with Commissioner Freitas voting NO and Mark Thompson nowhere in sight), is in sharp contrast to the ballot measure sold to the voters enjoined by the SAFER Grant secured from FEMA, showing that now that they have your money, they are in fact only hiring a total of eleven (11) firefighters. But they are quickly passing out promotions, raising wages and increasing overtime.

 

So who got screwed?

You don’t mess with the federal government, so it was not FEMA.

But they will spin this to the voter because they know you won’t care.

 

 

 

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