By Linda Sutter, Opinion Piece- May 46, 2021
In October 2020 the Crescent Fire Protection District sent out ballots to pass a benefit assessment (tax) on a group of 5000 residents. This tax failed.
It should be noted that the cost for that election including the ballots and informational pamphlets cost taxpayers $164,000 which included a consulting firm that cost up to $50,000. That’s right, the people who are already paying the fire tax foot that bill and the district lost. But, here we are again, getting this pushed down our throats and this time it’s costing right around $100,000 for pamphlets that are not very informational along with ballots. Don’t forget the people just voted in the 1 cent sales tax increase for this county, where fire is included. Allegedly.
What do you get for the $98 a year that will be added to your property taxes? ($74 if this passes added to $24 from previous). Don’t forget there’s still another $18 a year that doesn’t sunset until 2022.
3 Captains that will work 2- (24) hour shifts per week for a pay rate of about $168,000 per year. After 10 years they will receive annual 2% raises, which means your property tax will increase as well.
Lie number one that is spewed from this dragon’s mouth is trying to sell the public that if this does not pass your house insurance could increase. There are not enough structural fires in one year in this entire county to justify this increase in property taxes.
Crescent City Fire responds to 2,000 service calls per year. If that is true, it equates to a little over 5 emergency calls per day. Now how many fires are included in that 5 calls per day? More likely than not the answer is very few.
What the Fire District is actually saying is that they want to replace the ambulance company, and make 5000 people pay for emergency response for the whole damn county, instead of individuals paying for their own ambulance service.
The Crescent Fire Protection District claims they have been operating on a budget deficit. What they are not telling you is the money they waste on frivolous spending such as the $15,000 dollars they donated to Measure S by way of the Firefighter Association. who receives $20,000 per year from your tax dollars. That $20,000 is used for annual appreciation dinners, which may be a violation of Brown Act, in addition to clothing and perks for the volunteer fire fighters .
Lack of Organization
When a 911 call is received every fire truck, sheriff vehicle, ambulance and first responder truck in the county shows up. Frivolous expenditure of funds and gasoline when it should not be.
In October 2020 Alyssia Northup County Clerk Register was responsible for counting the Ballots along with the Consultation group that was hired by the Fire District. When they all discovered the ballot was not going to pass, Alissia Northup sent the ballot counters home. She then brought in 15 ballots that had been counted as a no vote. She stated the owner decided to change his mind and make the no vote into a yes vote. After changing the numbers the benefit tax still failed.
Jon Maxwell was a former Captain for the Fire district, who lives in Fort Dick. When he learned that Linda Sutter was informing the public the truth about the last property tax attempt he sent her an indirect threat, “hope you don’t ever need fire service.” Another former firefighter chimed in and stated, “your life isn’t worth saving.” This is the mentality we must deal with in this county for letting them know we don’t accept unreasonable property tax increases. A complaint was filed and swept under the rug by Fire Chief Gillespie stating, “he didn’t say it while he was on duty.” So apparently that makes it ok.
This is corruption at it’s finest in our county. This is why we must once again vote NO on this benefit assessment on only 5000 people who will foot the bill for the other 22,000 who live in the county.