By Samuel Strait, Reporter at Large – July 8, 2021
July 12th is fast approaching and the Crescent Fire Protection District
must chose between looking incredibly incompetent, not that they haven’t
already, or bow to the fact that they have badly mishandled their recent
parcel tax election. Setting aside the notion that fraud and
misinformation abound in the 2021 attempt to oil their way to success,
the CFPD has grossly under estimated the uproar that will ensue should
they certify the results of the current effort as successful. The
district has already awoken the interest of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer’s Association people
from out of the area and will likely find serious local opposition to
anything that remotely resembles success. While it may be painful to
admit the need to back up and do things properly, this should be the
only decision made on the 12th of July in the board meeting.
- There are a growing number of parcel owners who failed to receive
ballots for starters.
- The choice of an off year election date and very
poor information to the prospective voters is just the start of a long
list of mistakes.
- On record as saying 7,000 plus ballots were mailed by
one source and 5,000 plus ballots mailed by another.
- Complaints of voter intimidation and bullying by members of the fire fighter
- Unfair advantage both in weighted ballots and obligation to
pay for owners of multiple resident properties, the $1,000 cap.
- Those same property owners which would likely obligate the CFPD to many more
incident calls than single family parcel owners making weighted ballots
irrelevant, one vote, one parcel being more equitable.
- Less than 20% approval rate for what is clearly a parcel tax. “No” votes exceeded
“Yes” votes both times the parcel tax was placed before the voters.
- And the list goes on.
The question looms, will the fire board do the right thing? Clearly by
replacing an $18 assessment with something four times that is an over
reach. Money directed nearly entirely at fire services when they
represent a tiny fraction of the district’s responses is irresponsible.
A ten year plan that reflects reality as well as the costs that are
necessary for a plan that actually mirrors what this community requires
not some fire fighter’s wet dream is in order. Dependence on
consultants who are more concerned with “winning” rather than what is
good for the community. These are a few of the items that need to be
addressed in order to re establish some sort of trust with this
community that has been severley damaged by the CFPD’s action over the