It’s possible that some voters are confused and think that the Arcata Fire District is just Arcata’s fire department, due to its name. But it’s not. AFD is McKinleyville’s fire department. AFD in Bayside’s fire department. AFD is Manila’s fire department.
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The district wanted the property tax measure to plug a budget deficit and to keep enough staffing to keep all three of its stations open. With the measure’s failure, the district has downsized, left positions unfilled and is now closing one of its three stations on rotation.
Starting Wednesday, April 1, one of our three stations will close. In an effort to gather critical information to evaluate which station shall be permanently closed, the Fire District Board of Directors has opted to experiment with rotational station closures on a weekly basis.
If Measure R does not pass, the district will also be forced to terminate the positions of six firefighters. The national standard for the number of firefighters on an engine is four, the California state standard is three per engine. Due to current funding your district can only staff two firefighters per engine. The termination of six firefighters would decrease its ability to effectively manage your emergencies.
Humboldt County Office of Elections California Government Code section 53978 authorizes fire districts to adopt, by ordinance, a special tax for fire protection and prevention with the approval of two-thirds of the voters of the district. Pursuant to this authority, the Board of Directors (“Board”) of the Arcata Fire Protection District (“District”) proposes, through Measureref="https://madriverunion.com/an-impartial-analysis-of-measure-r/" title="Read more" >...
ursuant to the authority of Government Code Section 53978 and Article XIIIA of the California Constitution, this Ordinance, if passed by two-thirds voter approval, would increase the Arcata Fire Protection District’s existing voter- approved special tax levied for fire protection, rescue, and emergency medical services and would supersede the existing special tax rate of $5 per unit of benefit approved by qualified voters of the District in 1997 (Ordinance No. 97-010).
“Our community and its residents can’t afford to lose its fast, effective fire response,” said Gordinier. “We would ask voters to please say yes to Measure R to keep our fire stations open, keep our firefighters on the job, and keep our community safe.”
Without this additional revenue, the community WILL see a negative change. A fire station will close and more firefighters will be laid off. When I say more, I’m referring to one-third of the fire department’s staffing.
Among the many terrible consequences of firefighter layoffs, staffing only two fire stations would have four firefighters covering the entire 62-square-mile district! Additionally, the closure of a fire station would likely affect the district’s ISO rating insurance companies use to set the costs of fire insurance policies for the area.
If approved, the tax will generate $2.2 million that would be used to retain current staffing levels, Restore three frozen/vacant firefighter positions, and Replace and Repair fire engines and equipment as needed.