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Central Fire Could Lose 18 Firefighters, Two Fire Stations

A state budget proposal would cut $4 million in funding from Central Fire District.

A newly-proposed budget package could severely impact fire services in Capitola, Soquel and Live Oak.

According to the Central Fire Disctrict, California State Assembly Speaker John Perez and California State Senate pro tempore Darrell Steinberg presented a balanced budget package this week that would ultimately cut $4 million from Central Fire's operating budget.

The cuts would result in estimates of two fire station closures, 18 laid off firefighters and four administrative staff layoffs.

The $4 million that the Central Fire currently relies on comes from Redevelopent Agency agreements made in the 1980s. The package by Steinburg and Perez would suspent those agreements.

"The District has no alternative to the loss of this revenue without appealing to voters for relief through a parcel tax," Central Fire Chief Jeff Maxwell wrote in a prepared statment. "Decreased response time and capability are unacceptable consequences."

Maxwell argued that the agreements were made "in good faith" and that they are relied upon "to provide vital local services." He asked that anyone who agrees write to Assemblymember Bill Monning and Senator Joe Simitian in opposition of the budget cuts. See their contact info below. 

Office of Assemblymember Bill Monning
701 Ocean Street, Suite 318-B Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Phone: 831-425-1503
Fax: 831-425-2570
Email: adam.spickler@asm.ca.gov
Web: http://asmdc.org/members/a27/

Office of Senator Joe Simitian
State Capitol, Room 2080 Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4011
Fax: (916) 323-4529
Senator.Simitian@SENATE.CA.GOV

Shawd Dewitt June 22, 2012 at 05:01 AM
Everybody is making cuts to their budgets. Why should someone come to me and say"I need more money from you to balance ny budget".
Just One Vote June 23, 2012 at 02:27 AM
Shawd, the fire department will come to you when you call 911 and won't ask you for a dime to compensate them for the million dollars worth of equipment and personnel that show up at your emergency. They work with or without a balanced budget. When the money used to support public safety is cut, we ALL pay the price. Let's think about cutting budget areas not associated with public safety before we cut those who protect and serve us 24/7.
Shawd Dewitt June 23, 2012 at 03:59 AM
Cuts suck and they hurt. But no money is no money. I know this hurts real people and changes lives. But our state has no money. Maybe we should look to our government wasting money on printing everything in 12 different languages. Why do we 4 different school districts in one county? There are ways to make cuts. We just need to work on it.
John June 24, 2012 at 05:56 AM
jn
John June 24, 2012 at 06:09 AM
First off, Santa Cruz County needs to merge all fire departments to reduce the management staff positions (fire chiefs, battalion chiefs, clerical jobs) and put more equipment into stations. Like make station 2 a dual house (staff the truck full time). Central Fire has always been against consolidation, they have been against merging with scotts valley and santa cruz city because Central Santa Cruz has a better contract. Now they are out of money and are going to ask tax payers to pick up the slack. I will vote for the tax if two things happen. One, they get rid of management-this means, the fire chief, 3 battalion, chiefs, division chief, disaster prepardness position, and clerical jobs. You do not need all that positions for 4 stations. It is a waste of money! Most large fire departments cover 10-12 stations with 1 battalion chief per day. Two: santa cruz fire chiefs need to get off their behinds and merge the county into a large county fire department. Take over ambulance transport services instead of giving it away to AMR (private sector).

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