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