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FRHD funds could go to NCFPD

 

Last updated 10/4/2019 at 1:28pm



I received a sample ballot from the North County Fire Protection District for their proposed Proposition A parcel tax. While I will certainly give the proposition serious consideration, the need for the tax might have been avoided had the county and leadership of the Fallbrook Regional Health District shown more respect for our hard-earned tax dollars.

When the Fallbrook Hospital closed in 2014, funds from the FRHD which supported the hospital had no obvious purpose. They had a solution in search of a problem. So the FRHP decided the community should become a Blue Zone, so named after regions of the world in Japan and Italy where residents live long lives.

The FRHP spent $1.8 million on an old church for their new Wellness Center, which is over a mile from downtown Fallbrook. It is not on any NCTD bus route, so it is unclear how it can serve many of the neediest residents of the Fallbrook downtown area and elsewhere.

Instead of going to the Fallbrook Hospital, NCFPD ambulances must now travel much further to either Temecula or Escondido. More ambulances became necessary, consuming funding which might have gone toward some of the needs identified in the Proposition A parcel tax.

According to their website, FRHD’s budget is well over $2 million per year, most of which comes from our county property taxes. Instead of spending those tax dollars on a somewhat dubious Blue Zone scheme, just half of the $2 million could have covered the NCFPD’s anticipated $1 million annual receipts from Proposition A.

I think most residents would agree that the services we receive from the NCFPD are at least as important as becoming a Blue Zone.

But as a famous president once said, the closest thing to immortality is a government program.

When the Fallbrook Hospital closed, rather than the county requesting, and the FRHD management approving, a reduction of taxes or a redirection of funding to the NCFPD, the immortal government program must continue. And so rather than enjoying a lowering of property taxes we now must consider paying another parcel tax which may well have been avoided.

Ron Bissinger

 

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