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Brimmer

 

Last updated 10/18/2019 at 12:07am



Dear Editor,

While I think our firefighters are a huge asset to the community, I have to wonder why NCFPD is sharing so little financial data about their requested tax? I found the half page of text NCFPD included with the sample ballot completely lacking in actual analysis. It’s as if voters were given a cover sheet to an actual analysis.

District personnel haven’t met even a minimum threshold of financial disclosure. If the District is going to run its own election, with a hired third party to count votes, surely they are obligated to a higher standard? When I visited the NCFPD office to learn more last week, I felt that my financial questions were being avoided.

For example, the “initial appropriations limit” is $20 million. Nowhere are voters informed whether money must by law be repaid by the time the tax expires in 20 years. In fact, nothing is disclosed about the timing of funds for District use or cost of financing. I am only assuming that an ‘initial appropriation of $20 million’ authorizes debt.

If the tax is expected to yield $1 million per year and $20 million total, how much will be available for actual capital projects after fixed administration costs plus interest are considered? I’ve emailed County Counsel Thomas Montgomery to ask for his analysis and hope to share the response.

The above information is fundamental to voters’ evaluation. Otherwise, this is just like the many ultra-expensive school bond initiatives misguidedly presented to voters with similar, guilt-inducing language.

Last, I believe District communications are too one-sided and violate standards set by the California Fair Political Practices Commission to keep elections ethical. Voters can review their easy to read guidance for themselves online at http://www.fppc.ca.gov/enforcement/file-a-complaint.htm.

If turnout is extremely low, the measure may have a better chance to get the two-thirds voter approval needed to pass. Whether you support or oppose this measure, please be sure your voice is heard by submitting a ballot to NCFPD at 330 South Main Avenue by Oct. 24 at 8 p.m. If you choose not to vote, please take care to destroy your ballot so that it can’t be fraudulently submitted.

Lauren Brimmer

 

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