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By Will Fritz
Associate Editor 

Results for Prop A special election won't be known for 2-3 weeks, NCFPD says

 

Last updated 11/7/2019 at 5:06am

North County Fire Protection District firefighters respond to a blaze near Ammunition and Mission roads in Fallbrook Saturday, Nov. 2. The results for the Prop A special election to pay for needed upgrades, won't be known for 2-3 weeks. Will Fritz photo

Results for the North County Fire Protection District's Proposition A special election won't be available as early as had previously been thought, fire officials said Friday.

The fire district initially said the outcome of the election – a referendum on a new tax of $5 per month, per parcel of owned property, to pay for construction, maintenance and improvements to fire stations – would be known by Nov. 1.

However, officials now say it's taking longer to tally all the votes up than they had predicted, and the outcome may not be known for another two to three weeks.

"Like many, if not most, residents of north San Diego County who depend upon our agency for fire protection and emergency services, we are anxiously waiting to learn the outcome of this funding Measure," North County Fire Protection Chief Steve Abbott said.

The delay is being attributed partially to the fact that the election was conducted by mail – ballots had physically delivered to the fire district by Oct. 24 or postmarked by that date and received by Oct. 28 – and partially to the fact that the firm that is counting the votes, David Taussig and Associates, is employing a "comprehensive signature verification" process to verify all of the votes are legitimate, the fire district said.

"This has turned out to require a significant amount of time," Abbott said. "But, well worth the time, since we want to be certain that every detail has been properly addressed in the vote counting process."

Prop A needs to be approved by at least two-thirds of voters participating in the special election to pass.

The new tax, which amounts to $60 per year for all properties in the fire district boundaries, is necessary because many of the district's facilities are outdated, fire officials say. There's a documented need for at least $26.5 million to meet facility standards, fire officials said in a newsletter published ahead of the election.

Seven of NCFPD's 11 facilities – including four of its five fire stations – are nearing or past the end of their originally-intended life span of 50 years, according to the newsletter.

If passed, Prop A is expected to raise about $1 million per year, or $20 million over the 20 years it will be in effect for.

We encourage any individual from the community to come to the offices of the San Diego County Registrar of Voters to observe the process of signature verification," Abbott said, "and to observe the actual counting of ballots, which will be taking place at the District's Roy Noon Meeting Hall, aka 'Scout Hut,' located at 330 S. Main Ave., Fallbrook."

He said the fire district will post the details on when signature verification and ballot counting is taking place both at the district headquarters and on its website at http://www.ncfire.org, as well as on the district's social media accounts.

Will Fritz can be reached by email at wfritz@reedermedia.com

 

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