Six of 30 Contra Costa Fire Stations Could Close if Residents Fail to Pass Parcel Tax

March 14, 2012 14:00 pm · 227 comments

Contra Costa Fire Protection District Chief Daryl Louder is telling local residents that six fire stations could be shut down around the county unless residents pass a $90 parcel tax in November.

The following statement is from Chief Louder to….

Yesterday, the Board of Directors for the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District was briefed on the proposed FY-12/13 Budget that will be presented on April 24th. Due to the continued decline in property tax revenue, the budget identifies the need to de-staff an additional unit in the system. This is necessary in spite of significant efforts to reduce and control costs. These efforts include: 10% salary concessions from our personnel, eliminating positions, managing vacancies, reducing operating costs, deferring capital purchases, leveraging grants, etc. During this fiscal crisis, we have utilized all of the District’s reserve funds in an attempted to keep all of our fire stations open and maintain protection and service to all parts of our community.

The District had to de-staff a unit at Fire Station #1 in Walnut Creek in January 2011. However, a second unit assigned to the station remained staffed to continue to provide service to the area. This is the same concept that is proposed for Fire Station #6 in Concord. It is the last station in the system that currently has two staffed units. This action would diminish capacity in the fire and emergency medical system and increase response times across the District. However, it does keep all of the fire stations open and continues to provide protection and service to everyone.

We are hopeful that our Board of Directors will support placing a special tax measure on the ballot in November.

If we are not successful in obtaining additional revenue, the District will be forced to close six fire stations to balance the budget. That would have catastrophic implications and severely reduce our ability to provide fire protection, rescue, and emergency medical service to the community.

Again, it is important to note that this is part of a proposed budget package for FY-12/13 that will be presented on April 24th. The Board of Directors has not authorized any action on the proposal at this time.

The fire stations that are in danger of closing in Contra Costa County have not been identified by Chief Louder.

201 Horse'n Around March 16, 2012 at 1:31 PM

@ Wake the F up, nicely said.

202 Anon March 16, 2012 at 2:10 PM

CCCFPD firefighters went to the county and offered to take a 10% pay-cut this fiscal year as well as pension reform all in order to keep stations open and help the citizens of this county. They are not greedy, they are compassionate hard working people that care about the well being of this county. They have been financially responsible. Now let’s do our part as citizens and support this parcel tax. It goes straight to the departments budget and its sole purpose is to keep stations open, in order to protect the citizens in this county.

203 jtkatec March 16, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Anon 202, this fiscal year only? The bust has been going on since 2007…..a little late to the table.

204 Anon March 16, 2012 at 4:48 PM


Unfortunately your wrong, county budgets always lag several years behind. CCCFPD employees did not take raises they were in contract to receive in 2007. The department has cut a lot of programs, and positions not dealing with emergency responses to try to keep all the stations open. CCCFPD has been trying there best to be fiscally responsible. There tax revenues have decreased something like 16 million dollars per year over the last few years. The department has always been underfunded compared to almost every other department in this area and throughout the country.

205 ffwf March 16, 2012 at 4:59 PM

@ Lewis…..firefighters risk their lives doing things you would NEVER consider doing to help complete strangers, they see things that you would NEVER wish to see, they have mental and physical courage that many don’t have…so YES you can make positive comments without stepping in their shoes because it IS realistic that you will never step in their shoes to see what it is all about…be thankful that somebody is out there to help you and your family/friends in an emergency….that is a REALISTIC POSITIVE comment that can be made.
Our firefighters already gave up a raise and took a pay cut to try to keep stations open…..why is it still their fault to you? They have families to provide for , too. Again, their pay is not as grand as you may think…..they may have a great pension, but they pay into it…A LOT…..
It is defineately ok to question where tax dollars go….in this case it is to keep stations open….not to pay salaries…..there is a lot more that goes into running a station than paying the firefighters…..

206 anon March 16, 2012 at 5:10 PM

Hasn’t even been a year and how forgetful we are of our Mega-Heroes:

You guys can take pay cuts Like every other Career in this Nation has done. Either take a pay cut or drive YOURSELF out of a job.

207 anon March 16, 2012 at 5:19 PM

Instead of making cuts to our Firefighters why don’t hey quit wasting our Tax dollars on Welfare, Section 8, Free handouts to illegal immigrants, and all the other Wasteful spending projects the Liberals impose on us. The dipchit Liberals should spend our tax dollars more wisely.

Time to vote out all Democrats in 2012!

208 anon March 16, 2012 at 5:41 PM

Post 206
Once again that has nothing to do with CCCFPD, and ther parcel tax. Completely other department

209 bob March 17, 2012 at 7:15 AM

it honorable to defend your occupation and resources to provide for your family. But when you guys on claycord defend yourselves remember we also have expenses and families.
Top retired positions in last year times were Chiefs, Assistant chiefs, and battalion chiefs all retiring in CCCFPD at either at or way over 180k. The long winded supes talk about reform, then cut pensions on new or future employees who will make the least. So what did these Chiefs give back and are they still loaded salary inflation perks. I did understand the Union guys took a cut, why didn’t we hear about these Battalion Chiefs taking a cut.
So the public wont all drink the Kool aid your drinking and we have Google and the counties own search site to see the Facts.
WHat is vacation Buy back ,stand buy and is this just another perk that isn’t cut and pads a salary like the San Ramon and Nowecky Chief does which is thievery. Google UCOA United chief officers association, and am I seeing managers getting overtime pay in that contract.
So clean up your place before all the cards crumble, I can’t believe you are defending yourselves after looking at these sites. Sure the San Ramon CHief is working for a dollar a day plus 265k a year, Hazardous materials pay, management incentive for a manager, Driving the car to run errands. Just the facts that a San Ramon Battalion Chief made almost 300k so the perk must be good. Fire the Supervisors, Chiefs and replace them with reform at the top not the bottom. Unions are good o protect the working family, but 170-300k isn’t a working guy. Nice salary with overtime to match. Can you explain that one Robin?

210 @ bob 209 March 17, 2012 at 10:30 AM

San Ramon has nothing to do with Consolidate Fire. They are their own distrit and the people there want the best in staff, equipment and technology and are willing to pay for it. Remember the San Ramon Valley is at the top of the Socio-Economic ladder. The people in that valley are highly educated and want/expect the best and are willing to pay for it. That is why the have a nationally recognized and awarded FEMA team. And the community will fund raise for new equipment for the department because they feel it is worth it. And nobody out there is complaining about salaries and pensions. The high expectation of the SRVF is why Oridnda/Moraga wants to merge with them and not Consolidated and why Lafayette wants to pull from Consolidated and go with SRVF too.
So please everyone stop compairing SRVF to Consolidated as the economic dynamic of the region/population can’t compare and make no sense to try. Dream on but the Claycord region will never ever ever ever reach the Socio-Economic status of the San Ramon Valley…to many around here are high on low mentallity

211 bob March 17, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Bob 209 and anon,
So Mr. 209 I guess with your srgument about the affluent in San Ramonf Fire and highly educated vs Contra Costa iwhen it comes to salaries, the lid is coming off thr tea pot.
So archive back to retired county or current employees and conttra costa leads thr numbers over San Ramon, But your asking Contra costa residents to pay and what concessions have been madw in all the extrass that inflate a salary(( thr contracr is online Vacation buy back, Education incentive, on call and it looks like overtime for managmenrt.on call and what can’t I read.
So explain the schedule which is different from Oakland and San Francisco, I used the Contra Costa to look at the base salaries for positions under Fire. Not a job I would want or could do, but it seems like a great salary with very lucerative perks.that get paid over a lifetime likw a car allowance. I will not be supporting this or the supervisors who also took 60% pay hike a few years ago. Make cuts but from the top down and don’t always expect the public to clean your own house.
the politicians use police and fire tot get more taxes and the well is dry at our home the lower social economic ladder.

212 anon March 17, 2012 at 8:45 PM


If your so into researching contract look at the correct contract relating to the firefighters, not management. There is no car allowance, no education incentive, no on call pay, and they just underwent pension reform that eliminated vacation buy back. These firefighters arent out to hurt us. They have given up alot in an attempt to provide a great service for our community.

213 @ bob 209 March 18, 2012 at 10:30 AM

What part of SRVF being it’s own district don’t you get. People in Concord do not pay for SRVF and SRVF is atonomous from the County and gets ZERO County General Funds. Only those that live with in the boundries of the SRVF District pay for the district. Just like those in the boundries of the Orinda/Moraga District pay for that District as they too are atonomous. The people in these districts willing pay for superior service, equipment adn technolodgy. What part of stupid are you stuck on. Stop trying to compaire apples and rubber chickens as it doesn’t work
You must be another jealous wash out that could cut it through the Fire College. Jealousy if a pathetic thing Bob.

214 bob March 18, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Bob 200 and anon,
I am not jealous and have respect for police officers and firefighters who deserve a comparable living wage in this county. You guys put tour life on the line.
Now a little reality check for you, this wouldn’t be a issue if you weren’t asking to get into my families pocket.
I did go to college but not fire college and I enjoy my career.
Sticking to the facts the times publication of wages and salaries is incorrect
The retired Chiefs salaries published in the times incorrect.

The fact that you work two days and get four off in incorrect

The fact that our county allows any rank to get the paramedic retirement bump for ever is incorrect In the superior San Ramon district only the lowest rank get the bonus and only one paramedic firefighter on each piece of equipment . is that incorrect

So there vacation buy back or other perks in there new contract besides the straight salary on the county website under personnel. ( its not just under another heading or hidden so we can’t find it)

I am incorrect that after working or not going on a call at all, at some of your stations, then you can work a overtime. Isn’t that a disservice to your safety and mine if you work 3days in a row, If its so physcial how can one work three days in a row or two for that .

Was the times incorrect about the dollar amount the county paid your chief to attend school at harvard on my dime?

Why at the time on this site did your union make such a big deal about givebacks, Why Wasn’t the UCOA ( i googled this one ) Chiefs making a deal about givebacks.

So will the Current members be taking a salary that isn’t full of retirement perks. These perks they get are why I won’t pay more? and there for a lifetime that the piled in on with buy back to inflate retirement. Are you telling me this perk is gone for those now working or just those new ones to be hired in the future

Why do I see The contra Costa pickups going over the Benicia bridge during my commute to work each day.
So Bob 209, I guess the County wants me to offset your firefighter fuel and maintenance costs. If a firetruck can go watch a softball game because his friends are there, that must be why there is no time to paint our neighborhood hydrant anymore.

I guess since I disagree with inflated salaries and perks, I must be stupid. I will allow you to show your mind set by calling those your asking for money to be called want to be’s or washouts.
So what San Ramon is doing is wrong, its should be criminal in these times. But what I see in Contra Costa is worse because you are in total denial. Its like giving AIG executives a bonus when there ship was sinking a few years ago.

So Bob 209 can you answer by questions above
Pathetic Bob

215 Dennis March 18, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Five thugs wearing body armor and ski masks, carrying automatic weapons, enter a bank and take hostages. They get the police negotiator on the phone and make demands, and say “every hour we will kill one hostage until our demands are met”.

CoCo needs to make a ** 1% ** cut in expenses.
They have a choice. They can fire

2 CCCTA bus drivers,
1 toll booth operator on the Benicia bridge,
1 gardeners working the median on Clayton Rd,
2 graffitti removers from Oakland,
2 administrative clerks (1 from personnel, 1 from benefits),
4 attorneys,
3 other NONESSENTIAL workers to be named later.

– or –

they can cut 6/30 fire stations (20%), fire 20% of the firefighters (who are Essential Services).

remember, 5% of the workforce times 20% cuts equals 1% savings.

Question: Which path does the County Choose to put on the ballot,
a) 1% of the non-essential workforce, or
b) 20% of the essential workforce?

Answer: Five thugs wearing body armor and ski masks, carrying automatic weapons, enter a bank and take hostages ….

216 FF Xavier Onassis, EMT-P March 18, 2012 at 5:36 PM

Regarding this posted above, just wanted to shout hallelujah Amen, brother you can get a witness:

“You people are being played like a fiddle. Infighting is the desired result. Find out what the entire tax revenue collected for “Fire” is on all of our property taxes in a fiscal year. Compare that number to the fire district budget that is “approved” by the supervisors. I don’t think it will be the same number. Where is the rest of the money? I raise chickens and watch them fight and peck each other over the scraps of food I throw for them on the ground, little do they know that I will be cutting their throats one day.”

217 Anon... March 19, 2012 at 9:56 AM

FF Xavier,

I work for CCCFPD, unfortunately the numbers are true, and correct. Property tax revenues for the county do equal what the fire districts budget truly is. Money is not going other places. The department has had the books evaluated.

Post 215

You are correct the fire department and police are essential services and should not be cut any further. We are already at bare bones. CCCFPD is a special district so when the county makes cuts to balance there budget, those cuts are going to be made, or money is going to get moved around. Since the fire departments budget is nearly 20% down and its a specialty district, either station closures and layoffs will happen, or the public supports this tax, and stations stay open and services stay the same. The money from this parcel tax will go directly the CCCFPD.

218 Brian Ross March 19, 2012 at 3:03 PM

@anon 206: Completely Unrelated and inflammatory. Your link is related to poor decisions by both politicians and Firefighters in Alameda, but fortunately has nothing to do with this topic. You have a very short memory of the Woman who is alive and well thanks to Con Fire Fireman pulling her out of the rain swollen Walnut Creek Canal at the end of a rope dangling from a helicopter.
If your going to quote a news story, for your own credibility, at least quote one that is pertinent to here. Wait a minute, you have no credibility because you wont even share your name,

219 FF Xavier Onassis, EMT-P March 20, 2012 at 10:50 AM

I’m not in your AO, so can’t say anything about the specifics of your budget. I just mean to say money moves around the government in a lot of different ways, not always clear to the taxpayers. People need to do whatever they need to do to keep their fire stations open IMHO. If they need to get money from the state to make up the difference? That’s what I’d do.

220 PH Resident March 20, 2012 at 12:01 PM


Let’s cut funding for CCCFPD staff to take classes at Harvard.

Firefighters (and cops) have abused taxpayers for years. Now, it’s time to reap what you’ve sown. NO MORE MONEY FOR YOU!

221 PH Resident March 20, 2012 at 12:17 PM

CCCFPD staff can thank Chief Louder for proving to the taxpayers that CCCFPD does not care about the taxpayers.

That’s the “veritas.” Go Harvard!

222 Struggling Tax Payer March 20, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Thank you PH Resident #220 and #221. You are right! CCCFPD does not need to sending their employees to Harvard at the expense of taxpayers. I am appalled! This is why I feel that government employees have become the new “freeloaders” of our society. The fire department needs to cut the fat from its budget and stop sending employees to Harvard for personal seminars.

223 funny man March 20, 2012 at 5:29 PM

jus curious … after they are closed, will the land be reclaimed, cleaned up and ‘offered’ to the nearest developer (that lined the most pockets last election) to build high density infill on?

224 ANon March 20, 2012 at 5:36 PM

Before you vote to significantly reduce your local emergency response capability, think about this.

I’m just sayin. Could it happen here. Absolutely. Will it happen here.
Let me check my crystal ball and I’ll get back to you.

225 ANon March 20, 2012 at 5:55 PM

For all of the Anti Union, Anti Goverment posters out there.

Here’s your chance to become involved and make a difference.

226 Dennis March 20, 2012 at 6:16 PM

@ #217 you made my point. The politiccians have carved out a special niche for CCFD budget, and insist that it lives or dies on how much property tax it can raise to support it. Those budget pigeonholes are a fictio,and arbitrary.If the essential services budget is suffering, reroute money that pays for gardeners, admin assistants and clerks, and other NON essential services to cover that budget need. If the county doesn’t have enough revenue to continue paying those non-essentials, then they can fire the non essentials, or propose a parcel tax to pay for them. There should be no question that the Essential services are ever at risk, and thenon-essentials are protected. Why shouldn’t welfare, food stamps, and non-essential personnel be at reisk of losing their funding, instead of the Essentials?

A further fiction – the reation of the politiians – is that essential services are tied to property taxes, but the non-essentials are not. All the revenues should go into one pot, and the essentials should be paid first. the non-essentials can then be paid, as long as there is money left in the pot. If there isn’t, the non-essentials get canned, get budget cuts,get their section 8 funding cut instead.

I’m tired of the politicians holdng the essential services as hostage to oerce more revenue. If they demanded we pay an extra $100/year to keep allthe graffitti cleaners and toll takers and bus drivers,and threaten to fire 1% of them if we refuse, get how the vote would go?

227 bob March 27, 2012 at 10:39 PM

So some will never get it even after spending over 11k at Harvard getting no practical education.
So the fire service needs money from the taxpayers at $90 a pop to start,
so all you who think we all are haters and anti union. The chief dropped firefighters and low level staff, weed abatement people.
But now wants to fill a spot of Battalion chief full of perks that are over the top. This position has been vacant for months and NOW it must be filled. I think you better look at the Models of some other departments in a crunch and have existing staff do a little more work before you fill this 190k
position / 260 K according to kris hunt and the Tax payers association.
I want the people on the Engines not a flow chart that is top heavy and full at the top with bloated Salaries. Cant those managers just do what all of America does and do there Jobs ?

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