Measure Q Fails in Contra Costa County – Fire Station Closures Set to Move Forward

November 7, 2012 5:35 am · 170 comments

Measure Q, the parcel tax measure that was created to help save local Contra Costa County fire stations from closing due to the budget crisis, failed to get the 2/3rds required vote to pass.

The measure received about 50% of the vote.

ConFIRE Chief Daryl Louder previously told that between 8-10 fire stations throughout the county would be shut down if the measure failed to pass.

Although the fire stations in question haven’t been named, it’s rumored that station 22 in Concord’s Crystyl Ranch neighborhood would be closed.

Sinn Feiner November 7, 2012 at 5:28 AM

I voted for this! It’s too bad everyone didn’t come together on this one. People can’t complain now if their house burns to the ground by the time the fire department gets there.

Z-Man November 7, 2012 at 5:32 AM

This is exactly what I did not want to happen. That is the closest station to My Family.

Killjoy November 7, 2012 at 5:40 AM

That is too bad. But maybe now they’ll have to reexamine their retirement benefits and overtime policies.

Scooter November 7, 2012 at 5:47 AM

What a shame….they should make results of this public, so those that voted NO are second priority for any emergency…to anyone who voted NO, what will you think if you have a fire or medical emergency…worth the $75? What a bunch of idiots.

Concerned citizen November 7, 2012 at 5:47 AM

When will this firefighters, police etc listen. No one wants these to close but we sure as hell are tired of being ripped off on huge pensions and questionable disability retirements.

Even the chief is up to his butt in this.

If this went down then they need to look in the mirror and regroup, get their house clean and retry

Too bad November 7, 2012 at 5:50 AM

I voted in favor of this and my vote hasn’t even been counted yet because I dropped my mail in ballot off last night to the polling place! Too bad it won’t matter what I voted now !

Public safety = Priority

Contra Costa Taxpayer November 7, 2012 at 5:52 AM

I could not be happier!

Agree with scooter! November 7, 2012 at 5:54 AM

Emergency Services = $75

A life saved = Priceless

The majority of Central County voters = Idiots

Openyoureyes November 7, 2012 at 5:55 AM

This will always be a hot topic debate. Now when these stations close and we have our natural disater hit us hard. And it will soon. The people that voted against Q will be demanding help. Well there wont be any, due to
thier stupidity!

Sandy November 7, 2012 at 6:14 AM

Homeowners are tired of all these fees added onto our property tax bills.

jj November 7, 2012 at 6:38 AM

they still have thier jobs overpayed they want to help themselves more than taxpayers

Pension Reform November 7, 2012 at 6:58 AM

100K a year plus 3% cost of living increase every year plus life time medical for someone retiring at 50. about 50% too much.

Home owner November 7, 2012 at 7:04 AM

Why would somebody vote against this?????

Connie Dobbs November 7, 2012 at 7:06 AM

Actually, Scooter might be onto something. In the olden days property owners would contract with the local fire station. The station issued a badge to place on the building so the firemen would know who paid up. VFDs still work along those lines, I think. I recall reading about a homeowner (not in CA) whose house was allowed to burn down because they hadn’t paid. So it preserves the individual’s right to self-determination, which is cool by me, while satisfying y’all’s apparent need for petty vengeance. Win/win.

Jerry J. November 7, 2012 at 7:07 AM

Unions will kill this county and country. And politicians are owned by unions–look at George Miller.

Too bad for the firefighters but they actually broke the system. And it is the taxpayers that will get the short end of the stick with more deaths and fire destruction.

kimberly November 7, 2012 at 7:10 AM

Here is what is REALLY HAPPENING! The information is from the link below.

With 265 sworn personnel for 600,000 residents, the district is already staffed at half the industry standard recommended by the International City/County Management Association. In Contra Costa, only East Contra Costa and the Rodeo-Hercules fire agencies have lower staffing levels.

Despite 10 percent pay cuts, a lower pay scale for new hires, numerous unfilled positions and widespread deferred equipment repair and purchases.

While critics focus on pensions, Measure Q has no impact on retirement benefits!

So far, the courts have consistently ruled that employers cannot take away current employees’ vested benefits, although there are several pending cases stemming from June ballot measures in San Jose and San Diego.

Local 1230 had been negotiating a less expensive retirement package for new firefighters, but pension legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown made those discussions moot.

The law reduces retirement benefits for public safety employees hired after Jan. 1, 2013, and requires all workers to pay half of their pension costs.

It also eliminated terminal pay — unused vacation, sick leave, administrative and other pay — from the retirement calculation formula for current public employees including firefighters.

The annual loss in pension benefits ranges from 5 to 25 percent of a worker’s check depending on a variety of factors. Contra Costa public employee unions are planning a lawsuit, arguing the provision amounts to an illegal cut in promised benefits.”

Parsnip November 7, 2012 at 7:13 AM

@Contra Costa Taxpayer #7

Remember where, when and why you typed those words. I hope they don’t come back to bite you.

@killjoy November 7, 2012 at 7:35 AM

I thought giving $6.25 a month to keep my local station open was worth it. Only called 911 once in my life, but when I did I sure needed it and if they were delayed I wouldnt be around to worry about this small tax. The firefighters took a 10% pay cut and Brown slashed pension, should they keep going backwards or should I give up a frappucino once a month ?

Truth November 7, 2012 at 7:42 AM

Hopefully this won’t impact their ability to drive the engines to Starbucks on a daily basis.

Guap November 7, 2012 at 7:43 AM

No new taxes of ANY kind.

Taxed enough!

Publish a full audit of where my money goes and then MAYBE….

Mary November 7, 2012 at 7:48 AM

No matter I have no problem paying taxes for firefighters and police. This is what our tax were to go. Government job is to overlook our Defense and Infrastructure NOT daycare, books in Spanish and politicians little pet projects.

Very soon we will be hit by the Big One what will those who opposed it are expecting – a hand out?. Don’t bother to call the firefighters

Trucker Bug November 7, 2012 at 7:54 AM

No one said that the people for the measure cannot still donate to the fire dept. If you are truly that concerned then by all means, please donate funds.

There are plenty of things the state can do to save money. They can use their own vehicles and pay for their own fuel. They could take pay cuts. Just for starters. Instead emergency services and education get cut first.

Why? Because it places pressure on the people to get their next measure passed. It’s a BS tactic and it’s effective so why should they stop?

Mikey November 7, 2012 at 7:55 AM

I voted yes for this. But the whole 10% pay cut is misleading. They took a 5% pay cut and just didnt receive two 2.5% raises. Most of the FFs in the district get paid $100,000+ a year.

Here is the proof.

Other depts other depts on northern CA such as Sac City Fire get paid around 70k. I respect these FFs thats why i voted yes. But maybe other people voted no because of the other stuff like salary and pensions.

Becca November 7, 2012 at 7:57 AM

$75 Dollars annually and people couldn’t vote yes? Cheap bastards…let’s less than you spend a year at Starbucks I’m sure.

lincolnlog November 7, 2012 at 8:02 AM

Firefighters need to be paid well. And they need a good contribution to their pension fund like almost all workers get. They should then be in charge of their retirement funds, like most other workers. They should not get guaranteed taxpayer funded retirements. It should not get to the point of a huge chunk of money going to pay for retired workers instead of active workers.

Mikey November 7, 2012 at 8:09 AM

Also, I gaurantee that everytime you see a fire on the news within the Con Fire District, you will hear them say that response times would of been faster if Measure Q passed. Even if they were the closest fire station. Lol. But too bad this didnt pass. I hope none of the FFs get laid off.

Truth Teller November 7, 2012 at 8:22 AM

To allow public safety to be put in jeopardy because some people do not like how fireman are compensated is ridiculous. Fireman are well compensated because they are well trained, put their lives at risk, and have a sole responsibility of saving life and protecting property. They are not entitled to free office trips, bonuses, stock options, free office meals, free cars, or corporate credit cards that they can use for personal use and then ‘write off’ the money spent as a “business expense”. As soon as an incident arises that results in the loss of life that did not have to happen because this measure was defeated then maybe the houses can be reopened. Perhaps the tax voters would approve of some strict accountability of pork barrel bs county jobs that have no oversight.

led November 7, 2012 at 8:32 AM

This is what happens when you lose the public’s trust on fiscal responsibility. Nobody believes you when you say you need more funds, whether it’s true or not.

The Grant November 7, 2012 at 8:42 AM

Didnt need another parcel tax so am happy this was defeated. Home burns down, oh well…reasoning to be covered by fire insurance.

Dummies November 7, 2012 at 8:45 AM

The average age a firefighter lives to be is around 60 or so. They die very young. Usually before they receive state pension dollars, they first burn through the 25% of their pay that they contributed for 30 years. 25% of 30 years of pay… You will die before you use that.

75 bucks… Stupid broke ass people voted no and now people will lose life an property. Fires double in size every couple minutes. Tax payers screwed THEMSELVES by voting no lol.

They had my vote.

Killjoy November 7, 2012 at 8:48 AM

@@killjoy at post 18.

You got me wrong. I voted for it. I want to keep the fire stations open open open.
I DID have to call 911 once. The fire/paramedics were there in what seemed like seconds.
They were fast, polite, and very very helpful. I would hate to think I had anything to do with anyone losing a career, or worse, a home or loved one.

Killjoy November 7, 2012 at 8:50 AM

Oh, and I don’t drink coffee or any other of those foo foo drinks from Starbucks or any other coffee house.
When I get a Starbucks gift card, I re-gift.
Imagine the mail-lady’s surprise when she found out that gift card was worth $50.00

Broke Taxpayer November 7, 2012 at 8:52 AM

Too damn bad. Make some more cuts to those pensions, reduce the pay and suffer like the rest of us!

LocalGirl November 7, 2012 at 8:53 AM

@ Truth – where are you seeing these daily trips to Starbucks in ConFire Engines? I’ve lived here my whole life and NEVER seen that.

And, to those of you who choose to see this as a pension/pay issue, and think that $75 a year is too much to keep those stations open, you better hope to God you or your family members don’t have a medical emergency!!

Truth #19 November 7, 2012 at 9:02 AM

Perhaps you’re seeing the engine parked at Starbucks, next door to SAFEWAY where they are grocery shopping. They do need to eat. I have seen them come running out of the store mid-shopping to go to a call.

Jim November 7, 2012 at 9:03 AM

@ lincolnlog…I agree with most of what you say BUT Why do they need a pension at all?…who gets “good contribution to their pension fund like almost all workers get.”…there shouldn’t be a need for a pension…I agree, they should do like the rest of us and have a 401K or something similar…I’ve worked for the same compnay for 25 years…are they giving me a pension?…HELL NO…I had to save…I agree they need to contribute themselves and just have a matching contribution like we all have to do why shouldn’t FF have to save for their own retirement?…if you’re getting $100K in income and you don’t save then that’s your fault…why should I pay for your lack of vision? I think their retirement needs a complete overhaul…They can’t just EXPECT that they should be granted a lifetime of income because they worked a career for 25 years…i sure couldn’t

Truth November 7, 2012 at 9:05 AM

This will have a huge impact on the plasma tv and barcalounger industry as well. Fire houses make huge investments in each.

If firefighters are able to forego cable and free food for the two days a week they work, we might be able to keep a couple of houses open.

Informed November 7, 2012 at 9:13 AM

The reason the firefighters in our county are making $100k is due to the amount of overtime they are working to keep stations open. The department is grossly understaffed and yes, some of that is due to what happened last night. With the failure of Q, stations will close, overtime will go away and so will your coverage of service.
The department could have hired firefighters to cover the overtime costs but in the end, they would be now on the chopping block (laid off).

I am afraid the voters have just made a crucial mistake. Confire will now be decimated due to the taxpayers attempting to fix the pension issues even though the district budget and the pensions are two totally different issues.

BagsFlyFree November 7, 2012 at 9:14 AM

Good to see the chief take this one to the chops… Its time to look in the mirror and realize that people are tired of padding retirement packages and overpaid salaries. Everyone knows how police and firefighters have become bloated around the pockets/waist… The secret is out!

To alleviate some of the pain caused by reduced staff we as a county neet to…

A. Better educate our citizens when to call 911 vs when to drive to their local hospital… A certain local demographic has a high ratio of “heart attack” symptoms when often its not nearly as serious, not requiring expensive fire personnel. TV, radio, door to door, and bi-lingual workshops can all help spread the word on proper action during emergency situations.

B. Push MDUSD and other school districts to offer credits/additional transfer eligibility for students who volunteer at fire/police stations. DUI and other non violent offenders can be assigned to go door to door to post flyers on reducing home fire exposure and reminding people to test smoke alarms, gas appliances, and to properly secure flammable goods and houshold poisens.

C. Use smaller/more efficient vehicles for non fire emergencies. Gas diesel aint cheap people… We need to use better dispatch techniques and next gen hybrid/bio-diesel ambulances.

These examples are just a few ideas we all can do to help get through the budget crunch and push for a more lean and youthful fire fighting force in the future.

BFF Out!

LocalGirl November 7, 2012 at 9:19 AM

@ Jim – does your job require you to risk your life every day? Or to be surrounded by toxic smoke and chemicals? Or, how about exposure to contageous diseases when saving lives? Because this is what FF endure. Perhaps YOU should have planned in advance and chosen a career that did offer you such benefits. Ya think?

CCC Anon November 7, 2012 at 9:24 AM

The defeat of Measure Q is an example of cutting off your nose to spite your face.

If it’s your house on fire or your spouse having a heart attack that $75 will look like peanuts.

People get so caught up in the rhetoric and what they want to believe about pensions that they fail to see the truth. Pensions for new hires HAVE been cut. The courts have ruled that pensions for current firefighters CAN’T be cut. Salaries HAVE been cut. Fire departments have LOST Funding because they rely on property taxes which have GONE DOWN dramatically. I bet some of you who voted against this had YOUR property taxes cut due to lower property values.

Tre November 7, 2012 at 9:33 AM

I’m so glad this was defeated. I hate hearing about the brave American hero firefighter that risks his life to rescue me. Yeah, they’re brave, they’re well-trained and they’re job is risky, but I’m sorry, it simply does not justify the retirement packages these folks are getting. Not when you have hundreds if not thousands of potential firefighters battling for a few positions. I know a lot of firefighters and a lot of people that spent years trying to become firefighters. We can cut their benefits way back and still have plenty of folks out there that would take that job. Closing stations is stupid. Just restructure the compensation.

Truth November 7, 2012 at 9:36 AM

@LocalGirl if firefighting is such a dangerous job why are rates of nepotism so high? Dads and Uncles know it’s a cush job and actively push their kin into it for the tremendous pay and benefits.

People are educating themselves on the scheme the firefighters and public unions have going — that’s why you’re seeing record numbers of applicants.

Tahini November 7, 2012 at 9:42 AM

@Killjoy #3, you are stupid.

Tahini November 7, 2012 at 9:44 AM

@Pension Reform #12, you need to check yourself. Your information is inaccurate. You must get all your info from Bornstein at the CoCo Times. Loser.

KAD November 7, 2012 at 9:45 AM

This is so sad. I do not understand people voting against this.

Retired Public Safety November 7, 2012 at 9:48 AM

#30, you don’t get much more pro-public safety than me and I think your completely wrong about most retirees never using anything but their pension contributions. That’s just not true.

I think firefighters deserve a good salary and working conditions. I also think public safety is a core service that should be well funded. I voted no, not because I think firefighters make too much, but because I don’t think this is the correct way to fix the problem. I’m sick of politicians pimping out public safety, so they can raise taxes and not have to cut their B.S. wasteful spending on unnecessary programs. If you’re going to make me vote a-la-carte for services, then I want a choice other than “vote for more taxes or we’re cutting your public safety”. If you’re going to make me balance your budget myself, then allow me to also cut wasteful/non-priority things and divert that money to Fire. If we do that, and it’s not enough, then I’ll vote for more taxes. I watched for years as ballot measures to support my own agency passed and we were never really any better off because politicians found ways to keep us at essentially the same level after supplemental tax increases, by withholding or diverting money from our regular budget, and then squandering that money.

Scooter November 7, 2012 at 9:49 AM

I just love all these people who want :LESS government and NO taxes…sounds great, until your house burns down or you have a heart attack….what do you say then?? Anyone who voted no, if your house burns down, or your spouse dies because no emergency care is available…guess you will then say “oh well, such is life, but at least I am not being taxed”

Crazy Eddy November 7, 2012 at 9:50 AM

Truth “People are educating themselves on the scheme the firefighters and public unions have going — that’s why you’re seeing record numbers of applicants.”

Yep, that and all the post-911 glory (well-earned, but glory nonetheless). The lines for firefighter job stretch around the block 5 times over. Ask anyone looking for a job, they will tell you its true. Potential firefighters now take year-long certification trainings and get their Paramedics licenses, all on the HOPE of getting a job with a department. Supply vastly outweighs demand. So why would we pay them even more? Sorry, but it’s stupid and it has been defeated.

Captain Bebops November 7, 2012 at 9:51 AM

I voted for Q. I don’t want to see this county go down the road to privatization of everything. Those who want that should move to Somalia.

viton November 7, 2012 at 9:52 AM

This was about pensions, plain and simple. Firefighters and police do perform an important job. I’m okay with their salaries. But it’s the OT abuse, disability fraud, pension-spiking, and flat-out unsustainable retirement packages that are the problem. Put public employees on a 401K, give them a reasonable employer (taxpayer) match of ~3% of salary, and reform retiree HEALTHCARE benefits….you know, kinda how things happen in the real world.

House on Fire November 7, 2012 at 9:53 AM

@CCC Anon and all others who say this “If it’s your house on fire or your spouse having a heart attack that $75 will look like peanuts.”

This is the typical fear-mongering that Americans are growing tired of. “Oh no, what if my house is on fire or my husband has a heart attack?! Who will protect me?!!! I’ll pay anything to make sure we have more emergency personnel!”


Subterfuge November 7, 2012 at 9:55 AM

I might have voted for this if the measure had relied on a sales tax increase, then everybody pays a fair share.

Walnut Creek Resident November 7, 2012 at 9:58 AM

WE now need volunteer fire departments! People are opposed to their retirement packages!! Ok now you can do it.. You can fight the fires and risk your life!!! Now they are going to close fire stations. It is not the solution to cut down on services that protect your property and life!!! Well done morons. Now when your houses are on fire and your relatives are trapped and they have no resources to come and put out the fire and save your precious children or wife or husband or animals it is not happening. How dumb are you all? Now what are we going to do? How about making your own fire department and you can save spending on pensions, and you can risk your own lives. Tired of you dummies– at least 30 passed and you are not able to punish your kids!!!

viton November 7, 2012 at 10:06 AM

@ HOF #52,
Precisely. Unfortunately, though, many people still fall for these ploys. To wit, “vote yes on 30 to save schools.” Prop 30 did nothing to address waste and poor fiscal management…it was/is nothing more than a teacher pension bailout. I guess I do take some solace that at least enough voters within CCCFPD were not duped into the Measure Q pension bailout.

@Informed November 7, 2012 at 10:07 AM

Did you look at the salaries in the link posted? Base salaries are well above $100K with another $100K+ in overtime in many cases.

Triple Canopy November 7, 2012 at 10:09 AM

It should have been more correctly named the pension parcel tax.

WCreeker November 7, 2012 at 10:22 AM

An Orange County grand jury study found that only about 2% of fire dept. calls are fires. The vast majority (70 – 80%) are medical. So explain to me why a giant rig with 4 firefighters responds to every suspected heart attack? The fire department model needs to be revamped to reflect reality (that they’re mostly treating medical emergencies and car accidents, not fires).

The Grant November 7, 2012 at 10:23 AM

@Walnut Creek Resident

Based on your rant you seem to be so dependent

House on Fire November 7, 2012 at 10:23 AM

@Walnut Creek Resident

Volunteer Fire! Great idea. Sign me up buddy. I volunteered thousands of hours training and conducting operations for Contra Costa SAR since 2005, with absolutely ZERO cushy pension plan or any compensation whatsoever. Our counties SAR team is 150 strong, ALL unpaid. The largest team in the State, probably the nation. You create a VFD or two in this County, it’ll be very well staffed and I’ll be the first in line. So you can cry and freak out about your house being on fire, calling the rest of us morons and I’ll just go fight your fire for you, for FREE!

homeowner 30 yrs November 7, 2012 at 10:25 AM

the contra costa fire dept uses police tactic to do weed abatement.
the did my neigbors property and charge me $1300.00 additional. total of $2600.00 they charge me and they refuse to refund my money. so they desearve measure Q to fail. they are not very friendly people living as retiree for three years. i’ve spent all my retiree money to do weed abatement over $6,000.00 and still the Contra Cpsta Fire want more money>>>>

CCC Anon November 7, 2012 at 10:43 AM

House on Fire #52, it’s not SH$T. It’s the truth.

Connie Dobbs brought up a case where homeowners had a choice about whether or not to pay a fire tax and have their home protected or not. In that case the homeowners lived outside the local fire department’s service area, but they were given the opportunity of paying a fee (about $175/year, I think) and getting protection from the fire department. One homeowner who decided not to pay the fee made the news when his house caught fire. He called the fire department begging them to come, saying he would pay the fee now. He was irate because the fire department would not respond and his house burned to the ground. He thought they ought to come save his house even though he had previously made the decision not to pay.

Bottomline, if you want government services, you have to be willing to pay for them. Fire houses will close. Firefighters will lose their jobs. Response times will increase. Those are the facts. Our fire department is getting a lot less revenue because its money comes from property taxes. If we want to maintain the same level of service we had to chip in some extra to make up for the lost revenue. We didn’t, so we’ll lose services.

CC Fire $ November 7, 2012 at 10:50 AM

This is totally insane:

Well over 200 people making WAY over $100,000 per year. Are you effing kidding me?! I would kill for that job, as would a lot of other people. This system is way broken and the defeat of Q is the first sign that John Q Public is starting to realize that.

Pants on Fire November 7, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Once the stations close your fire insurance rates will go up. And they will close the stations. It will cost you more in the long run. Not to smart.

annie2u November 7, 2012 at 10:53 AM

The Contra Costa Fire Chief would do well to rethink how he promotes the Fire Dept. to the public – and how the Dept. spends taxpayer dollars – if the Contra Costa Fire District is ever to get a tax increase passed.

The department needs to be run leaner and meaner – and take the advice of the Grand Juries. The fire chief would have been much better off if he have made THAT his main talking point.

A firefighter supporter November 7, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Do you know a fire can double in size every 30 seconds? Do you know your brain will die within 6-10 minutes without adequate cpr and defibrillation? Do you know that an average of 100 firefighters die each year in the line of duty in the US? Did you know that the average lifespan of a retired firefighter is 5-10 years due to exposure to hazardous materials, smoke, stress, etc? My family member just survived a deadly widows maker heart attack thanks to the fast response time, and excellence of care of contra costa county fire department. Im really disappointed and ashamed that this prop didn’t pass. More great people losing jobs and more lives at risk over a measly 75 dollars a year. Don’t complain when they aren’t there fast enough for your medical emergency or when ur house burns to the ground.

CC Fire $ November 7, 2012 at 11:07 AM

You firefighter supporters say the same thing over and over again “Be afraid, be very afraid.” We get that. We get that FF’s have an important job, but they can’t hold us hostage financially for it. It’s not fair and it’s making people mad. Did you guys look at those salaries? Come on now. You gotta admit the current system is just not right.

jadedserf November 7, 2012 at 11:17 AM

While I hate to see anyone lose a job from layoffs, our public paid sector shouldn’t be exempt when the local economy tanks.
If a private company faces similar fiscal shortfalls, the owner quickly adjusts to operate more efficiently. Unfortunately, our public paid managers tend to spend more, do little to actually help the situation. Instead they hire overpriced consultants to take tedious surveys, make meaningless reports and eventually structure the pro-waste spin to appease the outraged tax-paying public.

Whatever happened to the former system consisting of local, volunteer firefighters?

Or what if the city/county adopted a cross-training program like this one?

“A new agreement between the city and one of its labor unions allows Department of Public Works employees to be cross-trained as firefighters. Those workers will be counted on to serve as “on-call” firefighters complementing the Public Safety Department.”

My note: I suspect that there may be more than a few public paid workers who demonstrate an inability to be productive no matter what we do; the idea of multi tasking eludes them. These sorts are merely opportunities for all of us, HR can finally cull this huge herd of overpaid animals who do naught but swill up our tax dollars.

Walnut Creek Resident November 7, 2012 at 11:21 AM

Again to the firefighter supporter number 66 and Pants on Fire number 64!!
This is so true and to fight the pensions by punishing the FIRE DEPARTMENTS IS NO SOLUTION. Now we will be like Vallejo where
they have actually had houses burn up because they were so strapped.
Cross your fingers your house does not catch on fire. I will cross my fingers my house will survive too in case of a fire. I am sick that people are so angry and ignorant they would not vote for what is needed but would rather punish their hard working fire departments.. Also there are other ways to reduce over paid pensions and salaries instead of voting to close down departments. Legislation-petitions for reform not to wipe out!!! dah dah dah…………

OIFVET November 7, 2012 at 11:26 AM

For you guys who did not support this, remember your vote when you see you homeowners insurance goes up a couple hundred a year. Who cares what these guys make a year, honestly. These guys and girls are doing the job none of us want to do, we all enjoy working banker hours, except for those of us in the construction industry. We also like to spend time with our family everynight and sleep in our beds. I cant believe we are crying over 75 dollars a year just to break that down for you that is about .21 cents a day the newspaper cost more than that. You cant even park downtown for less than that. I cant wait to hear you all grabble when you need them or go pay our homeowners insurance.

KooKooKaChoo November 7, 2012 at 11:30 AM


Right On!

KooKooKaChoo November 7, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Let Krusty Ranch pay for their own station!
Don’t expect me to pay. I live in Clayton. (right next to the station that won’t close ever.)

Gjets November 7, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Great, close them up cheif. Who really cares anyway except the FF. Heros, whatever, get a real job first. You make over $100,00.00 a year with a high school education, give me a break!

CAPSLOCKED November 7, 2012 at 11:52 AM

@truth the firefighters pay for their food. They do not get it for free!

viton November 7, 2012 at 11:55 AM

@ 66,
>>Did you know that the average lifespan of a retired firefighter is 5-10 years due to exposure to hazardous materials, smoke, stress, etc?<<

Absolute BULLS**T. Even CalPERS shot that myth down. In fact, their actuarial study showed that retired safety personnel have THE SAME life expectancy as non-safety, and that's with safety personnel retiring on avg at age 55, while everyone else was age 59.

You're the perfect dupe. "Gee, only 21 cents per day." That's THIS time. Then how much NEXT time? And the next? How many bailouts like this that have been proposed in the past, and will continue into the future, before people like you get it that maybe, just MAYBE, something is amiss here? You fail to realize these band-aid pension bailouts do NOTHING to address the systemic problems inherent to a retirement structure that is simply UNSUSTAINABLE. No matter the real or perceived nobility of the job performed, it still does not stand up to basic math.

Anon November 7, 2012 at 12:02 PM

Our property taxes, sales tax, income tax are suppose to pay for “services” necessary to run our cities. Where is that money going, if not to the “critical services”. Once that question is answered, perhaps some who voted “no” will change their mind. Perhaps Local Union 1230 should pay a consultant for a report that outlines to the public where/how current tax dollars earmarked for “services” are really going.

It’s time for the Unions to step up to the plate and come clean with the public.
$78,000,000 spent by Unions on Prop 32 – there is the real scandel. Perhaps Local 1230 could have put that money to better use, like using it to keep the stations open and pay for salary/retirements, instead asking taxpayers for more money.

Killjoy November 7, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Read my second posting (I believe it was #32) before you go name calling.
You Jack@ss

Anon November 7, 2012 at 12:10 PM

I wonder how many people on here know that somebody on Sect. 8 can buy a house using Sect. 8 to help make their mortgage payments. I wonder how many people know that a lot of students who get financial aid to be used for school spend that money frivolously… because they didn’t have to earn it. I voted no because I think our system needs an overhaul all around. I am sick of working hard for other people. I would have gladly voted yes if there was no other alternative. Seeing “students” spend money on down payments for cars year after year, that they then never made a monthly payment on, resulting in a repo. Learning from my real estate agent that Sect. 8 will pay towards somebody’s mortgage because they are low income. These are the reasons I am unwilling to pay more taxes period. I believe that the money for public services is there but it’s being WASTED and that’s the real problem, it’s not a lack of funds.

Supporter November 7, 2012 at 12:12 PM

There are a lot of people making judgments that have no idea what they are talking about. These firefighters contribute a significant portion of each paycheck to their retirement. It’s not a gift. Also, after many years of hard work, many suffer from physical injuries and health problems, which is why the deserve a retirement package that begins at 50.

Yes there are long lines of applicants for positions, but even after considering all those applicants, there are many who can’t fill all the needs of the job. These people need to be fit enough to handle the physical aspects of the job, smart enough to tackle many medical or other emergency issues and adjust on the fly, and be willing to work 48 plus hours at a shot. Just because many are willing to try doesn’t mean they can do the job well.

As for responding to emergencies, most are medical in nature, and the fire department usually shows up well before anyone else. We are talking about saving lives. When they do show for a heart attack, they need all their equipment (engines and all). If they need to respond for a fire or traffic accident, you don’t want them to have to go back to the station to change vehicles. Always bring all of your tools with you, you don’t know what will happen next.

For those who are so critical, and willing to do the job… are you willing to do that after little to no sleep for two days, or while your family is gathering for a holiday, or missing your kids activities? They don’t pick and choose when to respond. They are well trained, and will help you even if you weren’t willing to pay for the protection that they provide.

In hard economic times, many people feel that the public employees (not servants) should provide more services for less pay. Remember that these employees never got bonuses during the good times, and their service is more in demand now than ever before.

Enough Already! November 7, 2012 at 12:15 PM

To all those that supported a “YES” vote on Measure Q.

The people of Contra Costa County may have finally seen the light and stopped enabling the elected officials in Contra Costa County. Those elected officials that have wasted countless millions of dollars on this or that special pet projects and depleted what precious little reserve funds the county may have had. Those elected officials that lack any fortitude to do the right thing and operate within a budget and instead threaten the residents with slashed services, so they, the elected officials, can continue to fund the retirement accounts of those “Public Employees” that retire with pensions amounting to more than the made prior to retirement.

I know many firefighters in Contra Costa County and have quietly listened to many of them as they speak and boast about the scams they pull to maximize their pay, overtime, vacation time off, etc. Several years ago there was a Measure to reform their retirement system and which would have saved it (which I believe went down to defeat). I had a discussion with one firefighter, during which I mentioned that the Measure would not change his benefits only those of newly hired firefighters. . . His response was, NO, the new guys get what we get . . . the Union needs to stand together and fight any changes.

Look it is simple – The county officials need to prioritize the budget and make changes where changes are needed. If this means closing fire stations over reforming the retirement system so be it! However, they do so at their own peril, for eventually the electorate will deal with them too!

We elected them to manage OUR monies properly. . . They too can and will be replaced as the Kool-Aid wears off!

I voted NO on Measure Q – because it is time to stop enabling the system, cut them off and they, the elected officials will be forced to change! Enough is Enough Already!

Dr Phil November 7, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Ever heard of cutting off your nose to spite your face? How’s that going to work for ya?

Connie Dobbs November 7, 2012 at 12:22 PM

“…does your job require you to risk your life every day? Or to be surrounded by toxic smoke and chemicals? Or, how about exposure to contagious diseases…?

Sounds like a typical heavy construction job in SF, and even with benes and supplemental dues we never made near what firemen do. And there are guys lined up to take those jobs, too. Just saying.

Fred P. November 7, 2012 at 12:29 PM

@LocalGirl November 7, 2012 at 9:19 AM ….

1. Firefighters do NOT “risk [their lives] every day”. Having worked in law enforcement for over 25 years gave me a pretty good picture of what their typical shifts include. Maybe a couple of medical calls, a traffic accident, other misc calls. There are VERY few calls of any significant risk.

2. They are NOT “surrounded by toxic smoke and chemicals” on any consistent basis. When they are exposed to smoke/chemicals, they ARE wearing SCBAs.

3. Exposure to contageous diseases when saving lives? No more so than any other emergency responder – EMTs, police officers, etc… Besides, they all use their PPE when dealing with ANY victim. So the “risk” is really no different than anyone else.

I suggest you look at the facts and not just tote out the emotional talking points. What you highlight is NOT what “FF endure.”

That’s based on personal experience and not your talking points.

mortimer November 7, 2012 at 12:35 PM

The voters spoke….bottom line is you folks are OVERPAID….

Enough Already! November 7, 2012 at 12:39 PM

You know, I hear a lot of people saying. . . It is just $75 per year! You are idiots if you did not vote for this and good luck if your house catches fire or if you need medical assistance!

I don’t care if it is only $5 per year. . . at some point the people need to stand up and FORCE the elected officials of this county to manager the funds given to them by the people in a more efficient way.

Yes . . . it is only $75! However, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result!

STOP THE ENABLING ! ! ! You have to call it at some point and perhaps this is that point!

Feckin Irish Mouse November 7, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Lets try simple politics here………………the wealthier the area the more likely it is the station will remain open as money has political clout with the BOS……and…………….How long before the folks of Lafayette bale and join up with Orinda/Moraga Fire which is on the verge of going in with San Ramon Valley Fire because of some adjoining hill they found and the fact the wealthier communities want to be with the better dept and these communities are tired of paying for, what they view as “lesser” communities like Concord….And Clayton can jump ship too as there is the every present adjoining hill know as Mt Diablo.
The tax failed so now we can witness the fallout and there isn’t a thing that can be done about it as Concord really has no clout with the BOS.

@enough already November 7, 2012 at 1:01 PM

How do you know they are not managing their funds adequately? Have you reviewed their audited financial statements? Think of that while your eating at Mc D and spend that in a month of visits.

Anon November 7, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Enablers, AKA Democrats, are slow learners. They still vote the same people into office and expect a different outcome, continually add billions of dollars to government funded disasters with no accountability.

How is the $3,000,000,000, yes billion, we spent a few years ago on Stem Cell Research doing? Another failure of our government trying to run something that a private business could do much better. Let’s hope they finally get it right with Obamacare…don’t hold your breath.

George Miller, Diane Feinstein, and we could go on, we are on the same path. Just a matter of time before more cities go bankrupt, more money is needed for Education, more money is needed for Emergency Services, more money is needed to run the State.

California just MISSED the chance for Change to Move Forward. Some are finally waking up in Contra Costa with the defeat of Measure Q and voting in new school board members.

@ Freckin Irish Mouse November 7, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Why wouldn’t the wealthier cities not combine now since their citizens now pay the majority of the taxes in California? If I was just robbed by the politicians and fellow citizens of California, you bet I would make sure my money went to my City. Do you think you can rob the rich to pay for the poor with no consequence?

Feckin Irish Mouse November 7, 2012 at 1:18 PM

#89 I agree with what you say and if you read what I wrote it says just that……Concord has delusions if they think all of thier stations will be the ones that stay open…………I was raised in Lafayette and understand where those citizens and the folks in the Orinda/Moraga Fire District are coming from. Absolutely I would love to be under the umbrella of SRVF as they are the best FD in the area………..

Walter White November 7, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Sounds like extortion to me. And believe me, I know extortion.
Pay more taxes OR we (let your house burn down)(fire your kids teacher)(outsource your job)(insert threat here)

Fireman B November 7, 2012 at 1:26 PM

I became a firefighter to help people. I have stayed out of this debate and watched and taken my lumps the last 4 years as people vilified my job. I am tired of it. To those that supported us, thank you. To those that didn’t, celebrate your victory in the safety of your home outside of the consequences you just created for us. Thank you for kicking is in the balls again.

Anon November 7, 2012 at 1:32 PM

For those that voted no. Enjoy waiting for responses and paying more for your homeowners insurance. Firefighters already took their cut, they aren’t losing or gaining anything, it’s the public that is losing

Owen Carter November 7, 2012 at 1:33 PM

There are 1000s of unemployed Californians who can pass the mental/physical requirements and would jump at the opportunity to be a firefighter for a ¼ of what our current firefighters make. Unfortunately, unlike the private sector, where you are forced to find efficiencies and be competitive or go out of business, firefighters are untouchable and unchallengeable. Just look at some of the posts “how dare anyone question our firefighters!”. If firefighters, like the rest of us in the private sector (who also I might add, pay their salaries), weren’t artificially shielded from free market economics, we could have double the amount of firefighters at a fraction of the costs. High time to start standing up the powerful firefighters union and reigning in their bloated artificially protected salaries/pensions.

Fireman B November 7, 2012 at 1:48 PM


We give open tests for the fire department. The testing requirements are generally not that stringent to get in. We require a written test that checks if people can do basic math and reading comprehension. At this stage we lose, 50 % of the candidates. We then do te physical test and lose another 30% more. Next, we do the medical, criminal background, and psych eval and lose another 10%.

The private sector sets rigid hiring guidelines – why can’t we?

We are property tax based not general fund based. So, this problem is created by market economics and the fall of housing prices.

Starfish November 7, 2012 at 1:51 PM

I voted yes for this measure. It is good to know that if there is an emergency and help is neededwhen you make that call–someone will respond, quickly.

BusBoy November 7, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Need a chuckle?? – Warning Language Alert!!

If you’re a Firefights fanboi dont watch this…

LocalGirl November 7, 2012 at 1:55 PM

@Fred P. – how do you know what my background is and how I am basing my opinions and comments? How dare you assume you know more than I do about any of this. My grandfather was a FF for 49 years and was never a wealthy man, my father was a cop for 30 years – never wealthy. They BOTH risked their lives … if not on a daily basis, they are WILLING TO on a daily basis. You say you’ve been in law enforcement for over 25 years, yet this is how you speak about people in a similar line of work? So law enforcement gets no perks? Really? As for fire personnel not being exposed to anything … hmmm, remember 911 and all medical issues first responders are having?

Tough Times November 7, 2012 at 2:02 PM

If I have to wait 5 minutes longer for ConFire and AMR to race each other to my house, that will suck, but that’s my choice. If I have to pay more insurance, frankly, I’d rather pay the insurance than continue to support the status quo. ConFire wants to operate on $100,000,000 annually. We can only afford about $88M. That’s life. Deal with it. When my boss says we can only afford to pay you 88% of what you want, I deal with it, I don’t threaten to stand by and watch his house burn to the ground.

@Owen Carter and Others November 7, 2012 at 2:05 PM

What a ridiculous statement. Sure, pay FF’s less money and after they burn out from actually having to fight fires or live with a crazy schedule they can quit for that cushy office job. Do we want a rotating cast of characters as fire fighters? I don’t.

And why do we blame FF and other union workers for pensions that were negotiated by their unions and municipalities? These are contractual obligations that were made to union workers. Sometimes made to make up for a dangerous job, sometimes made to make up for lower salaries than the private sector gives. It’s not their fault if municipalities used shady accounting practices to make it seem like these pensions were funded adequately.

I’m against pension spiking to raise pension base amounts, but I think it’s unfair to blame people who entered into a job with a negotiated contract and then say they shouldn’t be getting it after they have already worked.

For those who voted No on Q, you are short-sighted. This is a classic case of cutting off your nose to spite your face. I hope karma doesn’t bite you in the butt.

Ginny T. November 7, 2012 at 2:11 PM

People please! My dad is a retired fire fighter and does’nt make the money you say. Those people making the big money are Chief officers which are a different union. They took some cuts also but not like line personnel. The main chief officers that caused this whole mess are from San Ramon and Orinda/Moraga, two different departments. Con fire line personnel along with the chiefs pay 25% of their salary towards their retirement. When they take away 11% off the top that they put in, the county will have to reimburse them. That is going to add up. If you put in 27 years and retire you will use the money that you contributed for almost 18 years before any county money is spent. So when you say, “the fire fighters will say if measure Q would have passed we would have been here sooner” thats crap. They wont say a word about it unless there asked and then you will get the truth. Remember who put all this into effect, the elected officials. Now watch in the next few months those same officials will make the fire fighters out as the bad guys to save face. Ask the man you just reelected, DeSaulnier, He was a big push for this retirement. If he tells you otherwise hes lying. Ask the board of supervisors what percent of the budget goes to fire (6%) and the 51% that goes to the county hospital for free medical. Why doesnt everyone quit paying for medical ins. and just go to county? Thats between $500 and $650 a month saved. I see how beat up and broken my dad is and its heartbreaking.

Boots McGillicuddy November 7, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Dear Firefighters,

perhaps if you worked more than 2 days a week, perhaps if you actually worked instead of plating video games, or working out at the firehouse, perhaps if you made less than $150,000 a year for a high school grad, perhaps if you didn’t spike your pensions, perhaps if your pensions weren’t grossly over generous, perhaps if your retirement age was close to 60 instead of 50, perhaps if you weren’t suing the state to continue spikig, perhaps if our schools, parks, libraries and roads weren’t in such poor shape because you guys are taking all the money, perhaps if we weren’t taxed enough already, measure Q might have passed.

I’m not opposed to taxes, but when I pay them I expect to get value for money. Paying a guy $150,000 a year for a 2 day week and lettingh him retire at 50 on full pay and health, is not my idea of good value for the service provided. We have the best paid and benefitted fire fighters in the world here. When we have the best schools and teachers, then, and only then, will I ever consider taxking myself to pay more for firefighters.

Fireman B November 7, 2012 at 2:12 PM


Big thumbs up

Hero and Deserve November 7, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Oh my god BusBoy, that video was brilliant.

My favorite part:

Private sector guy: “Do you know what your pension is worth? You never could have saved that much money. You are stealing it from the taxpayers thanks to the corrupt politicians that your union bribed.”

Firefighter Hero: “So what. I’m hero and deserve.”

Private sector guy: ” F&#* you and your hero bu%&$it! I’m sick of being looted by you and your union thugs.”

Sounds better in robotic voice. Love that viddy!

Lois November 7, 2012 at 2:31 PM

How about if all of us who voted yes just went ahead and donated $ 75? If it was a 50 % yes, wouldn’t that be a significant amount of money?

Smokey November 7, 2012 at 2:47 PM

The measure failed. The taxpayer lost. Be safe out there.

Johnnie Ballgame November 7, 2012 at 2:50 PM

AWESOME! I cannot wait to insult unemployed firefighters. hahahahahaha.

A firefighter supporter November 7, 2012 at 2:53 PM

To all of you idiots saying anyone can do a FF Job ur damn ignorant. U need at least an AS or BA in fire tech, 6 months EMT training before 18 months paramedic training, 1 year volunteer time for FF1 certification, ambulance experience, fro and FRA hazmat, high angle low angle rescue, we have so much training it doesn’t stop. We are the elite. We are your heroes. YOU apparently are OUR downfall and the downfall on society. It takes something like 9/11 for you to appreciate us. And for the volunteer idea… Volunteers arent paramedics or trained adequately, volunteers aren’t going to push drugs into ur veins and save ur damn life. A McDonald’s worker can afford 75 a year you non-supporters make me sick

Horse'n Around November 7, 2012 at 3:12 PM

So 75 dollars a year is too much to pay. But people will wait in line and fight over a pair of 200 dollars tennis shoes. They will spend 200-400 dollars on a new i phone. Every day people spend 4-5 dollars on a cup of coffee. I suggest everyone learn CPR and First aid because their response time for CFD will increase to anywhere from 10-30 minutes depending on where you live. So YOU will have to depend on your own life saving measures for your self preservation…..GOOD LUCK!

aonoooo November 7, 2012 at 3:16 PM

@ A firefighter supporter #108 –
Sorry pal – there are thousands of returning military and ex-military with excellent fire fighting and EMT training. You haven’t even seen the HAZMAT stuff they are trained in.
Thanks a lot but you ain’t as special as you think.

aonoooo November 7, 2012 at 3:20 PM

I’m well insured. My house burns to the ground and I get a new one with everything updated. New landscaping, new clothes, new tools, new furnishings maybe even a new car.
A house is just somewhere to reside, and they’re everywhere.

Owen Carter November 7, 2012 at 3:31 PM

@ A firefighter supporter

Average annual salary for a US solder currently deployed in Afganistan is $27K. They are pretty trained too. Explain to me again why firefighters deserve more than $27K?

Horse'n Around November 7, 2012 at 3:37 PM

I still think that maybe those of us who are willing to pay more for Fire/Police services should be on record, and our response times should be faster then those who don’t pay.

Brad H November 7, 2012 at 3:41 PM

“We are the elite. We are your heroes.” Nice, number 108. That’s how you rally support. That is exactly how you do it. Fireman B must be shaking is head reading your post.

You realize that firefighting isn’t even one of the top 10 most dangerous jobs in the US. So you can save your hero crap. Heroes don’t have unions and pensions and overtime pay. Firefighters do a good, important job. So do a lot of us. Bottom line is we can’t afford to pay them what we are. If houses burn then they burn. That’s it. Done. Debate over. Let’s move on.

mortimer November 7, 2012 at 3:44 PM

You guys want to keep the firehouses open, keep you guys on the job. Don’t let the voters decide. Take the initiative, and go to your administrator’s office and DEMAND A PAY CUT.

Atticus Thraxx November 7, 2012 at 4:18 PM

Disappointing. Really thought this would pass. I truly don’t understand California. What a strange place to live. Thank God the sun shines a lot.

Owen Carter November 7, 2012 at 4:18 PM

@ A firefighter supporter

Average annual salary for a US solder currently deployed in Afganistan is $27K. They are pretty trained too. Explain to me again why firefighters deserve more than $27K?

Anon November 7, 2012 at 4:23 PM

Ginny T – “Those people making the big money are Chief officers which are a different union. ”

They are all firefighters, it’s their choice to have two unions and treat each other like crap. As a Taxpayer, I pay taxes already for their services. Seems like both Unions need to come together.

Public Employee Unions (the largest special interest groups in California) line the pockets of politicians to get what THEY want. When they couldn’t get cash raises, they went for higher and higher pension, retirements and benefits and got it. Now, the State, cities and taxpayers cannot afford it. This is the Union and the Politicians to fix, and not with threats to TAXPAYERS and measures to increase our taxes. Cut spending, it’s a novel idea.

Brian November 7, 2012 at 4:26 PM

The tax payers have spoken, and by vote decided what type of Fire Department they want. There are no hard feelings, there is no need for more insults or demeaning comments towards firefighters or the fire department. There are no “Threats” to close fire stations, it is simple economics, staffing must be reduced, and in turn fire stations must close. Pension reform has already passed at the state level and firefighters will now retire at age 57. Some commenters on here are so unhappy with themselves and their current jobs (or lack of jobs) that they must try to spread blatant lies about firefighters. Firefighters work 56 hours every week without additonal overtime. The food, cable, supplies are paid for out of the pockets of firefighters. Con Fire pays the highest employee pension contribution in the USA at 24 -27% of salary, depending on when the firefighter was hired. Con Fire currently has one of the lowest staffing to population ratios of any fire department in california. After the Board and Fire Chief decide which statins will close, the ISO will surely come in and rate the department on the ISO scale. Con Fire is currently an ISO 3. No one knows how far that rating will drop, but when the dust settles and the department is rated, the insurance companies will then assign an appropriate risk level to the community and insurance premiums will be set. None of these things I have stated are threats, but are facts of what the voters have decided. I will continue to pray for the firefighters and their families that none of their lives are lost and none of them suffer serious injury in trying to protect the community with inadequate staffing.

viton November 7, 2012 at 4:35 PM

I’m not one saying “anyone” can be a FF…or cop for that matter. But regardless of the requirements/hazards of the job, that is no basis with which to extort taxpayers to fund unsustainable pensions. I know, I know, we’ll hear about how FF’s contribute to their pension. Swell, then go to a defined-contribution model that doesn’t keep the taxpayer on the hook for the life of the FF…and their surviving spouse. But we know they would never go for that, seems to be a nice little safety net there having the taxpayer guarantee their retirement. Hmm, I seem to recall the Grand Jury a few years back that reporting that the unfunded retiree healthcare benefits for public employees of CCC is more than that of Alameda, San Mateo, Orange, Riverside, and San Diego counties. COMBINED.

Once you’re done being sick, perhaps you should petition your like-minded sycophants to pass the hat for your heroes, donate to your heart’s content.

jadedserf November 7, 2012 at 4:40 PM

Your linked clip reminds me that such positions are also rarely, if ever, staffed with women.

Hobo November 7, 2012 at 4:46 PM

Seriously who voted against this? The Grover Norquist people? Concord needs to get a brain.

Joe November 7, 2012 at 4:56 PM

@ Gjets, get a life, you can easily go hand in an application for this job tomorrow departments are hiring, then u can quit masterb$&@ting to the backdraft poster on your bedroom wall and actually see what we really do. To all the people that voted no things are gonna change and you are gonna get what you pay for. It’s pretty sad you can’t pay less than a paper a day or a latte a day to have fire stations. Some of you chose to have a desk job, some of us chose to become paramedics and firefighters, you all had the same choices. You get paid for what you do maybe a career change for some is in order. Have fun paying more for insurance than you would have for this measure. Ps this money was not going to pensions it goes to keeping stations open, and repair on fleet. It’s easy to hide behind a computer screen and talk sh$&@ why don’t you come to your local station and do a ride along and see what we get paid for.

GG November 7, 2012 at 5:48 PM

@ #119 – Brian

Thank you.

A firefighter supporter November 7, 2012 at 5:57 PM

Exactly what Joe said. Oakland’s hiring apply and see if u have what it takes for this easy overpaid job we have.

Soccermomwithabrain November 7, 2012 at 5:59 PM

@Enough Already! – I agree. I voted “No” on Q. I also voted “No” on 30. Too bad Prop. 30 passed. I don’t know anyone who voted “Yes” on 30 but P.T. Barnam was correct.

Johnnie Ballgame November 7, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Every fire station can be fully staffed if every firefighter is paid minimum wage.

Let’s get it done!

Beaver November 7, 2012 at 6:33 PM

@Johnnie Ballgame – That’s fine, but then there would be nobody to rescue your ass when your mom’s house catches on fire. Guarantee that people don’t run into burning buildings for 8 bucks an hour. Johnnie your a jack wagon! Sorry that you couldn’t pass the psych test and get hired and be the hero you want to be.

True November 7, 2012 at 6:36 PM

I voted yes and was sorry to see it not pass. Wait you young peopel till you get over 60 our your parents do. I have had to call 911 on my mother in law ,my self and for my husband and when my brother died. I’m very great full for all fireman and police men. To me they could never be paid too much. Our lives depend on them many times. Some peopel I just don’t under stand.

Slugga November 7, 2012 at 6:37 PM

What a bunch of short sighted buffoons. Want small governments, low taxes, traditional values, and religion in the public square? Move to the Middle East!

Just me November 7, 2012 at 7:09 PM

It is sad reading this how many people that didn’t read he facts voted against it. Adding “cheaper vehicles” for medical calls sounds great….but who pays for be purchase? This isn’t the 70s TV show Emergecy people… “My station won’t close” if your station is 11, 6, 10 etc no they won’t close but they will have a bigger coverage area…,your home is on fire but they are at a medical….your burning house will pay the price as the next closest engine is sent. “4 FFs on a rig….”last I checked it was three which meets minimum standards set forth by the Gov’t.

Less backfill coverage….large fires like Piedmont Lumber, Marsh Creek grass fire, last summers fire by CVCHS; less engines from East County being sent to cover ConFire Central stations. SRVFD if I have read correctly will send 2 engines for station coverage into ConFire stations. I suggest people listen to the scanner and hear the medical calls: heat attacks, not breathing, not alert, child injured. Theses are not people who have the flu and a fever usually. I have used 911 once in my close to 40 yrs in Claycord…and was very thankful for be quick response to a teenager not breathing and pulled from a local pool. I am far from a union supporter but this impacts my family if/when we need fire or medical help someone saving $75 a year and my loved ones life is changed forever.

Anon November 7, 2012 at 7:38 PM

It’s sad when the public employees and politicians continually ignore what the the voters are saying. Reform and accountability. I support firefighters, however, there is no accountability with government or public employee unions. I am to the point, if it’s a tax, it’s no until there is true reform throughout government, which includes the public employee unions since they are paid with taxpayer money.

Larry November 7, 2012 at 8:03 PM

Swell,4 more years with a crap president,and less fire-fighters.were screwed.

anon November 7, 2012 at 8:18 PM

dam, I voted for this and am MOST CONCERNED with any fire station closing after all of the fires this year in Contra Costa County; they need to cut back elsewhere.

JustMe November 7, 2012 at 8:42 PM

This was a hard sell at this point in time. We’re still in recovery. We have among the highest rates in the nation for gas at Shell and Valero at the bottom of Kirker Pass. Why Valero is matching Shell, I’ll never understand, but each has lost me as a customer. When it’s cheaper to buy gas in Walnut Creek or Pittsburg, than in Concord, then something is wrong. It irks me that I see the refinery from my house, and yet I could buy gas cheaper in Hawaii, an island, than here in Concord.

Anyway, less pocket money makes me not want to support anything that increases our taxes for the area. We already pay a lot. It costs a lot to live here. All my neighbors seem to be sharing their houses with others, I’m assuming to help covers costs.

I think in the long run, we have to find another way to have a fire department and make it work. If it doesn’t work at the current cost structure, then we’re going to have to adapt and change.

BusBoy November 7, 2012 at 8:57 PM

Here are some numbers from the CCFPD themselves.

As people here have said before. I think its time for the CCFPD to revamp their model for responding to EMS/Medical issues. Rather than roll a rig that might miss out on a structure fire. Send a different vehicle better suited for responses such as those EMS ones. Itll get through traffic easier and be on scene faster.

B November 7, 2012 at 8:57 PM

Bottom line. If you call 911 for a ” medical emergency ” an ambulance will come to your house and take you to the hospital. That won’t change.

Management Problems ? November 7, 2012 at 9:33 PM

Management of any organization includes controlling employee cost not the least of which is controlling overtime cost.
single employee overtime $161,642 in 2011
single employee overtime $132,421 in 2011
single employee overtime $107,334 in 2011
single employee overtime $106,945 in 2011
single employee overtime $101,252 in 2011
single employee overtime $101,102 in 2011
single employee overtime $100,373 in 2011

Gjets November 7, 2012 at 10:51 PM

If the FF dont’ like they can quit and get a real job, i bet they won’t quit. To much money is wasted on Public Safety in CCC like Fire, Police, Probation ,Sheriff ETC. the money should be going to Education. To much pork and obese public employees in CCC

Don P November 7, 2012 at 11:11 PM

Oh darn. Now the firehouse wont be able to send out an engine with full crew and block off the entire street because of a medical call for some kid who had a peanut allergy reaction. CAN SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?!

@92 Fireman B November 8, 2012 at 12:10 AM

Shut up and go buy yourself something nice.

Mikey November 8, 2012 at 2:39 AM

Ok so the reason why an engine (or sometimes a truck) respond to medical emergencies with the ambulance is because they need to make sure all resources are there to take care of the patient. Sometimes the dispatch information can be wrong. A full arrest call u need at least 4 people on scene. Sometimes they get calls where its a 400lb. patient on scene. They need to prepare for the worst on scene.

Chupacabra November 8, 2012 at 6:40 AM

The school my kids go to SUCK every single day. I hit the same pothole at the end of my street every single day. I want my tax dollars fixing those things. If in the 10,000/1 chance my house catches fire and the response time is a little longer, I can live with that.

You have your budget fire fighters, if you want to keep the houses open make some cuts in personnel costs,

Anon November 8, 2012 at 6:45 AM

I feel like the statute of limitations has run out for suburban firefighters hitching their wagons to the the NYFD heroes and 9/11.

You’ll need to find another talking point to hold the public hostage.

B. Willson November 8, 2012 at 6:54 AM

1. Eat until you’re tired…
2. Sleep until you’re hungry…
3. See #1…

MO November 8, 2012 at 7:21 AM

You no voters probably can afford to buy a Starbucks coffee on your way to work … 1700 calories in those fancy concoctions …. fattening you up like a little pig. Thus making you more likely to have a heart attack. When your chest hurts and you call 911 and no one comes in time, remember how you voted and how expensive that coffee was as opposed to paying a tax for your Local FD.
Foolish analogy…I suppose.

Living rurally as I live, makes FD’s very important. My FD is a Volunteer Unit…the station is too far for them to get here for a house fire…but I give them my $60 bucks every year…for other things…grass and woods fires, and maybe to help me if I’ve fallen …. etc etc. I have also donated a large pond here by the house…where they have placed a snorkel so they can pump out water into their trucks, for my house or the houses up the road.
My Firemen make $12 a fire…they have to leave their jobs and try to get here in time. IMHO they are heroes and I’ll pay more when they ask for more.
I agree on ”no new taxes”….but the tax to pay for Police and Fire and Ambulance is a matter of Public Safety and your possible life and death…to have voted no on this is foolish, and it’s obvious you have your priories all mixed up.

BusBoy November 8, 2012 at 7:52 AM

@Mikey #144

All resources?? What resources can an engine hold that a typical EMS/Ambulance cant? Save your breath Ill tell you. None.

Sometimes the dispatch info can be wrong? WTH does that have to do with what kind of medical issue is at hand. Any personel arriving will begin asking questions as they should rather than going right to work relaying on dispatches as gospel. Again this is about “what” to roll… not “who” to send really.

Why can a EMS/Ambulance crew handle a full arrest with 2 people and you folks cant? If 2 EMS people can heft a fatty into the ambulance then 2 FF damn well better.

FF are dispatched because of superior response time to my knowledge. They get there and begin work… then the ems/ambulance crew arrives to take over.

Im saying the argument that FF give that a house could burn down while they are on a medical call with an engine is lame and a non starter in my book. Stop sending the engine… send a different smaller, faster, more nimble vehicle.

Beaver November 8, 2012 at 7:55 AM

@anon.- Sorry that you feel that you are being held hostage. The fireifighters have no say on staffing, deploymnent, stationss closing or not. All of those decisions are made by the Fire Chief and/or Board of Supervisors. No fireifghters would agree with your self serving statement that firefighters are “hitching their wagons” to 911. You are abviosuly ignorant to the loss of lifeand injuries that Firefighters here in contra costa have suffered. Google actually has a map:
Instead of showing some respect that have suffered loss of life in service to the public you choose to spit on their graves! Please visit the memorial wall at the training center on Treat Blvd. at the Training Grounds and see the list of Firefighters in this county that have paid the ultimate sacrafice.

Scott Millies November 8, 2012 at 7:56 AM

Need a chuckle?? – Warning Language Alert!!

If you’re a firefighter fanboi dont watch this…

Pants on Fire November 8, 2012 at 7:56 AM

Fools 52% voted in favor that’s a majority. Unfortunately the minority has convinced everyone that it should take 2/3 to put this into effect. Hopefully the demos who have a super majority will change it to 50% +1 and we can revisit this and get it passed. I hope the unions and state legislature makes this happen. 2/3 never works as a small minority can hold the rest host and deny the good benefit of the majority.

Seal November 8, 2012 at 8:12 AM

I have to agree with Anon on this one.

LocalGirl November 8, 2012 at 8:17 AM

@Fred P. — whatev … you go on living your life angry, disgruntled life and I’ll go on living mine – happily – while thoroughly appreciating and respecting the emergency response personnel in my community and beyond.

Pete November 8, 2012 at 8:43 AM

Can you also direct me to the memorial for the highway workers in our area that have been killed on the job? And while you’re at it, also please advise locations of memorials for refinery workers, structural steel workers, power line workers, and farmers. Thanks.

Starfish November 8, 2012 at 8:51 AM

Yes–“appreciating and respecting” those are damn good words!

Fred P. November 8, 2012 at 8:52 AM


Not angry, not disgruntled. I’m happy that it didn’t pass. Sorry to disappoint you.

Just remember that the voters have spoken – so deal with it. Living your life “happily”? Then stop complaining that it didn’t pass.

Mark November 8, 2012 at 9:02 AM

I really like it; I did vote against, they are killing our city with those outrages salaries and pensions, on top of that they work OT like crazy, I know lots of them and they keep telling me just in OT they can make over $100,000.and they basically limited the openings for new comers, if we can prevent them to work OT and the new comers make less money nothing of this will it happens.
If you ask any of them to reveal the real income do you think they will tell you the real number, of course they won’t tell you. Let’s get over it, is a big lesson to learn, open the gates and let new comers to join the force and less money you will see better results

Owen Carter November 8, 2012 at 9:06 AM

Average annual salary for a US solder currently deployed in Afganistan is $27K. Explain to me again why firefighters deserve more than $27K?

Pete November 8, 2012 at 9:38 AM

What is with the firefighter fanboi/sycophants who constantly use Starbuck’s as their litmus test of how much more we should be willing to have confiscated in taxes? I’ve never been to a Starbuck’s in my life and I still voted NO, how does that grab ya?

And I see claims that ConFire personnel contribute 26% of their salary to their pensions…I’ve never seen this as fact, but I’ll take their word for it. But correct if I’m wrong, weren’t their larger raises given at one point, larger in the sense that it was a few pct point higher than what was “normal”, and this was done in order to offset their increased pension contribution rate? And what is the EMPLOYER contribution rate? I’ve seen/heard numbers ranging from 40.8% to 50%…as in FIFTY PERCENT, i.e. HALF of your salary the employer (read: taxpayer) is contributing towards YOUR pension…is that correct? Wow. Find me any private sector employer who gives more than a 6% match on a 401K, REGARDLESS of whether the employee is contributing >6%.

I love our troops November 8, 2012 at 9:41 AM

Will you work for $27K ?
Our soldiers deserve more.
Our firefighters do not deserve less.

Pete November 8, 2012 at 9:46 AM

Okay, here’s where the 40.8% employer contribution rate came from…so this means we, the employer, the taxypayer, ARE paying 40.8% of each firefighter’s salary towards their pension, right? Is that base pay, or does it include OT?

And about OT…when firefighters are on a what, 48-hr shift, is there OT included in that, or is that “norma” shift all on straight time, and OT is for anything over that 48 hrs?

Pete November 8, 2012 at 9:47 AM

oops, forgot this…notice use of the word “unsustainable”.

The employer
pension rates for FY 2012‐13 continue to increase at an unsustainable rate – from 32.3% in FY
2011‐12 to 40.8% in FY 2012‐13 for Safety Tier A.

Dan Hinshaw November 8, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Don’t complain when a neighbors house catches fire and then starts yours on fire. This is a very realistic possibility. If someone I intentionally starts their or a vacant structure next to yours on fire there is a good possibility that it will start homes on either or both sides on fire. A fire engine with on three firefighters on it have to protect structures on fire before they go inside the original house to extinguish or search. Three firefighters are not enough to do all so there’s a good chance additional homes could burn also. Good luck to those in this fire district.

Owen Carter November 8, 2012 at 1:37 PM

@Dan Hinshaw

No one is saying firefighters aren’t needed. We’re saying we’re no longer willing to subsidize their ridiculously bloated salaries, pensions and job security. They need to be laid off and re-hired at a fraction of what they currently make. Their narcissistic arguments (our jobs are dangerous, we’re trained, we’re special, we’re entitled) no longer hold water. Their extortion tactics (either continue paying us or you will suffer) no longer work.
They need to start living in the real world and being held accountable to the same realities as those who pay their salaries, those in the private sector where open/free market economics force efficiencies and drive down costs, or, you go out of business and get laid off.
If they and their unions can’t rectify the problem themselves, they need to be privatized.

Beaver November 8, 2012 at 3:30 PM

@ Owen -Glad your opinion means nothing. Free market economics are at work, because people are leaving Con Fire for higher paid departments that pay less for their pensions. Owen, I understand that you have tried to get hired and unfortunately failed the test, but please. Keep your gurney jockey transport job and be happy with what you make there.

Scott M November 8, 2012 at 4:14 PM

Very nicely put Beaver, a women of not just class but intelligence too! Something tells me you might be a firefighter? A second grader could have come up with a cleverer response. Aim high!

Wally November 8, 2012 at 7:34 PM

Your retort to Owen is found to be severely lacking. You might want to get a whole lot smarter before you try again.

GG November 8, 2012 at 8:48 PM

Just waiting for the next crisis that hits the area…then Public Safety will be “heroes” to every single whiner on here. It is actually very funny to read how those that voted no think they are teaching Public Safety a lesson. More than likely there will be no lay-offs as many fire employees will be exiting the service before the end of the year before the new reform takes place Jan 1st. The attrition will make up for the closures. As for “reforming” existing pensions, can’t do that as the California Supreme Court has stated that those pensions are promised and cannot be revoked. The formula for the new hires has been adjusted by age and percentage, so folks get as whiny as you want, it ain’t gonna change anymore than that – except to lessen the service side for you.

Fred P. November 8, 2012 at 9:10 PM

If – if – if – if…..

You can ‘t pay for EVERY possibility….. although some people like to think that’s what gov’t is for.

@ GG November 8, 2012 at 9:26 PM

#169 –
Gee buddy I hate to burst your bubble BUT as we have seen EVERYTHING can be changed or eliminated with the stroke of a pen.
Maybe you should start thinking about making some concessions.

GG November 10, 2012 at 2:02 PM


Maybe you should learn a few things before making ASSumptions.
I’m not Public Safety or a County Employee. The California State Supreme Court has already ruled on the pensions as being irrevocable. (Big word Iknow, it means “can’t change”) So genius, not everything can be changed. In the meantime, less facilities and employees, less service. Go take an Advanced First Aid course and buy a big garden hose.

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