Revised Schedule for Upcoming Fire Station Closure Meetings Around Claycord

January 4, 2013 15:00 pm · 38 comments

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The Contra Costa County Fire Protection District will be hosting meetings to discuss the closure of fire stations in our affected communities.

At the December 11, 2012 Board of Director’s meeting, the Board voted to close four fire stations – one each in the communities of Clayton, Lafayette, Martinez, and Walnut Creek.

The closures are necessary to close a budget deficit due to reduced revenues from declining property taxes, coupled with increasing costs to the Fire District for personnel and general operations.

The fire stations are scheduled to close on January 15th.

The meeting schedule follows:

Community: Lafayette (Fire Station 16)
Date: January 15th (rescheduled from January 7th)
Time: 6:30pm
Location: Lafayette Veterans Memorial Building, 3780 Mt. Diablo Blvd.

Community: Martinez (Fire Station 12)
Date: January 10th
Time: 6:30pm
Location: Martinez Jr. High School, 1600 Court Street

Community: Walnut Creek (Fire Station 4)
Date: January 22nd
Time: 7:00pm
Location: Walnut Heights Elementary School, 4064 Walnut Blvd.

Community: Clayton (Fire Station 11)
Date: January 23rd
Time: 7:00pm
Location: Clayton Community Library, 6125 Clayton Rd.

The Fire Chief will be joined by members of the Board of Directors at each meeting, as well as members of the affected City Councils and City Managers. Fire District staff and Board members will be available to answer questions regarding the closures and efforts to reduce the impact to the community during the meetings.

photo credit: “Flash” - Claycord.com

{ 38 comments }

1 anon January 4, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Pensions & OT will not change..
Just look at the salaries for the last year including OT & say you do not have a problem…………

2 Contra Costa Taxpayer January 4, 2013 at 3:45 PM

Just close already!

3 Yep January 4, 2013 at 4:04 PM

… and no firefighters out of work. Just relocated to areas that already have plenty of coverage.

4 Shuley January 4, 2013 at 4:27 PM

Fire District eats their young…

5 anon January 4, 2013 at 4:42 PM

1, 2, 3 and 4…..hope you each have great insurance, equipment and training for the first 20 minutes of an emergency….ah…that’s right, you did save $75.00 bucks recently.

6 Elwood January 4, 2013 at 5:11 PM

I’m still trying to figure out why the mayor is reluctant to point out that the board of directors of the fire district is our illustrious Board of Supervisors who tremble in fear every time they see a firefighters representative at the podium.

7 Anon January 4, 2013 at 6:18 PM

I guess it can’t be avoided at this point but sorry to see the Clayton meeting is 8 days AFTER the station closes.

8 Dorothy January 4, 2013 at 6:27 PM

Why have a meeting after the closure date? It won’t change anything.

9 Gjets January 4, 2013 at 7:16 PM

close them, who cares

10 Townie January 4, 2013 at 8:04 PM

Union Yes!

11 Always Right January 4, 2013 at 8:05 PM

The firefighters monopoly union just cannot take no ( more taxes) for an answer.

Go to these meetings and your contact info will end up on the recruitment list for the next drive to raise taxes.

The public will suffer because the union refuses to make meaningful concessions on their outrageous retirement and lifetime medical benefits, their absurd work rules,etc..

When will this end? When will the greedy government unions stop feeding at the public trough at the expense of needy taxpayers and those who depend upon city and county services?

12 AnonyMrs. January 4, 2013 at 8:40 PM

Why stop with fire stations? Close down the police stations and hospitals and schools. Oh wait, they already did that…

13 Lorelei January 4, 2013 at 8:45 PM

Where’s the FOR SALE sign on Station 11? Do you people REALLY believe that they will close a fire station in CLAYTON?????

14 Safety Second January 5, 2013 at 5:10 AM

Volunteer fire department…….bring it on! Has worked well throughout America for centuries

15 OhSoCasual January 5, 2013 at 9:00 AM

I thoroughly agree with AnonyMrs. (#12)… same thing I was thinking when reading the article…

Our government is retarted.. truly, RETARDED.

God Bless America!, no seriously, I’m begging you God.. we NEED your blessing, as our country is being run by a bunch of MONKEYS.

16 Educate yourselfs January 5, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Whenever there’s a fire in claycord people go nuts on this website. Unfortunately 99 percent of you posting are uneducated on the facts of our CCC fire department. Most get their facts from the county times. They see pay and benefits posted but not hours worked or what the ff paid into retirement. They see that firefighters aren’t being laid off with these stations closing but don’t realize the department is over 60 positions short. They say close the stations but don’t realize if you own a house in the effected areas your fire insurance will most certainly rise. I hope no one is negatively effected with the loss of our protection. All I ask is if you want to post go talk to a ff. Ask them about their pay, retirement, and working conditions.

17 Always Right is ALWAYS WRONG January 5, 2013 at 11:47 AM

How about those greedy tax payers who signed fOr outrageous mortgage loans (sometimes two or three) fully knowing they won’t be able to afford it if rates went up…and when they did they just walk away from their legal and moral obligation causing the housing crisis we went through. How about those people that had to have new kitchens and cars and boats when they couldn’t afford it. A bunch or crying children now.

And what do children do? They blame it on others.

Unbelievable! Thank you firefighters for what you do!

18 Contra Costa Taxpayer January 5, 2013 at 12:23 PM

@#17

It was banks that made horrendous business decisions by loaning money to people who had no chance of ever paying the loans back. In a perfect world, these banks would have gone out of business but instead we socialized their losses.

As for the firefighters… they can suck it.

19 Old Timer January 5, 2013 at 1:59 PM

Maybe the residents with a clayton address would be willing to throw enough money into the pot to keep it open.

20 Don P January 5, 2013 at 2:51 PM

#17 Always right is ALWAYS WRONG

Nothing you said proves Always Right is wrong. All you did was change the subject and assumed he voted for “outrageous mortgage loans” to back up your side tracked rant, even though you don’t actually have any clue whether he voted for that or not. And even if he did, this has NOTHING to do with the economic reality that government funded employees are sucking the state dry.

This is what FF’s and public employee cry babies always do on here – they get mad at the comments against them, and instead of proving these comments wrong they either change the subject or talk about how brave and honorable they are. You wont find much actual substance from any of them.

21 @ suck it firefighters January 5, 2013 at 2:56 PM

??? Not really sure what you want us to suck, but well pass on that…

And my point exactly! Blame it on others! Blame it on the banks not the people who signed for the loans without knowing if their income could cover it…or even knowing how to spell budget. Your a joke.

Again, your a child who’s scared cause of your mistakes and everyone else will take the blame not you. Get a life. Get informed or stay in the dark forever.

22 @ Don P Earl January 5, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Are you kidding me? Meaningful concessions??? You mean a $700 pay cut the FF offered to keep stations open till now? How much more does the COUNTY’S fire dept need to be kept afloat from the FF salaries. You throw $700 out your car window a month and tell me how meaningful that is. FF are making the salaries from 2006.

Was that a meaningful response for you?

23 Elwood January 5, 2013 at 5:20 PM

@ Contra Costa Taxpayer #18

The government (read dimmiecrat politicians led by the lovely and charming Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd) informed lenders that ability to repay would no longer be a criterion for lending.

And if the government which regulates you has the power to put you out of business, you’re going to go along with the program.

24 Howard K Mullins III January 5, 2013 at 5:36 PM

Who’s really to blame?

The voters! The voters let their elected representatives get away with promising benefits above the norm, but even worse, the politicians did not make any plans to pay those benefits once they became due.

So through around all the comments you want.

The people who voted for the representatives who got the budget to this place are the people responsible. The people who voted for the representatives who did nothing to avoid this budget mess are the people responsible. The people who voted for the representatives who don’t have the courage to resolve these budget issues are the people who are responsible.

The people who voted for these representatives and then did not demand that they amend the original contracts, or planning to pay on those contracts, or make the changes needed to pay for better contracts the citizens can afford, are the people who are to blame.

Don’t blame others for your own failures.

25 @dawn p January 5, 2013 at 6:00 PM

You must be the best employee ever!!! Always offering up pay when your company needs it! What a stand up guy!

26 ChampagneKitty January 5, 2013 at 6:24 PM

I don’t believe the purpose of these meetings is to talk about how to prevent the station closures; that decision is already made and is a done deal. The purpose of the meetings is to discuss how the closures will affect the communities and what changes will take place and to answer any questions. So the fact that the meetings are taking place after the closures take affect don’t really make a difference.

27 Don P... North Cawncord January 6, 2013 at 2:05 PM

#25

Thanks for proving my point. Instead of proving me wrong change the subject and make a personal attack against me on something that has nothing to do with the debate.

28 @don p January 6, 2013 at 2:40 PM

The point is if you make a deal or contract stick to it and pay your obligation. If you take out a mortgage honor the terms and conditions. And if you agree to pension benefits for your employees honor that. That’s what wrong with America, short term memory with no morals or values. You are an example.

29 @don p January 6, 2013 at 2:45 PM

One more thing as an example which I hope you get. You go into a restaurant and order a meal and eat it, then decided you think it costs more than you think it should and decide to tell the owner that you are only going to pay half because your salary and hours were recently reduced and you are being forced to reduce your expenditures and he should do the same. . Sounds like that is okay with you.

30 Elwood January 6, 2013 at 3:05 PM

@ champagne kitty #26

I believe the purpose of the meetings is to spread fear and confusion in hopes of putting another parcel tax on the ballot which the bamboozled voters will pass.

31 Policy of Truth January 6, 2013 at 5:02 PM

After reading several of the posts above (especially the ones by “Elwood”, Don P, Contra Costa Taxpayer, and Always Right) all I can say is the ignorance, assumptions and sub level of common sense displayed is, well… stunning. Scratch that–it is downright embarrassing. You are adults right? Act like it. At the very least, attempt to show some respect for yourself.

I hope for the sake of the rest of the population, the ridiculous postings here are not reflective of the average person but those with some sort of anger issue or personal envy.

Quite frankly, many of the postings are downright ridiculous and are only a juvenile attempt to incite a reaction. Congratulations, you got it.

Maybe it is time to start acting like adults and qualifying statements rather than simply casting innuendos. This is about public safety…not some sick little game.

Lastly, post #17 spelled it out. Note to “Don P”; The poster did not “change the subject”, as you alleged, they correctly and responsibly identified the root of the problem. If you are not able to draw the nexus, that is a shame. But then again, I don’t think anyone could really be that stupid.

32 Not Bamboozled January 6, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Elwood, this tax payer WILL NOT be bamboozled into voting for another parcel tax.

33 Policy of Truth January 6, 2013 at 8:06 PM

@ Not Bamboozled,
Please educate us.

-Since your fire department is funded by property tax, has yours gone up or down over the last few years? (A very safe bet is that the amount you pay has DECREASED). Hint: This is why the fire department revenues are down millions of dollars.

-Are you expecting the same level of service if you are currently paying LESS?

-Are you willing to pay MORE in the form of increased homeowners insurance rates because you were not willing to properly fund emergency services to prior levels? Reminder: you don’t get to “vote” or be “bamboozled” into paying higher insurance rates. It’s pretty simple economics.

-How many “extra” fire department parcel taxes are you currently paying or have you voted “for”? (Since you stated you won’t be bamboozled into voting for “another” parcel tax).

I’ve got new for you; if you are listening to the CC Times (Dan Borenstein), CCTaxpayers club (Kris Hunt) or relying on the foolishness of “Elwood” when it comes to emergency services then you have already been bamboozled.
Some people just take longer to figure it out.

You have all the information and the reality of the situation is imminent. Don’t forget, this is just the first round of station closures. The district has promised MORE to follow in 6 months.

Good luck.

34 Jerk January 6, 2013 at 8:26 PM

Ah yes! Keep holding meetings until you “Convince” the people that they Need to pay more taxes.
Nothing like some good ole fear and paranoia.

35 ChampagneKitty January 6, 2013 at 11:05 PM

from Policy of Truth #33 “You have all the information and the reality of the situation is imminent. Don’t forget, this is just the first round of station closures. The district has promised MORE to follow in 6 months.”

I have also heard this said at the last Concord City Council meeting on 12/11/12 when Fire Chief Daryl Louder came to give his report.

36 Policy of Truth January 7, 2013 at 10:40 AM

@ Jerk # 34,

Perhaps you missed it the first time around or maybe you are just a tad bit s-l-o-w. In either case; The problem is that “you” (we the people) are NOT paying more taxes. We are paying LESS. This is a fact-not opinion. It has been stated numerous times that the county tax rolls (i.e.; your property taxes) have declined over the last few years due to the decline in property values. Because the fire district derives its revenue directly from that source, less money means decreased operational budget (i.e. closed stations/less service). Pretty basic math, however somehow it got by you.

Regarding the meetings-you most likely can confirm the budgetary issues stated-so simple even a caveman can understand it. As for your fear and paranoia, I doubt if they can help you with that. Therapy maybe???

@ Champagne Kitty #26/35,

You are correct with both of your posts.

37 Policy of Truth January 15, 2013 at 9:03 AM

Dan Borenstein’s Crusade Against Public Pensions Gets the Best of Him and Misleads Readers
January 12, 2013

Dan Borenstein is one of the few columnists that understands many of the complexities of public pensions but his personal bias and crusade against public employee pensions once again got the best of him, thus misleading your readers, in his January 11 column (“CalPERS planning to gut a key cost-control provision of new pension law”).

He attacks CalPERS preliminary interpretation of the new pension law that went into effect January 1 and the types of compensation that can be used toward calculating pensions. Contrary to Borenstein’s snide comment that CalPERS operates “in a parallel universe,” our interpretation of this provision is the agreed upon intent of those who wrote, passed and signed the bill into law. What he neglects to tell readers – a fact which CalPERS explicitly shared with him during multiple attempts to try to help him get the facts straight, which he nevertheless failed to do – is that during the legislative process, CalPERS worked with the legislative committee consultants to answer their questions and enable them to write the bill according to their intent. They agree that the intent was to eliminate some special compensation but not all of it. Further, as we prepared our preliminary interpretation in recent weeks, we based it on conversations with officials in the legislature and the administration. In spite of Borenstein’s most fervent personal desires, the legislature’s intent was never to limit pension calculations to base pay only. Additionally, CalPERS will seek broad public input on the issue of compensation before any interpretations or regulations are finalized.

Borenstein’s view that our interpretation of the law will lead to pension spiking is both shortsighted and wrong. The abuse of pension spiking, by significantly increasing an employee’s base pay in the final year of their career, has been addressed in changes CalPERS instituted years ago for public agencies and school employees. In fact many of the items specifically called out in the new legislation have not been reportable to CalPERS. Pension spiking is also addressed in the new law through a cap on compensation that can be used to calculate a new member’s pension as well as requirements to use the average of an employee’s highest salary over three years of their career for public agencies and schools.

Lastly, Borenstein is again wrong when he condescendingly claims that CalPERS “absurd interpretation of the new law will … erode untold billions of dollars of savings that … CalPERS previously claimed the new law would produce.” The only absurd interpretation here is Borenstein’s complete ignorance or disregard of what CalPERS actually said in our cost analysis of the bill. CalPERS never claimed that the restrictions on what is included in pensionable compensation would result in significant savings, let alone “untold billions.” Instead, CalPERS wrote in our cost analysis: “We have not reviewed or been able to assess the potential impact of any such changes. To the extent that savings are realized as a result of additional restrictions on pensionable compensation, the savings will be greater than quoted in this analysis.”

CalPERS is committed to implement and administer the laws as they were enacted. Borenstein has done nothing more than rush to judgment and yell fire. If his readers believe his rhetoric, they will likely only get burned by the misinformation.

38 Suckers January 16, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Citizens of Contra Costa shoot themselves in the foot (again) rejecting a measure to ensure the safety of its Community. Congrats to all the uneducated voters who haven’t a clue what they voted on.. Suckers!! Now your insurance goes up three times the amount you would of paid to keep Station open.. Yep you made a statement allright, give your money to the big insurance companies intead of your local community. Then you wonder why america is on the verge of Revolution and collapse..

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