Document Sample
                               7276 Empire Grade Road, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
                              (831) 425-1432 e-mail
                                                                                             August 30, 2007
Dear Bonny Doon Neighbors:

The County has launched a campaign encouraging property owners to approve an increase in the County Fire
County Service Area (CSA) 48 fees charged on your County property tax bills. You have probably already
received two full-color brochures from the County Fire Dept. The Bonny Doon Volunteer Fire Board of
Directors is sending you this letter because many of the statements in the brochures are misleading, inaccurate,
and just wrong. We have detailed the County brochure inaccuracies at the end of this letter to be sure you have
honest and accurate information applicable to Bonny Doon.

The Bonny Doon Volunteer Fire Team has provided essentially all of the Bonny Doon emergency response for
many years. While they do this, all of the fire protection taxes we pay go to the County Fire Department, which
is governed by the County Board of Supervisors. The bottom line is that County Fire seems to be in financial
confusion. It has built no reserve to replace vehicles. It has no control over State salary increases it contracts to
pay. It relies heavily on citizens of rural communities like Bonny Doon to build or help build fire stations and
fund the purchase of emergency equipment the County can’t or doesn’t provide. Under this arrangement, the
community that donates the most benefits the least from the fire protection taxes they pay. The County makes
no claim the proposed CSA 48 fee increase is intended to improve emergency services. It may only briefly
postpone further County Fire deterioration – such as closing paid fire stations and cutting paid staff.

For all of the above reasons, we are even more committed to formation of a Bonny Doon Fire Protection
District. That offers huge improvements in emergency services in Bonny Doon. A local fire station will be
staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Response will be faster because of direct and immediate
dispatch from the 9-1-1 dispatch center. All Bonny Doon fire protection taxes will remain in Bonny Doon
governed by a locally elected Board of Directors. Bonny Doon needs to remove fire protection taxing and
spending decisions from the County and CDF Cal Fire.

                                               The Board of Directors,
                                               Bonny Doon Volunteer Fire/Rescue, Inc.

                                      County Brochure titled

County Brochure Wording                                     Inaccuracy for Bonny Doon
Protecting Our Homes and Families section:
 “Currently, during high fire danger season (June           None of the seven paid stations are in Bonny Doon.
  through October), the California Department. of             The stations may be adequately located to provide
  Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL-FIRE) is                  State wildland fire protection, but not to provide
  responsible for staffing seven fire stations in rural       effective emergency response in Bonny Doon.
  Santa Cruz County to protect the communities of
  Bonny Doon, Davenport, Summit/Loma Prieta,
  South Skyline and Corralitos. “
County Brochure Wording                                  Inaccuracy for Bonny Doon

 “Outside of high fire season, three stations are        The fire station on Swanton Road is one of four
  closed and Santa Cruz County Fire keeps four             kept open, but distance prevents effective
  stations open.”                                          response in Bonny Doon.
 …
 “…All funds raised by the measure would remain          Funds would not necessarily remain in our local
  in our local community and can only be used to           (Bonny Doon) community. CSA 48 funds are
  ensure and directly support fire protection and          governed by the County Board of Supervisors.
  emergency medical response in rural Santa Cruz

Emergency Medical Response section:
  “Increased funding is required to maintain             Bonny Doon volunteer firefighters – not paid
   efficient, effective rapid response to a fire or        firefighters --provide efficient, effective rapid
   medical emergency year round in our area”               response to emergencies in Bonny Doon.

  “The proposed ballot measure is needed to              Lack of this increase would neither “cutback”
   prevent cutbacks to firefighters and emergency          Bonny Doon volunteer firefighter/emergency
   medical responders and/or closure of some local         medical responders nor “close” local Bonny Doon
   fire stations”                                          community fire stations.

Rapid Response to Fire or 911 section
 “If local fire stations close due to personnel cuts,    Local Bonny Doon volunteer fire stations will not
  response times in a fire or medical emergency            close. Closing paid fire stations due to paid
  could increase by anywhere from 15 minutes to            personnel cuts will not increase response times of
  an hour, depending on your location”                     volunteer firefighters in Bonny Doon.

 “Slower response times will affect life and death       Volunteer firefighter response in Bonny Doon will
  situations in our rural area”                            not be slowed.

 “Homeowner insurance premiums may also                  Bonny Doon volunteer firefighter response would
  increase significantly as other rural California         not be slowed. Therefore. there would be no reason
  areas, such as Humboldt County, have learned”            for Bonny Doon insurance premiums to increase.

Lifesaving Tools and Equipment section
 “Aging fire engines and equipment must be               Yes. However, County Fire Department has failed
  upgraded to ensure our firefighters have safe and        to build a reserve for vehicle replacement with
  operational equipment they can trust in an               current funding.

 “Local volunteer firefighters in your area work         Bonny Doon volunteer firefighters’ training and
  closely with professionals and they rely heavily         certifications are equivalent to paid career
  on funding from Santa Cruz County Fire”                  firefighters. They are both professional! This
                                                           community has helped fund fire response.
  County Brochure Wording                             Inaccuracy for Bonny Doon

   “Funds from the ballot measure will be used       Maybe, although State salaries that County Fire
    for volunteer training, equipment, lifesaving      contracts to pay requires most of the money and
    tools, emergency communication systems and         that is unlikely to change
    fire trucks”

   Brochure includes photographs of paramedics       Photographs are misleading because County Fire
    and a paramedic engine.                            does not provide paramedic services.

                           County Brochure titled
                    RESPONSE IN BONNY DOON” (FRONT)

   “Your Vote is Needed on a Vital Measure Concerning Bonny Doon Fire and Emergency Medical
                                       Response” (BACK)

                Photograph of                            McDermott Station is a Bonny Doon
               McDermott Station                          Volunteer Fire Station

                 Photograph of                           John Ferreira is also Chief of State Cal-Fire’s
                  John Ferreira                           San Mateo-Santa Cruz County Unit; the
            Chief, Santa Cruz County                      contractor which benefits financially if the
                Fire Department                           County CSA 48 fees increase.

 County Brochure Wording                               Inaccuracy for Bonny Doon

  “…There are some facts about this measure that      These brochures were written by County
   local firefighters and emergency medical             contracted election consultants, and neither
   responders need you to know”                         edited nor endorsed by local Bonny Doon
                                                        volunteer firefighters or anyone representing
                                                        Bonny Doon. See
                                               Minutes 6/22/07, Item 8(5), for

  “Increased funding is required to keep these        Not accurate. Voters could conclude from that
   four stations open and fully staffed with            statement all four stations may close. In fact,
   professional firefighters and emergency medical      none may close. County has not delineated any
   responders year-round”                               plan of closing of even one station. Neither
                                                        Bonny Doon fire station, even McDermott
                                                        Station pictured on the brochure, will close no
                                                        matter whether the CSA 48 fee increases or not.
                                                        The Bonny Doon fire stations are part of our
                                                        community and will remain that way.
 County Brochure Wording                             Inaccuracy for Bonny Doon:

 “Bonny Doon Volunteer Fire and Rescue relies        Also not accurate that Bonny Doon “…may also
  heavily on support from Santa Cruz County            face funding cuts...”. There may be some cuts to
  Fire for volunteer training, equipment,              the County Fire budget. However, the majority
  lifesaving tools, emergency communications           of fire protection taxes Bonny Doon residents pay
  systems and fire trucks, and may also face           are spent by County Fire for the State contract
  funding cuts if nothing is done”                     and do not directly benefit Bonny Doon
                                                       Volunteer Fire or Bonny Doon residents.

 “The proposed funding increase will add $8.25       An $8.25 per month increase to the County Fire
  per month to the tax bill for a single-family        CSA 48 fee on your tax bill adds $99 per year. If
  residential property. Any money raised can           approved the CSA 48 fee will increase from $113
  only be used to ensure and directly support fire     to $212 per year for a single-family residential
  protection and emergency medical response in         property. CSA 48 fees are separate from basic
  rural Santa Cruz County, including our area”         property taxes.

 “This election has nothing to do with forming       It most certainly does have something to do with
 a separate Bonny Doon fire district. If, in the       an election to form a separate Bonny Doon fire
 future, a separate Bonny Doon fire district is        district! The timing of the CSA 48 fee increase
 created, Santa Cruz County Fire will no longer        election comes just as our application is due to be
 collect any local assessments. Until then,            considered in an open public LAFCO meeting.
 Bonny Doon homeowners and volunteer                   You, the electorate, must now sift through
 firefighters count on support and protection          everything about the new district plus the
 through Santa Cruz County Fire”                       proposed CSA 48 fee increase at the same time.
      Board of Directors
      Bonny Doon Volunteer Fire/Rescue, Inc.
      Prst Std
      7276 Empire Grade Road                                          US
      Postage Paid
      Santa Cruz, CA 95060
      Complete Mailing

      Service, Inc.

                                               Bonny Doon Resident
                                               Santa Cruz, CA 95060


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