Fire consolidation process in progress

Letter to the editor

By on Sat, September 10, 2005

Ginny McShane is vice president of the Point Montara Fire Protection District board and is a candidate for reelection in November. Coastsider welcomes responses and letters from other candidates for the board.

The Point Montara Fire Protection District and the Half Moon Bay Fire Protection District have hired Robert Olson and Associates (ROA) to consult on preparing a Consolidation Application to be sent to the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo), in San Mateo County.

In the LAFCo process, the fire districts will hold a series of study sessions open to the public. The Consolidation application will include the current fiscal conditions of both districts,  financial projections of a consolidated district, recommendations for cost savings, a recommended capital replacement schedule, and fire district governance models.

Study sessions and committee meetings will be open to the public and properly noticed according to the Brown Act.  A consolidation application will be developed, and sent to LAFCo.

LAFCo than considers the application. If the application is approved, time is set aside for a protest hearing.  During this protest period, citizens can collect signatures to force a vote. Ultimately, the LAFCo executive officer shall make a finding about the protests submitted which will result in either a termination, an order to hold an election, or an order to find annexation complete.

As you can see, this process is comprehensive and includes everyone. Consolidation has the support of the firefighters’ union and both fire boards.

Geographically, the Coastside is separated from other fire service providers.  The Consolidation of these two districts would provide a single fire agency.

Please attend these meetings.  Your input is very important. Preparations are being made to televise these meetings on Channel 6.