Letter: Why I will be voting ‘No’ on Measure B (Opinion)
Dear Chief Tim Alameda:
Here’s my take on Measure B, please correct me if I am out of the ballpark.
Revenue for Lake Valley Fire District for the fiscal year of 2018/19 was $6.8 million/year.
Salaries/wages paid out were a whopping $5.3 million including overtime: $175,000 and other pay including bonuses: $591,000.
Equipment purchased last year: $77,000.
This year, 2018/19: Equipment budgeted: $22,000.
It is fairly obvious where all the money went, into salaries/wages and benefits.
No wonder LVFD is asking for a parcel tax into perpetuity to buy equipment: its personnel costs are outrageous.
There’s very little money left after wages and benefits and now the overburdened taxpayers (with second homeowners getting no chance to vote) get to cover those shortfalls forever. I know you guys are wonderful and do your jobs well, but when the average pay for a California firefighter/paramedic is about $50,000 (not $93,000-$115,500 per year as at LVFD) (not including thousands in overtime and other pay).
The average family of four makes $50,000 a year and can’t retire at 2.75%-3% at 55. Asking for more tax money with no sunset to support these over-inflated salaries and benefits looks like absolute plundering of the residents in the LVFD.
Needless to say, I won’t be voting yes on Measure B because I am a fiscal conservative.
If labor costs were in control and a proportional budget established, I might have voted in favor.
Thanks for making the LVFD budget spreadsheets available and transparent for residents to take a look at on your site before they mark their ballots.
Toni Hall, South Lake Tahoe
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