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October 25, 2005

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OCFA E67

Poor Steve. Whining all day about firefighter pay only to get scooped on this issue by his own newsroom. And revealing his own incompetence in the process.

Pretty sad to watch him auger in like this.

Mr_Spock

This conflict has been predicted... Atlas Shrugged.

It is really kind of sad to see Greenhut desperately trying to cling to having been right about... something.

Simply put, Greenhut has never addressed the core arguments of Measure D. Those being:

- Prop 172 guaranteed the voters that part of the increased tax was guaranteed to go to firefighers. Measure D finally fulfills that promise to the people of Orange County.
- Federal laws and mandates require 4 firefighters in order to enter a building, Measure D will help fulfill that mandate.
- As the county has grown, so has OCFA services, without recieving adequate funding for these services. Measure D helps to right that wrong.
- Every county official has promised to help with the redistribution of Prop 172 funds, but none have lived up to that promise.
- The OCFA, which provides services to the entire county (services such as hazzardous materials, swift water rescue, aerial fire suppression, terrorist response, and others) needs to update aand replace it's severly outdated vehicles for better service. Measure D will help ensure that our firegighters have the right equipment to do the job.
- The OCFA has had increased demand without the ability to add staffing commensurate with needs. OCFA staff growing by roughly 3% since the late 90's. This has resulted in lower response times to emergency calls. Measure D will help turn around both trends.

Measure D is simply an effort to undo all the wrongs that have been inflicted on the residents of Orange County by weak leadership and misguided priorities by its elected officials.

Vote yes on Measure D. It fulfills the promise to the people.

Green Machine

What a bunch of Bull!

Prop 172 never "guaranteed" you anything. If it did, you'd be in court, not at the ballot box.

Federal law doesn't mandate that you staff an "extra" firefighter. You already send more than 4 to any scene and already meet the "mandate" without spending any additional tax dollars.

Not "every" official has pledged to help you with redistribution...and if you were foolish enough to believe a politician who was only looking for an endorsment..then shame on you!

OCFA rarely provides services to "all" of orange county. The numerous cities that provide their own services would be left in the cold...where's the equity in that?

"The OCFA has had increased demand without the ability to add staffing commensurate with needs" BooHooHoo...so does every other public safety entity in the state...do what everyone else does..live within your means!

The wrongs you claim are being inflicted on the residents/taxpayers is nothing more than a smokescreen. In the end, the taxpayers would have to make up for the money measure D would take from other public agencies...and that my friend is what is really being inflicted on the taxpayers...a tax increase!

Greenhut may be over the top in his hatred for honorable public safety personnel, but this shameful moneygrab has provided an ideal platform for his talking points...way to go

Vote NO ON MEASURE D

Might want to research that a bit better green machine...

In the ballot arguments Prop 172 offered an "Ironclad Guarantee" to fund firefighters. And for the record firefighters have 2 AG opinions and 1 grand jury opinion supporting the OCFA being funded through 172 funds.

Federal and state law do require that there be 2 firefighters outside a structure before 2 can go into a structure. You do the math, and is it better to send 1 truck with 4 people or 2 trucks with 6 people?

And yes, the BOS, the sheriff, and the DA all claimed to support the redistribution of 172 funds. And counting on elected officials word is what government organizations... not to mention voters are supposed to do.

With regard to providing services to the entire county. Are the 15 calls per day answered by the OCFA in cities that have their own fire department not considered serving all of Orange County? And are there other services listed components of any other fire department in Orange County? The answer to both is no.

The OCFA has lived within its means for years, often at the expense of expanding services, like the delayed opening of fire stations in Irvine, like the lack of capabilities in the expanding south county areas... where do you think the growth of Orange County is going? And should we wait a couple years for property tax funds to come in before we start offering fire protection in those areas?

Your arguments are not only flawed and unfounded, they don't address the future of the county.

This isn't a money grab, measure D is an attempt to shore up the chronically underfunded fire authority to provide the essential fire services needed by eveyrone in Orange County.

Greenhut's arguments are tangential to the issue at hand and are currently seeking to justify his positions to show him being right about "something." He knows he is wrong and is looking for some salvation in his posts. It is really a sad statement for him and the register.

Vote Yes on D.

OCFA E67

GM. I won't reiterate what was already so well articulated.

Your anger is misplaced. The Grand Jury reported on this fund back in 1998. The OCPFA has been talking about it ever since.

The only ones who didn't know about it is you.

Get a grip.

Screech

If there is a surplus that can only mean taxes are too high. They should give it back. Cut taxes.

Alright, I said it.
{ducks} {grin)

MrWhipple

I must admit, it has been amusing to see firefighters and law enforcement squabble over the taxpayer kitty. It reminds me of the piñata at my daughter's last birthday party — when it broke, all the kids dog-piled underneath it, punching and kicking each other in an attempt to get as much candy for themselves, everyone else be damned.

True Libertarian

If Mr. Greenhut is the true libertarian he claims to be, and I doubt he is, why isn't he calling for the privatization of the jail.

We know you can privatize jails effectively and we know there are plenty of companies out there that already offer this service.

Come on Steven, get off the firefighters and go after the sheriff, unless you are afraid of the big bad republican?

True Libertarian

If Mr. Greenhut is the true libertarian he claims to be, and I doubt he is, why isn't he calling for the privatization of the jail.

We know you can privatize jails effectively and we know there are plenty of companies out there that already offer this service.

Come on Steven, get off the firefighters and go after the sheriff, unless you are afraid of the big bad republican?

True Libertarian

If Mr. Greenhut is the true libertarian he claims to be, and I doubt he is, why isn't he calling for the privatization of the jail.

We know you can privatize jails effectively and we know there are plenty of companies out there that already offer this service.

Come on Steven, get off the firefighters and go after the sheriff, unless you are afraid of the big bad republican?

redperegrine

Wow, the metaphors for this whole sordid episode have been great. So far my favorites are the hyennas at the wildebeest carcass (my own, I admit it) and Whip's bursting pinata. This blog's got a lot of literary talent.

OC Fire Storm

Mr Whipple,

If one of your daughter’s friends would have hit her in the head, rather then the piñata, spilling the contents of her skull, rather than the candy, who would have you called? Greenhut? I don’t think you would have been as amused then, but you would be hoping that fire got there in a timely manner and was well staffed.

Green Machine

"The OCFA has lived within its means for years" Pleeeeaaaaassseee!!! The "Taj Mahal" is living within your means??? The taxpayers got screwed in that one! You cant possibly believe that a more than adequate buildiing couln't have been built for significantly less???

Some of those savings could have paid for many of the things you are asking for....and I'm sure if you carried that philosophy over to the rest of your budget, you wouldn't be broke.

As for future growth....we both know that developers are required to pay for new fire stations and cities (not OCFA) will fund the rest.

Your 15 calls a day to service areas outside of your perview can be billed to those juristictions.

And those 2 firefighters in and 2 out...You guys send 3 trucks to a kitten stuck in a tree!!!! The system you have in place now is more than adequate! In the long run, you save money by sending two trucks to an incident rather than pay for another firefighter. His annual salary plus benefits over a 30 year career, not to mention retirement benefits is a much higher cost to taxpayers than the alternative and you know it!!

Your funding is adequate and your spending is outrageous! Learn to live within your means and you won't find yourself in need of MORE, MORE, MORE!

OCFA E67

Hey GM,

The Taj Mahal as you referred to it was pushed and approved by your buddy Todd Spitzer.

The rest of the post regarding responses only shows why you need to stick to your profession. You clearly know nothing about ours.

We don't (like the OCSD) bill jurisdictions outside our area. So quit embarassing yourself.

Did the taxpayers get screwed on that? Do you realize that it is a training facility for the entire region? That means that other fire departments, even those in other counties, pay to use that facility making it a potential revenue generator, or at least something that helps offset the cost of its existence.

Furthermore it was built to replace a building from the 1930s that couldn't accomodate the needs of a modern department.

As for developers, sure they may, and I repeat MAY, pay enough to build a new station, but who pays to man it? Most of the new cities you speak of are contract cities that contract to the OCFA... simple logic tells you that there is a need to fund firefighters.

not all 15 calls a day are billed to those other cities, and the point I made stands, the OCFA serves the entire county.

Finally think about what you are saying, if you send 2 trucks with 3 men, and 2 firefighters have to be outside for every 2 inside... you are left with 2 firefighters who are unable to engage the problem. Meaning you have to send 2 more trucks to reach a point where everyone is engaged. 4 trucks to do what 2 or 3 could if you staffed them correctly.

Finally the reason 2 trucks show up somewhere is for that very 2 by 2 regulation. Not knowing what the issue will be when they arrive, the fire deparment is prepared to assist in whatever way may be required.

We can all sit back and say, "you've got too much money," or "you don't spend it right." But we can all agree that if there is a way to make things work more efficiently, and it is something we have already agreed to as voters, then we should implement those items to enable better efficiency. Which is what Measure D does.

Did the taxpayers get screwed on that? Do you realize that it is a training facility for the entire region? That means that other fire departments, even those in other counties, pay to use that facility making it a potential revenue generator, or at least something that helps offset the cost of its existence.

Furthermore it was built to replace a building from the 1930s that couldn't accomodate the needs of a modern department.

As for developers, sure they may, and I repeat MAY, pay enough to build a new station, but who pays to man it? Most of the new cities you speak of are contract cities that contract to the OCFA... simple logic tells you that there is a need to fund firefighters.

not all 15 calls a day are billed to those other cities, and the point I made stands, the OCFA serves the entire county.

Finally think about what you are saying, if you send 2 trucks with 3 men, and 2 firefighters have to be outside for every 2 inside... you are left with 2 firefighters who are unable to engage the problem. Meaning you have to send 2 more trucks to reach a point where everyone is engaged. 4 trucks to do what 2 or 3 could if you staffed them correctly.

Finally the reason 2 trucks show up somewhere is for that very 2 by 2 regulation. Not knowing what the issue will be when they arrive, the fire deparment is prepared to assist in whatever way may be required.

We can all sit back and say, "you've got too much money," or "you don't spend it right." But we can all agree that if there is a way to make things work more efficiently, and it is something we have already agreed to as voters, then we should implement those items to enable better efficiency. Which is what Measure D does.

MrWhipple

OC Fire Storm,

Your last question is a non sequitur. My story had nothing to do with injury to my daughter, nor of firefighter skill and bravery, but of the instinctive human nature to take as much as we can for ourselves and screw everyone else.

Which is exactly what's going on here in this squabble between firefighters and law enforcement over the taxpayers' candy.

OC Fire Storm

Gee, I musta struck a nerve. There's a lot of non-sequiturs on this blog...glad you called mine out. I hope it helps you realize that there is more at stake here then just two groups fighting over candy, as you put it.

Fire is not trying to screw anybody. We're just trying to get our due.

There's a saying in the fire service: "keep your head down" (refers to staying low in a fire building.) It can also apply to piñata parties, political issues and blogging.

anon ii

Where's Barlett now that we need him???? If Gilchrist were in office, the metaphor would have been Pin the Tail on the Donkey, not a damn PINATA!

anon ii

Bartlett, that is...

OC Fire Storm

Don't worry, Anon, Allan will be here soon. He has a lot of time on his hands; nobody reads his blog.

El Jefe

"just getting our due" ?? Why ? Because they showed firefighters in a commercial? A politician made campaign promises? That's weak. OC taxpayers are smarter than that. Especially the 20+% that gets out and votes. You're Doomed Firefighters!

OCFA E67

That must explain the desperation in the new No on D commercial.

Don't know your media guy, but he is our biggest supporter.

JozefColomy

Frankly the Fire Department is ridiculously overfunded as is. In my city, Aliso Viejo, I see the Fire Engine (57 I believe) at the grocery store more than I do with its siren on. More Firefighters on a truck? This isn't Watts, and the city is not, in fact, burning. The Fire Authority needs to stop being the Grinch and start being like Cindy Who and taking what they're given and liking it because there are starving kids in Ethiopia who can't even dream of getting not only Orange County's property taxes, but sales taxes as well.

In all seriousness though, This issue plays to the archetype of "tax-and-spend or don't waste money?" We need not look at the OCFA propaganda of "save firefighter lives" or "cats stuck in trees wil all die now because the sheriff is greedy". Rather we need to look through it to the real message: We (The OCFA) have spent too much money, on things like the "Taj Mahal of Orange County", outrageous pension plans, bullet-proof vests (again, Orange County, not Watts), and over-staffing. Necessity is the word, Ladies and Gents; the real question is whether or not we have it and the answer is NO...NO on D

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