Friday, July 6, 2012

Recall effort to replace 3 Coastside Fire Protection District board members

Of five (5) Fire Fire Protection District board members, three (3) are taking action to replace CalFire and establish a local department. Two board members and a group of citizens are unhappy with the decision. 

Grass fire at Highway 92 near Pilarcitos Road, 2 of 3
Grass fire H-92 near Pilarcitos Road
Coastside Firefighters descending a steep cliff face enroute to a vehicle “over the side” at the bottom of Devil’s Slide in the ocean
Devil's slide to "over the side"vehicle
Half Moon Bay Review/Sara Hayden, 7/5/12.  "Fire board recall effort moves forward, proponents have 120 days to collect 2,714 signatures." 20% of of registered voters in the district.

"If ultimately successful, the recall would remove directors Mike Alifano and Gary Riddell and board president Doug Mackintosh from their elected positions before the end of their terms. Riddell’s term is set to expire November 2013; the terms of Mackintosh and Alifano run out November 2015.

photo gallery
Fire at a nursery off Highway 92
Currently, the district contracts with the state fire agency for management of day-to-day operations on the coast. With CalFire's contract set to expire in less than a year, CalFire advocates are working in a tight time frame to keep the agency on the Coastside. A boisterous core of about three dozen citizens who support reauthorizing the CalFire contract has been attending recent fire board meetings, but leaders of the recall effort say they are not being heard by the board majority.

Alifano, Mackintosh and Riddell would rather see the CalFire contract expire and establish a local department, while directors Gary Burke and Ginny McShane adamantly support CalFire. Read Article. 

Related article - San Mateo Daily Journal/Bill Silverfarb, 7/5/12. "Fire district seeks stand-alone. department."   "....  Moss Beach resident Mike Gaynes, one of the leaders behind the recall effort, said the old stand-alone model is a discredited one.  ....  Prior to Cal Fire’s arrival, fire departments on the coast were a costly mess, Gaynes said, resulting in more than $1.2 million in lawsuit settlements and legal fees as well as high turnover and poor morale. "

ReferenceCoastside Fire Protection District. "The Coastside Fire Protection District, located in the San Mateo County coastal area of California, serves the City of Half Moon Bay, the unincorporated areas of Half Moon Bay and the unincorporated communities of Miramar, El Granada, Princeton-by-the-Sea, Moss Beach, and Montara."

Posted by Kathy Meeh

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