A 2014 ballot initiative to raise the parcel tax to fund the TPFD not likely
by Branson Hunter/July 24, 2014/Twentynine Palms – A parcel tax hike for TPWD ratepayers could appear on the 2014 November ballot. Ostensibly, the purpose would be to fund a cash strapped Twentynine Palms Fire Department. But that may not be likely since last night the TPWD disclosed the results of a $49,375 telephone survey by the Lew Edwards Group.
The survey disclosed that two-thirds of those surveyed are likely to not vote for a tax increase. The city pays zero toward funding fire safety and emergency service.
The city of Twentynine Palms city council maintains that fire issues are not their problem. Ultimately, there a couple of showdowns events ahead for the city to raise its awareness on the need for sustainable funding for TPFD and the necessity to use public funds to help fund critical public safety obligation.
Now that ratepayers may not favor a parcel tax increase, the water district may renew its request for a special joint meeting with the Twentynine Palms City Council for a discussion about sustainable funding for the fire department. The TPFD is facing bankruptcy down the road in the absence of sustainable funding.
The HDWD reported they will wait until after the Edwards survey before they renew their request to meet with the city, The Desert Trail reported that the deadline for the district to have an ordinance to the registrar in time to be placed on the Nov. 4 ballot is Friday, Aug. 8.
BTW, has the TPWD dropped its fire “mutual aid” program because the Lear Station is closed because of the lack of funding?
All told, the reality continues to be that the fire department can do only so much. Without the Fire Department’s “mutual aid” agreements to other cities and Base Fires — water ratepayers and city residents would not be safe in their homes and businesses.
Mutual aid is an agreement with neighboring Fire Departments and Base Fire in which they respond to a fire if the home department is unable to respond or responds to assist.
Isn’t it about time the city stepped up to their very first responsibility, fire safety and emergency services. Base Fire and County Fire continues to honor “mutual aid”. But isn’t it about time the city council quit taking advantage of Base and County Fire.
Simply put, (along with ratepayers funding the TPFD) the city must come aboard and help provide funding for fire safety and emergency services. Fire safety and emergency services has taken a back seat with this council, but the issue is in again in their face.
Since this council and John Cole (when he was at the dias) aven’t provided for the public’s safety, Harris, Mintz and Cole are a harbinger of disaster for residents and taxpayers.
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