October 22, 2018
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Frightful, fun, free Halloween activities Public invited to give input on Downtown RP Site Scrappers Steal Win Rancho Cotate Band fundraiser BBQ New interim superintendent Cotati Chamber of Commerce Oktoberfest Big changes to big project in Rohnert Park Cotati approves tree lighting Students at University Elementary discussing the labyrinth R P Foundation gives grants to NOAH and Petaluma Bounty The Cougars defeat the Jaguars at homecoming RP local, Petri Alva, 14, a nationally recognized athlete Seawolves serve up a victory 3.0 quake shakes Rohnert Park Cardinals rout Cougars Fire storm anniversary Arrests and charges target Apple stores It wasn’t an easy fight but Rancho wins again Annie Rasmussen Celebration of Life Sidewalk repair gets big break from City of RP Lowerys help with campaign Cotati residents decry lack of enforcement Spreckels and Alchemia connects community RP Safety Dept. climbs in remembrance of 9/11/18 Another tough break for roller derby RP fireworks to be added to agenda Busy night for RP City Council Cougar to Bear — Simmons’ new pelt SRJC picks up local quarterback Third pedestrian struck by SMART train Little ones with big Polynesian dancing spirit Rohnert Park waiting for approval for canine program The biggest little parade in the U.S.A. celebrates the 4th It’s not quite tennis, nor is it pickle ball, but rather something in between. SweetPea celebrates 31 years Football in full swing, 3rd win Cotati votes opposition to oil leases 3.0 quake shakes RP Polynesia celebrated at annual Pacific Islander Festival SC neighborhood sues illegal pot grower 98 cited in traffic enforcement program RP Public Safety report card Emergency Alert System Test Sept. 10 & 12 Enjoying ribs A seed of thought grows into a peace garden: Burton garden completed RP residents provide input in police chief search Imitating major leaguers A taste of nostalgia – Penngrove’s Power Up! Event RP’s new interim police chief Forum hosted by WLV for RP City Council candidates Penngrove Community Church celebrates 120 years Police officers inspect inside of car Cotati Accordion Festival still a hit after 28 years Kid’s Day Parade celebrates our hometown heroes March for the blind highlights need for more accessible sidewalks Kids and firefighters compete in RP Cougars slay Dragons Rohnert Park Bike & Pedestrian Committee adds new member How to help victims of wildfires Plan approved for Station Ave. park Revisiting those who lost it all: October wildfire victims still on the road to recovery New principals 2018-2019 SMART celebrates a year of service Penngrove native set for amazing voyage Back to school for Rohnert Park and Cotati Office of Civil Rights agreement closes investigation of special ed complaint Penngrove grassfire destroys buildings Supply giveaways lend a hand to families RP to host community forum for public safety director search Search still on for A&L Market robbery suspect A unique university for dogs: Bergin University makes Hatchery and Green Mill buildings its new home RP waits to make update to emergency alert system SSU names new police chief International students continue to flock to SSU’s Language Institute RP Health Center celebrates anniversary

Yes on Measure W will keep fire stations open

By: Irene Hilsendager
September 28, 2018

The Rancho Adobe Fire Protection District is committed to protecting lives and property through emergency response, preparedness, community education and fire prevention, so reflects the mission statement of the Rancho Adobe District. If several of the fire stations would get closed due to shortage of funds, would you be willing to pay extra to receive the protection?

With 89 square miles, 28,000 residents, 9,500 students at SSU and 3,200 live right on campus, with fire stations located in Cotati, Penngrove and Liberty Valley, does this sound even close to feeling safe? 

We as residents of this area must prevent station closures and keep and add quality firefighters, add a paramedic ambulance and try to increase the volunteer base. 

The district is facing a major budget shortfall with the potential loss of $300,000 from the Graton Casino revenue in the last two years. With the 

possibility of station closures, response time for each engine can double. How many lives could be lost with that facing us? Engineers and captain are paid nearly a 22 percent less salary than most neighboring departments and part-time firefighters only getting paid a minimum wage with no benefits. The department is losing staff to larger agencies because of wages and having an increased demand on public safety with more people and more housing due to the growth in Cotati and Rohnert Park. Maintenance has been long overdue and in the near future, equipment will have to be replaced.

The Rancho Adobe Fire District is facing a severe financial crisis that could lead to harsh measures, including closing stations and saying off personnel.

The district said they must explore sharing services with neighboring districts and departments and which districts could we share with and work to ensure that the Graton Casino mitigation funds will continue for another five-years. Therefore, should Sonoma State University start be paying for services that has been enjoyed at no cost? Should the Green Music Center also pay its fair share for services? Will Measure W solve our problems? How much should be requested to remain solvent? 

The proposed ballot initiative for Nov, 2018 is asking for long overdue upgrade to the parcel tax. With $150 SRA tax being repealed would the chances be more favorable? Should we consider charges for all medical calls whether a district resident or not and if the measure doesn’t pass can we pass a tax measure? To provide uninterrupted service, the Committee to Save RAFPD will ask voters to approve raising the parcel tax to a sustainable level with an adjustment for inflation. The RAFPD needs funds to support this campaign and volunteers to communicate the value Rancho Adobe provides. Initiatives like Measure W calls for a 2/3 approval vote required. 

When Rancho Adobe was formed in 1993, they responded to nearly 1,000 emergency calls for Cotati, Penngrove and Liberty Valley and far beyond. Last year they responded to 2,570 calls including firestorm emergencies, saving lives and property. They now face financial challenges that will make it necessary to think about lay-offs and closing stations. The only answer is a ballot initiative that will ensure the protection you deserve for years to come. To pass this measure, the committee to Save RAFPD needs your help more than ever.

Did you ever sit down to figure out how much it costs to equip a Rancho Adobe Firefighter? The jacket is over $1,300, the pants are over $900, the radio is nearly $5,000 and the air pack is over $6,000; these are just a few of the ten items needed. 

On your Nov. 6 ballot, you will see this question. shall Rancho Adobe Fire Protection District Ordinance No. 2018-02 be approved authorizing the district to repeal the existing parcel tax and impose and levy a special tax for an indefinite period at an annual rate of $300 per assessor’s parcel number ($0.82 per) providing $2.1 million annually, with a maximum 3 percent adjustment for inflation with an annual audit demonstrating how all revenue was spent? Vote yes to save your fire protection district.

There will be an event at the Twin Oaks Roadhouse Sept. 29 with live music by Los Gu’achis, songs of the Southwest, terrific good food served by the firefighters, a silent auction and much more. The event will be from 5-8 p.m.  Small and large banners on Measure W will be appearing in the community this weekend.