Supervisors David Rabbit and Shirlee Zane made their presentation at the podium for the Sonoma County Wildfire prevention, emergency alert and use measure. Gold Ridge FPD Assistant Chief also appeared before the council.
Rabbit and Zane explained the shortage of mutual aid as ten volunteers are now on board, down from 15. There are 40 full-time staff, one fire prevention officer, 39 fire fighters and only 12 for Rohnert Park.
The supervisors said about 200 fire fighters need to be hired but it takes money. The current county-wide fire service delivery structure, funding and system structure is inadequate. The fire system is not meeting NFPA standards.
The public needs and expects prompt and efficient service everywhere and no single agency stands alone. Mutual aid will decline if there aren’t enough funds to strengthen the agency. So, we are requesting a one-half cent sales tax increase which would bring in 51 million dollars. There should always be ample fire fighters on duty.
A sales tax allows us to expand the services for businesses and residents.
The fire chiefs’ recommendations were to get more local firefighters needed to enhance the response capabilities as each year the climate gives us dry and wet years. The dry years are a problem but when it does rain, there are other things to do-we can’t sit on our laurels-tree chipping, trimming branches and to enhance alerts and warning systems. Region nine plan includes Rohnert Park and a fire station is needed across the freeway and a full-time staff is needed and improvements met.
The Board of Supervisors are in partnership with LAFco will conduct reviews every three years with a reduction in funding request until repealed by voters. Concerns about fire protection and disaster preparedness are greater than ever.
Mayor Joe Callinan recognized the Rohnert Park Cal Ripken youth baseball which started in 1989 for receiving the community service award. The baseball is run by 250 coaches and volunteers.
The was the sixth public hearing to receive input on draft maps and potential election sequencing for By-District Elections; designation or confirmation of preferred map and election sequencing and introducing a new ordinance or adoption of Ordinance 943 Amending Title 2 “Administration and Personnel” of the Rohnert Park Municipal Code to add a Chapter 2.66 “District Elections” to provide the election of members of the city council by five districts.
The district maps were shown and with much hesitation, maps were chosen for election years 2020 and 2022.
Belforte quoted maps 105 and 103 for 2020 and maps 1, 5 and 3 for 2022.
Stafford voted for maps 1, 3, and 4 for 2020 and maps 5 and 2 for 2022.
Adams leaned towards maps 1, 3 and 4 for 2020 and 5 and 2 for 2022.
Mackenzie suggested maps 1, 3, and 4 for 2020 and 5 and 2 for 2022.
Callinan suggested maps 1, 3 and 4 for 2020 and 2 and 5 for 2022.
The ordinance was read, and a roll call was taken on with Adams, yes; Belforte, no; Stafford, yes; Mackenzie, yes; and Callinan, no, therefore it will pass, and the maps will be used until the new election in 2022.
Yeymi Perez, the Community Affairs Senator from Sonoma State University Associated Students, Inc. thanked the public safety officers for going to SSU and speaking about the importance of public safety.