Why has the Valley Center Fire Protection District (VCFPD) placed Measure SS on the ballot?
Our Valley Center community is AT RISK when a wildfire, natural disaster or other emergency strikes. The Valley Center Fire Protection District, was established in 1981 to provide local fire, emergency medical and community risk reduction services. Already one of the busiest rural fire departments in the region, demand is growing for our emergency services.
With a growing community and virtually NO funding help from the State or County, it’s getting a lot harder to serve Valley Center’s increasing demand for fire protection, emergency medical response, and prepare to be ready when a major emergency strikes here.
What is the actual question that voters will be asked to decide in November?
“To maintain Valley Center’s essential local fire protection/emergency medical services; reduce fire/9-1-1 response times; recruit/retain qualified firefighters/paramedics, provide a living wage; replace aging, lifesaving, firefighting equipment; build fire station, helping lower homeowner/business fire insurance rates, shall Valley Center Fire Protection District’s measure levying $180 per parcel annually, providing $1,228,000 a year until ended by voters; with low-income senior exemptions, independent oversight/audits, all funds spent locally, be adopted?”
How will Measure SS funds be used?
Measure SS will:
- Maintain essential local fire protection and emergency medical services
- Reduce fire and 911 emergency response times
- Recruit and retain qualified professional firefighters, paramedics and provide a living wage
- Replace or upgrade aging firefighting and lifesaving rescue equipment
- Add a new fire station to better serve Valley Center
- Help lower fire insurance rates to individual homeowners in Valley Center area
- Replace the repealed Cal Fire fee with a stable, locally-controlled funding source to meet the needs above, and significantly reduce safety risks to our Valley Center community
By law, ALL Measure funds MUST stay local, dedicated to Valley Center Fire Protection District.
Why does the Valley Center Fire Protection District Need Funding?
Measure SS is needed to ensure that help is there for you when a life-threatening medical emergency, fire or natural disaster strikes – EVERY SECOND COUNTS.
Our community is facing two very real threats:
First, 2018 is the worst year on record for California wildfires leaving destruction across the state. We cannot risk another wildfire like the Paradise and Cedar Fires that struck San Diego County.
Second, more than 75% of local 911 emergencies are medical emergencies like heart attacks, strokes and car accidents. Brain deterioration starts five minutes after a person stops breathing.
The problem is this: the average 911 response time in Valley Center is 11 minutes. Medical emergencies/fire incidents have increased by 34% over the last two years. Valley Center Fire Protection District DOES NOT have enough firefighters, rescue equipment or fire stations to maintain safe response times.
Measure SS provides a prudent plan to address Valley Center Fire Protection District’s most critical needs. NO other funding currently exists to meet these needs.
How can we be assured that the Measure SS money will be spent properly?
STRICT Taxpayer Protections are MANDATORY. By law, ALL FUNDS STAY LOCAL. The State CANNOT take this funding away. Independent Citizens’ Oversight/mandatory audits ensure funds are spent properly.
Can senior citizens receive an exemption from Measure SS?
Senior citizens are eligible for an exemption. Measure SS provides an exemption for low-income property owners age 65 or older. We do not want this measure to be a burden to those living on a fixed income. To find out how to apply for one, please contact the Valley Center Fire Protection District at (760) 751-7600.
How much will Measure SS cost?
Measure SS costs $180 per parcel per year, or $15 a month, to provide a stable, local source of funding for Valley Center Fire Protection District that cannot be taken away by the state. Senior citizen homeowners age 65 or older may apply for an exemption for their primary residence. To find out more about the exemption process, please contact the Valley Center Fire Protection District at (760) 751-7600.
Will businesses share in the cost of Measure SS?
Yes, both commercial and residential property owners will be subject to the same rate of $180 per parcel.
Don’t we already pay a Cal Fire Fee?
For the past five years, local property owners have been paying as much as $150 a year to Cal Fire to support fire prevention services with little to no benefit from the Cal Fire fee collected. Last year, on July 1, 2017, that Cal Fire fee was repealed by the California Legislature, so you will no longer be required to pay Cal Fire for local fire prevention services.
With Measure SS, local residents can take the money they’ve been paying to Cal Fire and their insurance companies, and put that money to BETTER use through Valley Center Fire Protection District. With your support of Measure SS, the Valley Center Fire Protection District can provide improved fire protection, emergency response AND help you lower your insurance rates.
Who makes the final decision on a local parcel tax measure?
The locally elected Board of Directors of Valley Center Fire Protection District is the legal entity that has called for the Measure SS election. Ultimately, Valley Center Fire Protection District REGISTERED VOTERS will have the final say when they vote for or against the measure.
Who is eligible to vote on Measure SS?
All registered voters (over 10,000) living within the jurisdiction of the Valley Center Fire Protection District will be eligible to vote on this Measure. The last day to register to vote and be eligible to vote on Measure SS in the November 6, 2018 Election is October 20, 2018.
Where can I get more information?
For more information, visit our campaign website at: VoteYesOnMeasureSS.com OR contact the Valley Center Fire Protection District website at: www.vcfpd.org OR by phone: (760) 751-7600.
Paid for by Citizens for Better Fire Protection – Yes on SS