Firefighter urges no on Measure E

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I have lived in the foothills for 52 years and served this community beginning in 1962 as a volunteer firefighter and continued for 27 years holding all elected offices including fire chief and director, working with 25 of the finest volunteers in the county. The fire and water directors along with staff would attend meetings in San Francisco with the insurance services organization every two years. They set fire rates statewide for community fire readiness protection. These meetings helped bring the fire rate from seven to a five which saved local homeowners hundreds of dollars yearly. We accomplished all this on a $42,000 yearly budget. Today the fire department has approximately 12 full- and part-time employees with a yearly budget of $1.5 million plus with salaries taking up 86 percent or $1.3 million. A city population can afford the higher salaries for firefighters, because much more revenue is generated than a rural area with much less population. Someone needs to look at the situation of the district and the elevated salaries compared to other like-size communities and find a way to fix this situation in house rates rather than raising taxes on the local homeowners. I believe the board of directors along with some past boards has lost sight of where we live and enjoy living a better life in these foothills. I will be voting no on Measure E. Better tighten your belts, boys. Also what?s the interest in spending time in Foresthill? BOB JEFFRIES, Auburn