Giving Measure K a no vote

Reader Input
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I voted for Measure B to support our Newcastle Fire Department now and in the future. Following passage of Measure B, the Newcastle fire board at its Aug. 9 meeting approved adding health care benefits and for full-time engineers a raise from $8.75/hour to $10.50/hour. The battalion chief and captains received a raise/health benefit. The part-time clerk and firefighters received a raise, but no health benefit. The additional cost per year for the raise/health care package is $79,773. Measure K drops the parcel tax after three years to $307 parcel which will provide around $60,000/year additional income to the current budget. That’s around $20,000 less than what’s needed to cover their raises/health care. The existing $74/parcel is already allocated for current operating expenses and salaries. It cannot cover the new benefit package, so it would need to be rescinded resulting in our firefighters receiving extremely low wages with no health benefit. Also, without Measure B, how do they replace old equipment? Additionally, I too oppose paying $115 for the Cal Fire fee ($150 — $35 credit for existing fire protection). Whether the fire station was officially condemned or not matters not to me as it’s in extremely poor condition, and refurbishing it as a fire station would not be the best use of our money. I don’t care how the residents of Castle City Mobile Home Park are assessed; Measure K doesn’t change the assessment method. I am voting no on Measure K. KATHLEEN DEVITT, Newcastle