Looking Back: The Decision to Contract Out Fire Services

The fire board elections are probably the most confusing ones to people who don’t follow those issues on a week-by-week basis. As I drive around I see signs–some of them quite attractive and expensive looking–recommending a vote for this block of candidates or the other, to keep “local control,” that this slate of candidates is pro-Union.

It gets confusing when you think about it: Our local, elected Board (the ones you are voting for right now) are in control and will be in control and all the current employees are guaranteed jobs. So what is not local? And in both the old way and the new way the fire-fighters are unionized. Just different unions.

What it seems to boil down to is simply this–are you for the salary, health benefits, and workweek changes embodied in the CalFire contract or not?

That moment, when the fire boards decided to give up trying to fix their problems internally and decided to take bids to contract out fire services is one of the great forks in the road of this story.

And we have that moment on film.

Back when I first started shooting community videos here on the coast one of the first things I shot was the Half Moon Bay Fire District board meeting where then Chief Bonano laid out his reasoning and the board voted to begin the process of contracting out fire services. It is interesting to see these videos again, a year and a half after they were first published.

Chief Bonano spells out his reasoning.

Quicktime

Flash

Leonard Woren speaks in support of Chief Bonano’s recommendation.

Quicktime

Flash

Charles Nerherby speaks in opposition to Chief Bonano’s recommendation.

Quicktime

Flash

Union Representative Erick Olson give the Union’s point of view.

Quicktime

Flash

A fire-fighter speaks from the audience and from the heart.

Quicktime

Flash

{mos_fb_discuss:3}

The final vote video seems to have been erased (if you have a copy of my video I would love to have a fresh copy to publish) but in any case the vote was unanimous to start the process of soliciting bids.

Videos by Darin Boville

Comments are closed.