Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Is Manteca adding a new firehouse?

Are they really adding a fourth fire station? Here's a map showing the current fire station (the red blob on the right) and the proposed "new" fire station (circled in red on the left). Personally, I have my doubts, but we'll see.

One thing still raises some doubt -- why did the fire chief talk about how the new station will cover the 2,000 or so homes not currently within the 5 minute response time window, and then add that there might be "200 or so homes" (on the east side of town) that will become just outside the 5 minute area? Why would that be so? Wouldn't that only occur if the eastern station was closed? (i.e. the 200 homes in the 5 min. range now -- how will they become out of range unless a fire station is closed?) hmmmm.

Correct me if I've misinterpreted something or leave a comment.

Council wrap up

Last night's city council meeting had some issues that I thought I'd note here.

1. The "memorandum of understanding" for the police union was presented. Check out the raises involved here. There are eleven raises, ranging from 2 to 7.5 percent over the five years (about two raises each year, one in January and one in July.) Two of the raises in years 3 and 4 are unspecified, but may be up to 7.5 percent each and based on some "study" of what other cities are paying their people. How much you want to bet they pick 4 or 5 cities that pay a lot to compare us with?

Just the listed raises turn out to be about a 37 percent increase over the five years. And the two unspecified raises could increase that more, maybe a lot more. The part that I find interesting is that if you do a back of the envelope kind of calculation, if you assume the fire depart will has gotten a similar contract, you find the added costs for payroll is just about $3.9 million. The Measure M tax was estimated to "bring in" about $4 million! So, more or less, the Measure M tax wasn't for "improved public safety" it has gone to lavish pay raises.

And this isn't even considering the two unspecified raises. My guess is whatever money happens to be left in any department or in any source will be used up by the unspecified raises. But maybe I'm too cynical.