Templeton voters overwhelmingly approve fire tax

August 28, 2019

Templeton property owners have overwhelmingly approved a $15-a-month parcel tax intended to provide emergency funding to the North County community’s fire department that was at risk of dissolving. [Cal Coast Times]

In a vote-by-mail election that concluded Tuesday, 77.90 of voters supported the tax, while 22.10 percent opposed it, according to the SLO County Clerk-Recorder’s Office. A total of 1,992 ballots were cast, according to the initial election results.

A two thirds vote was needed for the initiative to pass.

Faced with fiscal troubles and apparent staff shortages, the Templeton Fire Department asked property owners to vote for the tax, which amounts to $180 a year, to support rising salary costs. Because of limited property tax funding from San Luis Obispo County, the Templeton fire station was only being staffed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Volunteer firefighters cover night shifts, which results in longer response times. Additionally, Templeton fire personnel are sometimes unable to respond to 911 calls, according to the North County community’s CSD.

CSD officials claimed the Templeton Fire Department may have been forced to dissolve if it did not obtain a new source of funding. If that were to occur, Cal Fire would likely take over firefighting and medical response services in Templeton.

Proponents of the ballot initiative touted the property tax as a source of stable, local funding that could not be take away by the state of California or SLO County.


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Niles Q

Tiny fire departments statewide are experiencing the same troubles, funding and staffing shortages and rising costs and training requirements handed down by the State.


citizenkane

It would be less expensive with better coverage to have Cal Fire take over. Oh well.


Boldguy

This is great news for Templeton, they get to keep their Fire department!!!

Cayucos had the same issue with funding for their Fire Department, they didn’t get the needed assessment, poof, lost their Fire Department and are now stuck with CDF:(


malovato

Nothing wrong with CDF.


nunsense

Wouldn’t it be better if initiatives required 2/3 vote AND at least a 50% voter turnout? You see this a lot with elections that are not part of the “normal “ cycle. Best time to get some more money is with a special, no one is paying attention election.


Jorge Estrada

Does this mean that if you have a parcel with no water or sewer and is vacant, you still pay another $180 yearly to protect for nobody or nothing?


kayaknut

In reality only 33% of the voters voted for this new tax. Of the 4670 ballots send out only 42% decided to turn in their ballots, 2678 ballots were not submitted for I’m sure a variety of reasons, that is the real problem. They are trying to open voting to more people, younger, ex felons, illegal citizens but never want to address that a majority of those currently who can vote just don’t.


MrYan

“They” have made more than few proposals to get more voting to occur. Moving Election Day to the weekend. Vote over a 3 day period. More voting machines so people don’t wait in line for hours then give up. Easier registration processes. Vote by mail.


Each of these would encourage legal voting, but I doubt you’d see support for these non-partisan measures. Because the wrong people will be voting. One party tries to expand the voting base the other does not.


I don’t really think you want more legal voters voting when it comes down to it. Otherwise the youth vote, otherwise known as citizens, wouldn’t be so bothersome to you.


LameCommenter

Typical public response. If it’s a firefighter, every reason is believed, every tax is approved.


I’ve not studied the issues in Templeton and it might truly be a wise tax, but overall I think one could legalize child molestation or driving DRUNK via public California vote with an appealing, polished television and mail campaign of an actor dressed in a fire fighter’s suit, holding a child up for a safe drink of water at a fountain.


I wish the public was tighter with it’s pocketbook and not so easily sold on the fireman’s need, the low amount of the tax, and so forth. taxes add up fast.


Just saying. rip me apart if you like.


Mitch C

I concur with your analysis. With the State of California spending millions on people who violated our laws and entered the country illegally, certainly sufficient funds could have been found to fund basic public safety needs of citizen taxpayers without resorting to another tax. Citizens of California are burdened with the highest state tax in the country, what will be next a parcel tax for roads, police, clean air? Is this just the tip of the spear?


Ben Daho

How much do WE spend on Melania Trump? SHE entered the country and violated the Immigration laws. She bore a child here and we pay for ALL of her world travels and Secret Service. THEN she brought her family over here. It’s sad.