In the last blog I explained how I evaluated risk to citizens in not hardening the South End Fire House to withstand a big earthquake. In opposing Proposition 1, I also considered the risk in not replacing our Fire Rescue Truck. The Fire Rescue Truck identified for replacement is a 16 year truck residing in a temperature controlled environment. The truck has only 19,800 miles. Additionally, I assure Islanders, Fire and Police equipment is maintained at a high state of readiness. In my five years on the council, I don't recall ever pressuring safety maintenance budgets. Even during the 2008-'09 recession, the Council did not deny vehicle maintenance funds for our Police and Fire vehicles.
I'm not saying the Fire Rescue Truck is not needed. And I'm not saying I like the truck's light green color scheme (all fire vehicles should be red.) I'm just saying
it's probably not worn out or with only 19,800 miles, it's not critical to replace. Interestingly, the replacement may even be a smaller truck having less carrying capacity. There may be a financial argument to replace the Fire Rescue Truck. Older vehicles normally have higher maintenance expenses than new vehicles, but this is a financial issue not a safety issue.
The Fire Rescue truck should have been financed through our City's Fire Truck Sinking Fund. A fund developed to be funded in a predictable manner for a predictable expense. Voting for Proposition 1 condones poor budget practices. Replacing fire trucks is an ongoing expense that should have been paid for first. In order to control spending, I recommend No to Proposition 1. Don't establish the precedent that condones postponing expenses (kicking the can down the road) with the understanding that voters will approve a Levy bail out. Vote no on MI Prop 1 to send the message to appropriately prioritize funding.