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Explaining Away Systemic Corruption in Sonoma County Fire Department Heirachy

Posted by [email protected] on December 4, 2016 at 3:30 PM

With the authority given to Cal Fire Chiefs, gaining their favor is not a cheap proposition. That that favor is even for sale is a matter for the individual fire chief and his maker, or for a budding investigative reporter. To play the devil's advocate, what if a given fire chief was somehow bought and paid for by an organized criminal interest? What harm or mischief might he really be able to perpetrate? What could a Fire Chief even do to earn a fancy new car, free rent or that luxurious once in a lifetime vacation that would even be of service or interest to a thriving criminal concern?

For one they have the power to:

· Redirect traffic- and assume control thereof by roaring through intersections in huge trucks at their pleasure while blaring sirens and flashing spotlights at will.

· Gouge property owners- the California Fire Prevention Fee of $117 and change transferred huge wealth to Fire Department coffers. A representative of Gerber and overseer of Cal Fire decried the hoarding and questioned what the Fire Chiefs are saving the money for, to pad their retirement accounts? Elected officials soon began raising concerns about the unspent balances.

Weston, a former Cal Fire unit chief who pays the fire prevention charge, said there’s no excuse for all of the unspent money in the fund.

“Statewide, they’re collecting $75 million (a year), during one of the worst droughts, in one of worst fire seasons, and the best thing would have been to add a bunch of inspectors. They didn’t do that,” Weston said. 

· Drain City and County Treasuries- Sonoma County fire agency leadership, ignoring the huge tax surplus of over forty million dollars already collected from the above, united to demand further encroachments upon tax weary Sonoma County residents. An advisory group of fire agency leaders poised to select a plan that will be short on details but likely will call for millions of dollars in additional funding.

The guiding principle behind most mergers is to consolidate resources in order to save money. Not throwing it away on expensive studies by high priced think tanks whose recommendations could have more cheaply and easily been made by a free Google search. Or on brand new pickup trucks, bonuses and lavish parties for the fire cheifs, fancy new state of the art, and untried fire equipment. Without even the slightest effort at achieving cost reductions. When less expensive alternatives are always an option, assuming that they are even being considered.

Max Ming, fire chief for Russian River and Forestville, displayed zero concern for the beleaguered Sonoma County taxpayer. Near bragging about his and his fellow fire chiefs profligate spending, “our plan is much bigger and more expensive.” One of the few items that the eighty-fire chief adviser group could agree upon was that there was unanimous support for a proposal to seek more money from the county to fund fire services. There was no contention over the decision to seek the money, Fire officials, however, are seeking far more money than the county has set aside for fire services.

State Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber, who sits on the budget subcommittee that oversees Cal Fire, rejected the idea that the fire fund’s large reserve reflects prudence. “They’re hoarding it,” he said. “What for, I don’t know.”


Charles Rose- They collected $300 million. How much went to overhead? How about a list of the board members and who they are connected to?

The board seats are patronage posts for "the connected ones", probably pulling down $150K a year for a once a month meeting. And probably a once a year meeting in Maui where wildfires are rampant.

Dave Anderson- Like a losing NFL team its time to get rid of everybody and re-build Cal Fire.

Lamont Cranston- The Fire Tax is just that a Tax its not a fee, its an illegal tax under prop 13. Fire Prevention? Nobody knows what that is? Classroom adventures? Every home owner has to clean up their property and with the tax we have to pay for the clean up of state land. We can't even use state land but we the people are required to pay for its fire prevention? No one is ever getting a refund the state made sure of that its just crooked politics. California is a single party rule democratic dictatorship. This years fires just go show that fire prevention didn't work. All that tax is, is a poll tax.

Carol Krueger- Another Tax {extortion} not being used for what they promised.

Chris Yeager- So the new fees provisioned more spending and many of the People that paid for it got nothing.. Nothing new here...

Fielding Mellish Dwimby- before they ask for more money they need to cut the overhead and trim the amount of redundant management. That's where all the infighting is going on with the "70 fire fighting leaders" Reduce the panel to 5-10 leaders then some progress will be made.

Misternomer- "The new plan is short on details"

"But service won't change"

"It is likely to cost additional millions"

That was the opening three paragraphs...

What could go wronge?

CountryBoy707- So I'd like to know the exact level of service increase Sonoma County residents will get given the $10 million dollar investment.

Davis Lawson CountryBoy707- $10 million dollars worth of verbal commitments, procedural evaluations, advertised response improvements.. ...and excuses.

troll hunter- Look up firefighter salaries and compensation packages on transparent it's easy to see why they are " woefully under funded" they simply need more volunteers and to operate on less money and stop throwing money at already wealthy public employees

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