November 17, 2003

Close The Firehouse- Are You Kidding?

Time To Stand Up For Our Rights
By Fred H. Arm

Recently, the City Council has announced their intention to close the Point Richmond Firehouse. The informed residents, as well as the firemen involved are up in arms and rightfully so. This would seem the final straw in a never-ending chain of blunders and mismanagement by the City Council.

Police and fire protection has traditionally been the cornerstone of government services since the dawn of modern civilization. If any services were provided by a new town or city, fire and police protection would always be paramount, even if no other services were provided. Traditionally, volunteer police and fire departments were made available if there were insufficient funding for them in rural areas, but no other services were generally provided. Once taxes were collected for public services, police and fire departments were usually the top priority. The safety of the inhabitants was always of primary concern.

Taxes are collected in Richmond by way of sales tax, property tax, assessment taxes, utility taxes, real estate transaction taxes, business taxes, direct fees for services, cable and satellite TV taxes, etc. These taxes are essentially contracts with the citizens to give up their hard earned money in exchange to provide services to the public. When the governing body unilaterally decides not to provide the service, the contract has been breached and logically the citizen ought not to have to pay for services they are not receiving. This is common sense as well as basic common law.

Point Richmond has the dubious distinction of having been classified by the state of California as being in a “High Danger Fire Area”. So instead of having the Fire Department here where it is desperately needed, the Point will have to wait at the minimum, twelve (12) minutes or more for a fire truck to arrive. When one considers how quickly fires spread, as evidenced by the recent firestorms of Southern California, it is likely half the forest and the homes will be in flames before the first fire truck arrives. If that fire station happens to be busy, we can kiss the Point goodbye.

It is time to end the complacency and stand up for the protection of our homes and our lives. Unless we speak out and take some affirmative action, the City will once again remove a vital service that we have paid for over and over. This is not the first time the City has cut back on fire services. I am told that the City has about half the firefighting resources it had fifteen years ago. It is time to say NO to the fat cats sitting on their secure perches drawing high salaries for questionable services. Even if we have to shut down City Hall, we still need to have our police and fire protection in place.

Posted by fredarm at November 17, 2003 10:18 AM

Not only are we being denied fire protection - but the Pt Richmond library is open 1 1/2 days a week?
Wonder where are tax money is going?

Posted by: Debbie at January 20, 2004 01:06 PM
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