Wednesday, April 23, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

County Fire is broke

By
From page A7 | September 20, 2013 | 19 Comments

EDITOR:

In response to the Mountain Democrat article dated Aug. 30, “$82K: County loans to fire dist.” What does this mean exactly? As of Aug. 30, El Dorado County Fire Protection District had a negative cash balance of $82,380. As of Sept. 3, this figure increased to approximately $334,000. By the end of December, this amount will be $1,000,000-plus. The fire district will pay less than 1 percent back to the county in interest.

Pursuant to the Teeter Plan, the county auditor can advance property taxes not yet collected to local agencies. Basically it is like taking a payroll advance for the next three months.

In the article, Chief Hardy is quoted as saying, “We start our fiscal year in July but don’t get our property tax money until December,” noting that the district doesn’t have the reserves to get them through the five dry months between July and December.

“But we are doing fine,” said Hardy, who added that he expects the district to come in under budget this year just as they did last year. This a multi-million dollar operation and they are jumping up and down for joy because they ended the fiscal year in the black with $5,337.72. That amount will easily be swallowed up with increases in health benefits and other expenses.

In October of 2012, the county auditor sent a letter to the district advising them they had submitted a budget for the 12-13 FY with a deficit of $658,311. It was also pointed out to the district in that letter that they had not taken into account the deficit from the prior 11-12 FY of $754,076. Added together this comes to $1,512,387. The district began to drain every reserve account they had, including money set aside for retiree health benefits to balance these budgets. We must not forget the $600,000-plus that had to be paid to the JPA for loaned labor.

El Dorado County Fire is broke; it has nothing to fall back on. It will only take one or two unexpected expenses to push this agency into bankruptcy. But remember, the chief says they are doing fine. I think I will let the public be the judge.

BARBARA ROGERS
Cameron Park

Letters to the Editor

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Discussion | 19 comments

  • Barbara RogersSeptember 20, 2013 - 8:48 am

    A quick update on county fire's 12/13 fiscal year end figures. Originally they reported a surplus of approx. $5,337.00. At yesterday's board meeting, their year end adjustments showed a deficit of approx. $30,000.00

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  • DumbunnySeptember 21, 2013 - 7:52 am

    Oops, Barbara I accidently hit "report abuse comments" button I thoght it would explain posting rules. Sorry!

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  • BrendaSeptember 21, 2013 - 3:27 pm

    Does this mean Barbara and pals have moved onto County issues? Guess we probably won't hear from her now that the word is out that the CSD is and always has been in fiscally great shape. That must have come as quite a shock to three people.

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  • Fran DuchampSeptember 21, 2013 - 3:38 pm

    Brenda isnt the CSD a county issue? I know a group is working towards having one up here. and in all fairness--we have heard up here that many things are not working out for you guys down in Cameron Park. We were told to be careful. So if you guys are doing good--great. Skatepark is up and running again?

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  • EvelynSeptember 21, 2013 - 3:48 pm

    Brenda: The most recent Cameron Park CSD financial statement I can find is for y/e 6/30/2011 (here) which shows the deficit having increased over the prior year. Is there perhaps a more recent financial statement that's not yet online?

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  • Barbara RogersSeptember 21, 2013 - 8:23 pm

    no such luck Scott...

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  • cookie65September 22, 2013 - 4:27 am

    What is now "news" are the few remaining agencies, local, county, state and fed that aren't broke.

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  • Brenda StarSeptember 22, 2013 - 10:41 am

    Cookie65; I have to agree with you. What saddens me is it doesn't seem like anyone really cares that I provided some clarity on the El Dorado County Fire issue. I wonder why people don't care where their tax dollars are going to. There is not oversight, just power hungry boards and administration running these agencies into the hole. While it is true that some are doing okay, the larger percentage are not. As far as Cameron Park is concerned, yes they ended their fiscal year in good shape. However, it should be known that the fire dept. saved the lion's share (299,000) of the money. In fact it has always been the fire dept. that has saved money. In theh past C.P. had to borrow 1.3 million dollars to be able to continue making payroll. This was done in 07/08. When they pulled out of the county, transparency was lost, however it is getting better. The G.M, Mary Cahill has plan on taking that money to fund the failing community center. She was fired from two previous cities, one being Calistonga and the other Chico. She does little work, but works the employees to the point of exhaustion. She is the poster child for over paid administrators who just collect a pay check.

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  • EvelynSeptember 22, 2013 - 11:28 am

    Brenda Star (10:41 am) can't be the same "Brenda" -- now disappeared -- who Fran & I both responded to yesterday. Barbara Rogers, was "Brenda" the subject of your "no such luck Scott..." comment? Today's Brenda Star sounds much more on target than yesterday's "Brenda".

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  • EvelynSeptember 22, 2013 - 11:36 am

    Yesterday's "Brenda" wrote about Cameron Park CSD's great financial shape. Barbara Rogers or Brenda Star: Comment, please.

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  • Phil VeerkampSeptember 22, 2013 - 12:04 pm

    LINK - Yesterday's Roses

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  • Barbara RogersSeptember 22, 2013 - 2:34 pm

    Evelyn; you are on point my dear. Have I ever mentioned on this blog how much I love the Veerkamp family and am proud to say that I am friends with some of your family. With that said, yes I am did direct my remark back to Brenda who is probably Scott McNeil or a friend or member of his family. Whichever, they are cowards not to use their real names. There are others who know the truth...

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  • EvelynSeptember 22, 2013 - 2:40 pm

    Well, then, let us say "Hi" to Scott McNeil and ask him to return with a link to the financial statements showing the great fiscal health of Cameron Park CSD that he was raving about.

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  • Phil VeerkampSeptember 22, 2013 - 2:42 pm

    Was there an arithmetic error or an "accounting" error in the report?

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  • EvelynSeptember 22, 2013 - 2:48 pm

    An arithmetic error? NO. An accounting error? Only if the same accountant has been making the same errors at an increasing rate over a progression of years. But such an "error" would not have been a "mistake".

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  • cookie65September 22, 2013 - 4:47 pm

    http://articles.latimes.com/2007/jun/10/local/me-then10

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  • Barbara RogersSeptember 22, 2013 - 10:19 pm

    Do you all notice how "Brenda" backs off when she is caught with his pants down? The one thing that really irritates me about Brenda and his pals, is they have taken away from the subject matter of my letter. Please, please if you all care about your tax dollars are be squandered, you really need to keep on top of the county fire story. More to come later regarding the Shingle Springs Assessment and the St. 28 rebuild.

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  • Phil VeerkampSeptember 22, 2013 - 10:21 pm

    Hang in there, Barbara.

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  • EvelynSeptember 24, 2013 - 7:27 am

    Garden Valley Fire Budget Crisis - Public Meeting Sept. 26 at 9:30 a.m. - HERE

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