The following letter to the editor was published in the El Segundo Herald newspaper (HeraldPublications.com) on Thursday, January 19, 2012 in the Letters section on page 2. The El Segundo Herald has a strict 250-word limit, including the title.
Measure P Costs More For Less
Voters must reject Measure P this April, or we will lose our local fire department, including firefighters, apparatus, and equipment; and we’ll pay more for less emergency services.
Measure P is not a merger of City and County fire departments, but a liquidation of the City fire department and a complete takeover by L.A. County. If Measure P passes, fire and paramedic services will be greatly reduced. El Segundo will permanently lose its three paramedic ambulances, because L.A. County does not operate paramedic ambulances, and El Segundo will lose its legal grandfathered status to operate them.
Residents will be forced to use and pay out-of-town ambulance companies, significantly increasing hospital transport times and costs in money and lives.
Measure P dramatically cuts services but increases costs to the City and residents. It forces El Segundo to contract with L.A. County for emergency services, without any option to reject onerous contract terms and costs dictated by the County. The result will be a one-sided adhesion contract, benefiting the County at El Segundo’s expense, for a statutory minimum of ten years.
The El Segundo firefighters will be transferred to become County employees, without any reduction in their massive salaries, even though they will be paid far more than existing County firefighters. El Segundo will be forced to pay for their salaries, benefits, and pensions without any control over those costs. And the firefighters will not be accountable to any City official. They will report to a remote County fire chief in Gardena.
Michael D. Robbins