The San Bernardino Firefighters Association has begun campaigning to oppose the possibility of the city of San Bernardino outsourcing fire services. According to the city’s appointed bankruptcy court judge, there is nothing in the city charter that would prevent the council from making such a policy if they deem it of financial value to the taxpayers and does not subtract from the safety of citizens in the city.
The taxpayers and citizens should be the most important consideration in the city council’s decision because the taxpayers pay the bills and the citizens elect these council members as their representatives. I emphasize these two groups, taxpayers and citizens, for two reasons: currently, the majority of firefighters do not (1) live in the city so they do not pay taxes, and (2) nor can they vote for representation on the council.
However they do work for the city and we pay them on average $160,000.00 a year. So what do they do with all that money besides live in other cities with no financial problems? They spend it on political mailers and robocalls to influence San Bernardino citizens to vote against issues not in their best interest.
The latest mailer that I, and many citizens in San Bernardino received, suggests residents contact their council members opposing outsourcing fire services. I received a call from Pat Majors to call Councilmember Rikke Van Johnson to instruct the city manager to not even put the item on the agenda for consideration. You might not know Mr. Majors but several years ago he complained to me that the city did not hire him or Blacks in the fire department.
The firefighters association is claiming that to outsource fire services would result in higher taxes, slower emergency response to protect neighborhoods and families, and lack of accountability. However, any evidence to support these allegations has not been provided, but the use of these alleged outcomes to outsourcing are used to scare citizens to take action and contact council members to take necessary action that is “good for the city” when in actuality the fire association is only interested in protecting their salaries.
I encourage the council to place this item on the agenda and vote to get bids for outsourcing fire services.