In an attempt to drum up support for his confusing package of budget initiatives California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has threatened to eliminate 1,700 positions from Cal Fire. SFGate.com has the story.
According to the article the Governor wants to:
“…slashing $80.8 million from Cal Fire’s spending plan – a 10 percent reduction – by eliminating 602 full-time positions and 1,100 seasonal firefighting positions. The cuts would be part of a series of deep cuts to the state budget.
Cal Fire, the state’s fire agency, has about 5,000 full-time firefighters. At the peak of last year’s fire season, more than 2,700 wild fires ravaged the state and the agency hired extra help: 3,000 seasonal firefighters.
The plan would also shutter 11 conservation camps and 20 single-engine stations throughout California.
Closing fire stations would affect response times and the agency’s ability to make inspections on defensible spaces, according to the document….”
Who is he kidding? This is politics at its lowest. Why always tug at the fears of the electorate by scaring them into voting your way?
I’ll be the first to admit there are some stations that could disappear and maybe some of the camps could close or consolidate. I drove a 20 year old engine for a time, we don’t need a revamped fleet of Model 5′s every 2 years. Surely the department can accommodate cuts here and there and they should expect cuts.
What I can’t stand is these politicians plying on the fears of their constituents. It’s cheap and ugly.
BTW I am voting NO!