Measure Q Rejection Means Fire Station Closures

The measure failed to garner the two-thirds majority support needed for it to pass in Contra Costa County. Why were voters hesitant to say 'yes'? Share your thoughts in the comments.

A parcel tax to raise money for fire services in many parts of the county — Measure Q — was defeated Election Day, after failing to achieve the two-thirds majority needed for it to pass. The unofficial count from the Contra Costa County Elections Division, with 453 of 453 precincts counted, was 87,231 yes votes (52.45 percent) and 79,066 no votes (47.55 percent).

The $75 per parcel per year tax was expected to generate an additional $16.8 million a year and enable the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District, or ConFire, to maintain service in the face of eroding property tax revenues. The 304-square-mile district provides fire service through most of central and east Contra Costa Country, including Concord, Clayton, Antioch, Lafayette, Martinez, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill and Walnut Creek.

Without the funding from Measure Q, Contra Costa Fire District officials say up to 10 of the district's 28 stations will be closed in the next several years, starting with four fire stations shuttering in January.

The district yet to decide which stations will close, but when possible shutdowns were considered in 2010, stations in Concord, Martinez, Lafayette and Pittsburg were suggested.

Opponents of the measure, led by the Contra Costa County Taxpayers Association, argued that the measure would have only been a temporary fix for a fire district that has long failed to reign in soaring pension costs.

Kris Hunt, the president of the taxpayers association, said the measure was asking too much of voters and too little of a fire district that spends a sizable chunk of its budget on pensions and health care costs for retirees. Retiree costs make up a quarter of the district's budget this fiscal year, Hunt said.

This article has been corrected since initial publication to reflect updated election results.

How do you feel about Measure Q failing? Share your thoughts below.

Phucka PhaceBuuk November 07, 2012 at 10:13 PM
to keep on burning. Keep on burning, babe, keep on burning. Yeah, keep on burning (burning).
Night Watch November 11, 2012 at 05:12 AM
What? I thought it passed. Why would any one chance burning up in their home from a fire? That is just way so foolish. Now we all are in jeopardy. Fools.
Night Watch November 11, 2012 at 05:14 AM
WHAT exactly does that mean and your handle bespeaks your mentality.


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