My letter concerns Craig Hansen’s letter to the editor March 2 opposing Measure L, Madera County’s public-safety sales-tax measure.
Measure L reflects a two-year discussion and effort to halt years of decline of Madera County Fire Department resources: personnel (career and volunteer), aged and obsolete equipment, and too few stations. The fire department can’t even guarantee drivers for water tenders!
The sheriff’s department faces similar needs. Too few deputies and too long of response times in a county of over 2,100 square miles negatively impacts public and officer safety.
If passed, Measure L will add 25 career firefighters, more funding for volunteers, three staffed fire stations and nine additional deputies. Two firefighters will be on all career staffed engines. Response times will decrease. With regard to first-responder emergency medical services, additional lives will be saved.
A .25 percent tax increase suggested by Mr. Hansen will not even fund a second firefighter, 24/7, on fire engines.
Our public safety is a local problem and requires a local solution. Let’s stop kicking the can down the road and fix it. Vote “Yes” on Measure L!
Bill Ritchey, chairman, Citizens, Firefighters and Deputies for Measure L, Raymond