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Alameda City Council Delays Vote on Firefighter Staffing Measure

This week, Alameda firefighters released an announcement on Alameda City Council’s vote to delay putting on the ballot the firefighters’ initiative that would add minimum daily staffing levels to the City’s charter. That statement is below. We’ve also received reports that we have not yet been able to confirm that the City of Alameda asked SunCal to delay their November ballot measure so as to leave the firefighters’ measure as a “standalone” initiative, thereby attributing the entire cost of the special election to the firefighters.


On Monday night, August 3, 2009, the City Council of the City of Alameda scheduled the voter driven initiative to establish minimum standards for Fire and Emergency Services for the November 2011 regular election. This action has virtually ignored the desire of the electorate who had petitioned the council to have the opportunity to voice their vote on their level of Fire and Emergency Services.

Over 9000 valid signatures were certified by the County Registrar. That number far exceeded the 6447 required to place the measure on the ballot.

Many community members were on hand to speak against scheduling the vote for this November 2009 due to the cost of this being a “stand alone” election. When the signatures were turned in, it appeared that there would be another measure before the voters that had been circulated by SunCal. Nevertheless, there are at least 4 other Election dates before November 2011 that could have been selected for participation in consolidated elections, thereby reducing the City’s cost.

Councilmember Marie Gilmore initiated the motion to schedule the election for November 2011 and it was approved in a 4 to 1 vote. By delaying out the vote, the City Council is allowing the issue to go unresolved and is ignoring the will of the people.

Since January 26, 2009, “Brownouts” and Fire Station Closures have impacted the community in Alameda. With an already decreased number of Fire Engines and firefighters to staff them, the citizens of Alameda are experiencing increasing response times. As response times increase, so does the risk to the community and the firefighters.

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