Electronically Serving Monterey Park, Alhambra, San Gabriel, & Rosemead

NO on FF


Terry De Wolfe, Lucia Su, Stephen Lam, Tilda De Wolfe, Rosemary Reidy, Yukio Kawaratani, former Mayor Francisco Alonso, Jeff Schwartz and Nancy Arcuri are members of the Concerned Citizens of Monterey Park. Several supporters including Mayor Pro Tem Anthony Wong, Councilmembers Peter Chan and Hans Liang, Chris Reyes from SEIU 721-Monterey Park General Employees and John Kraft joined them at a press conference against Proposition FF held at the Ocean Star Restaurant on May 3.  Members of the Monterey Park Police Officers Association were not available to attend this event.

Mr. De Wolfe welcomed all to this event.  CCMP is six years old. We are a coalition of residents who want to improve the standard of living in Monterey Park. We have taken a stand to vote NO on FF. We don’t want to give our fire department to the county. This ballot measure FF is supported by the firefighters. No residents are involved. Please vote No on FF on the July 2 special election.  Fire Chief Jim Birrell believes that Monterey Park Fire Department should be moved to the county. Their so-called impartial survey was paid for by the firefighters.

Our city would lose 15 firefighters and our Advanced Life Support Paramedic Ambulance Service for medical emergencies.

Five city managers of cities that now contracted with the Los Angeles County Fire Service were interviewed. Three of these city managers now state they would not contract with the county. It is too late for them since their city gave all of their fire equipment to the county and pay annual fees for county fire services. Their city could never afford to start up a new fire department at the end of the 10-year contract.  These cities are at the mercy of the county fire service. If the services become too expenses then the county cuts back on their service to each city.

Mr. Reyes stated contracting with the county would affect the police officers and other city employees. It would cut into more of our city services. In the last two years our staff has been reduced from 150 employees to 102 employees. A10-year county contract will reduce more staff and service. The fire service would cut into our budget and reduce our reserves.

Mr. De Wolfe reminded the audience that the county fire service has a $43 million debt for their pension fund so they will have to reduce their services. The county fire department has a countywide effort to take over all of the fire departments in the small cities. The county wants to take over the small city fire and police services to protect their own departments.

Mrs. Su addressed the Chinese-American residents on the dangers of going county. She is against going county. Please vote NO on FF.

Mr. Alonso reminded everyone that in 1998 the voters defeated this measure of going county by 2 to 1. The county contract for our fire services is juicy for the firefighters with higher salaries and more benefits. They will cash out $1.8 million in unused sick and vacation time.  They will benefit by going county. Hang on to your pocketbook. We will end up with a reduced fire staff and a higher bill. Our firefighters are well paid by Monterey Park. The county does not tell you about all of the hidden costs to the city. We will pay more for less county services. We will lose our paramedic ambulance service. We will lose our local control.

Mr. De Wolfe stated that no Councilmembers have signed the ballot argument in favor of Proposition FF. Councilmembers Anthony Wong, Hans Liang and Peter Chan support us. They signed the ballot argument against Proposition FF.

Mr. Liang said the cost for this special election is $100,000.

Mr. Wong explained Proposition FF to the Chinese-Americans in Mandarin. He asked them to vote NO on FF.

Mr. Chan was available to translate the speeches into Cantonese.

The CCMP will be holding a fundraising dinner on May 10 at the Ocean Star Restaurant.

This Internet newspaper will not be available before May 10 so it will run a story about the fundraising    dinner in the June issue.

Donations can be made to CCMP for the NO on FF fund:

Please make checks payable to: CCMP, P.O. Box 633, Monterey Park, CA 91754

The e-mail address: nocountyfire@hotmail.com

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