I live in northeast Salem and I have friends that live in Brooks. We all frequently shop at many Keizer stores. The messages on this fire campaign have us greatly disturbed. When you vote for this measure you’ll be hurting those that live in Marion County Fire District #1. Let Keizer serve Keizer means you don’t care about us, shoppers that help keep your businesses alive. We feel we’re not welcome to shop in Keizer anymore. And it obviously means you don’t care what happens to even your own family members and friends that may live on Wheatland or Quinaby Roads or anywhere outside of Keizer. I can’t vote on this but if I could I’d vote no.
“Fire District dispute a confusing mess!” The legislature didn’t make it any clearer when they recently met. For now I’m voting no and hope everyone else does until the legislature fixes it where the affected residents are the ones who have the deciding voice in whether they want to change or not. Because I believe Clear Lake residents deserve to have the deciding vote I’m voting no.
I woke up this morning to read headline news on the Clear Lake Annexation and a quote that Keizer Fire lied to Vineyards Phase 2 Home Owners Association, “… we felt we were lied to by Keizer Fire.” And last week the Keizertimes (Feb. 17) reported “The city staff has done no analysis of how Keizer would be better served by Keizer Fire District instead of Marion County Fire District.”
I don’t believe everything that campaigns tell me but these newspaper stories have me convinced that everyone should vote no.
If the city of Keizer is successful in taking part of Marion County Fire District’s tax base and giving it to Keizer Fire then the resources of Marion County Fire will be reduced and everyone loses–—not only the Clear Lake and Keizer residents but all the residents in the 80 plus square miles where Marion County Fire provides services. The river doesn’t surround Keizer, we’re not an island! I want two good fire districts available with all their assets at my disposal when I need help. Please, consider the consequences and vote no!
Removing fire personnel and an ambulance from the city of Keizer is not providing better service to the community!
Choosing to annex the area served by Marion County Fire District from the Clear Lake station is an unsafe choice as Keizer Fire District is at its load limit now. Spreading the resources thinner while call volume increases will mean longer response times.
Earlier this year Keizer Fire was so busy running multiple calls they had to leave fall patients on the floor for an extended period of time until they could complete other emergency calls to respond. On one occasion the first arriving crew took 23 minutes to arrive and the other was just shy of 19 minutes. Keizer Fire never called for mutual aide instead they allowed the patient to wait.
In November they were unable to get an immediate response for their second out fire engine which took 33 minutes to arrive on scene after being called three times for a response.
Voting no on all measures will keep all firefighters, all ambulances and all available resources within the City of Keizer.
Here are ten reasons to vote no on the Clear Lake annexation issue that is on the March 13 ballot.
1. Residents of Clear Lake do not have an independent vote in determining their own fate. The Keizer city council and the Keizer Fire District both fought to make sure that the residents of Clear Lake did not have an independent vote. Why? Because they knew that the majority of the residents don’t support this forced annexation. Another important thing to note is that Marion County Fire District #1 filed a lawsuit to get Clear Lake residents the right to an independent vote. The city council and Keizer Fire District have fought those efforts.
2. The residents of Clear Lake enjoy great medical and fire protection so there is no reason to change. Keizer Fire District is promising if they win they will provide great service to the area. Marion County Fire District #1 is already providing great service. The old saying couldn’t be more true, “If it ain’t broke. Don’t fix it.”
3. If this forced annexation is successful it will severely cripple Marion County Fire District #1’s ability to maintain the current level of fire protection for the rest of their area. One fire district shouldn’t benefit at the expense of another especially if it isn’t done to improve service.
4. If this measure passes Keizer Fire will be spreading their already thin resources across an even greater area. The area currently serviced by the Keizer Fire District will receive less service as Keizer Fire moves a large part of its resources to the Clear Lake area.
5. Keizer Fire will lose a valuable back up resource for mutual aid coverage of medical and fire calls. In the past six months alone Marion County Fire Districts #1’s medic (Medic 33) has assisted Keizer Fire 100 times.
6. This action is about money not service. Keizer Fire needs money. They couldn’t pass a tax on our water bill. They couldn’t pass the 911 tax on our cell phones. So now they are trying to steal another fire district’s area to balance their budget.
7. There are still pending legal challenges to this vote.
8. This action initiated by Keizer Fire and supported by the Keizer city council has already wasted over $400,000 in tax dollars.
9. This annexation isn’t supported by the two biggest Home Owners Associations in the Clear Lake area.
10. If this forced annexation is successful it sets a precedent that other fire districts across the state could use to take over their neighboring fire districts territory. We all lose when one fire district forcibly tries to take over another.
I strongly urge you to vote no on these ballot measures.
lives in the Clear Lake area of Keizer.
Marion County Fire District #1 opposes the actions of Keizer City Council and Keizer Fire District to deny Clear Lake residents a deciding vote on who provides fire service.
If Clear Lake residents want to change from MCFD#1 to KFD, they should have the deciding vote.
These ballot measures are not about protecting Keizer citizens, providing better emergency service or even saving taxpayers money. It appears these measures were initiated to help KFD’s growing budget deficit.
For over 60 years, the Clear Lake area and Keizer have been well served by both MCFD#1 and KFD. If the ballot measures pass, the level of fire and emergency resources will be reduced.
Two Clear Lake home owners associations have said they are completely satisfied with the services provided by MCFD#1 at Clear Lake Station are and they don’t want to change. In the March 5 issue, the Statesman Journal quoted Vineyards Phase 2 Home Owners Association, “… we felt we were lied to by Keizer Fire.”
Further, the Clear Lake neighborhood has the backing of the entire MCFD#1 resources. It is a ridiculous and uneducated statement for anyone to claim that the Clear Lake area of Keizer currently receives inferior public safety services.
If the City of Keizer is successful in taking part of our tax base and giving it to KFD then the resources of MCFD#1 will be reduced and everyone loses. Not only will Keizer residents be affected but they will be lowering services for their family and friends that live in the Marion County Fire service area.
Who is supporting Keizer Fire in this forced annexation? According to Secretary of State Elections (Orestar) Bob Blackmore contributed $10,000 on Feb 17 to support these measures. This is the same Lake Oswego attorney advising the city of Keizer and the Keizer Fire District on this hostile takeover.
If these measures pass, Keizer Fire says they’ll receive the Clear Lake station and equipment. This statement is not true. According to Oregon law, a separate legal process will determine the division of assets. If the courts award KFD any assets, they will also determine the price they pay for those assets.
Unfortunately, citizens have been receiving a lot of conflicting information. A complaint was filed with the Secretary of State’s Election office regarding KFD President Joe Van Meter statement in an email that ‘The Facts below are verified through the State of Oregon, Secretary of State Elections Division.” On 2/23/12 in response to that complaint the Secretary of State Elections Deputy Director wrote “This office never ‘verified the facts’ of the Keizer Fire District fact sheet.”
MCFD#1 is committed to providing superior emergency services to all customers within our district. We take this responsibility very seriously. The current actions of the Keizer City Council defy common sense. The city provides no fire protection or emergency response services nor has expertise in these areas. The Keizertimes on 2/28/12 reported “The city staff has done no analysis of how Keizer would be better served by KFD instead of MCFD.” Yet the City passed these measures onto voters.
Keizer residents are best served by both districts; receiving immediate response from both MCFD#1 and KFD. Less ambulance service, longer response times, fewer firefighters—ll reasons to vote “no.”
Regardless of the political banter you hear or read you can trust MCFD#1 to protect your community. That is who we are. That is what we do.