Endorsement: 'Yes' to reduce size of Elk Grove fire district board
It's never easy to predict the mind of voters. That's why we have the elections, right? But a tax-saving proposal with almost no material impact on the daily life of the taxpayers getting the savings would seem about as predictable a "yes" vote as any referendum could produce. Yet, that has not been the case with a sensible proposal to reduce the size of the Elk Grove Rural Fire Protection District's governing board from seven members to five.
The measure has failed twice in the past two years -- once by a paltry 14-12 vote; last fall by a vote of 167-143.
Admittedly, the savings produced is not dramatic. It's an estimated $6,000 total through the pay of the two eliminated board members. But that is real taxpayer money, and in conjunction with the difficulties a governing body for so small an area -- roughly just one square mile, in this case -- can run into when trying to fill a roster of seven engaged, knowledgeable trustees, it adds measurable weight to the arguments in favor of a smaller board. Advocates point out that this panel's business does not need so large a body and that the current monthly meetings are short and sparsely attended.
It seems odd that fire district leaders should have to try so hard to get taxpayers to sign on to a plan that would reduce the size of government and save money, but the Elk Grove Rural Fire Protection District board is to be commended for its persistence. Hopefully, this third time will be the charm. We recommend a "yes" vote.