OCFA Could Save $20 million & Pavement Report
Tuesday, at their study session - which was moved to the council chambers due to the large turnout - the Costa Mesa City Council heard a representative from the Orange County Fire Authority, (OCFA) briefly discuss their proposal to take over the fire and emergency medical services for the city. I've discussed the proposal before and gave you a link to the proposal. But, to keep you from having to plow back through the archives, you can read the staff report HERE and the proposal HERE.
BOTTOM LINE - $20 MILLION SAVINGS OVER 5 YEARS
The bottom line in this presentation was that the OFCA feels it can save Costa Mesa $20 million over a 5 year term, depending on which option is chosen.
MANY QUESTIONS REMAINED TO BE ANSWERED
After all was said and done, the council took more time asking questions - to be responded to in the future - than the staff and OCFA representative did with the presentation. Among those questions asked, but not answered, last night were:
Mayor Gary Monahan asked for more details on:
How is the City Insurance Rating (ISO) affected by this change?
Wanted a broader explanation of the manning standards.
How will our current mutual aid agreements be folded in?
What about paramedic transport - costs to residents?
How will Plan Check be handled, delayed and can it be streamlined?
Request was made for information about other contract cities? 5-year projections.
Different apparatus use and re-assignment.
What about Personnel costs? Broader explanation required. Sick leave, vacation accrual, PERS costs.
They want a breakdown of the improvements in facilities required, who would pay for it.
Facilities life expectancy - need detail on work required and who pays for it.
Eric Bever wanted more information on:
Including essential services in cost comparisons - HR, etc.
"Like for Like" quote when comparing efficiencies.
Response times comparison - CMPD vs. OCFA
Asset tracking for depreciation value.
Pension impacts on CMFD staff transferred to OCFA
CERT program training included?
Turnaround time for Plan Check and cost basis?
Does rate include the fact that Costa Mesa is not bordered by Wild Land?
Jim Righeimer asked for explanations on:
Paramedic assessment units
Mapping data to calculate response times
Breakdown on cost savings between Options 1 & 2
What do you pay your firefighters?
20 year agreement with 10 year trigger - how does that work?
What are the $851,000 in "other" costs
How are pensions handled?
Fire prevention services - compare our charges to OCFA charges
How is transfer cost calculated?
Pension shortage - $78 million. How do we know that we're not picking up part of that cost.
How are you presently handling the pension issue?
Wendy Leece asked for further explanation on:
Apartment inspection fees?
Dispatch process - potential time delays
Benefit of the front-end paramedic system you use
How will our firefighters be placed? Can they continue to work in city
How do you handle Fourth of July?
Effect of closing Station 6? Who is served by it?
Preparedness for terrorist attacks for Fairgrounds and South Coast Plaza
Are options set in concrete? Flexibility?
Helicopter response - Fullerton based. Timing
In addition to the above, Steve Mensinger wanted information on the following:
Reserve firefighter program
Dispatch - cost benefit
Historical growth info on CMFD 10 years
OCFA historical growth 10 years (Comparison to similar cities)
DETAILED REPORT DUE IN 4-6 WEEKS
CEO Tom Hatch reminded the council that this is just the start of the process and that any other questions from the council or public should be forwarded to Interim Assistant City Manager Terry Matz. It will take 4-6 weeks to develop the detailed analysis requested by the council.
COSTA MESA FIREFIGHTERS PAID FOR STUDY
Just a reminder... this report from the OCFA was requested and paid for by the Costa Mesa Firefighters Association. First, that organization wanted to have a credible assessment done of our fire and emergency medical services and the OCFA is the only option for that kind of assessment. That assessment could be used by the council to determine if, indeed, they might want to contract with the OCFA to provide these services. The second reason was to glean ideas from the report on possible ways to improve our fire and emergency medical operations and still maintain our own fire department.
FIREFIGHTERS WILL BE NEGATIVELY IMPACTED
The study shows, and representatives of the CMFD acknowledge, that by shifting to the OFCA almost all our current firefighters would be negatively impacted, both from a wage and benefit standpoint. It is my understanding that the CMFD already knew that part of the equation BEFORE they suggested the study, but went ahead with the suggestion to try to help the city get over the current financial crisis. This fact is overlooked in all the inflammatory rhetoric being screamed around town these days.
The second item on the agenda was the presentation by Public Services Director Peter Naghavi and Ernesto Munoz on the status of our roads and alleys. Several council members complimented both men on the quality of the report, which I agree was an excellent presentation. Unfortunately, no staff report was available to the public. I'm trying to get my hands on a copy so I can give you more details in a future report.
Much of the discussion involved the formula for determining the condition of our paved roadways and the way the schedules of maintenance is created. More on all that later - I just couldn't write fast enough Tuesday evening.