November 27, 2003

Point Richmond Services: Not a Done Deal

The services issue isn't over, even though--disregarding the vote of the Neighborhood Council--the item was removed from the December 2 City Council agenda.

As it stands, the fire department will lose 25% of its firefighting forces, the library will continue to be slashed deeply, and who knows about other services to this area.

Supposedly the city is going to use an "Oakland Model," where City Hall shuts down once a week. But on these furloughed days, Oakland doesn't close fire stations; Oakland shuts down an engine in a 2-company station (one engine, one ladder truck), and the truck stays at the station and goes on medical emergencies. Richmond however, will leave high danger areas totally without any first-due fire protection.

As for the library, the Oakland public library is better funded to begin with. They too have a serious budget crisis, but they are starting with more resources. The Richmond library hasn't bought new books in over three months, and we will see our branch reduced to 12 hours a week. Will the "Oakland model" come on top of or in lieu of these cuts?

We were told on November 19 that it was really important for us to show up and advocate for our services--that this was the only way to have any influence. The next we knew, our legitimate place on the City Council agenda was negotiated away.

We can still show up and hope that we are one of the first seven people to sign up to speak--because that's the only way our voice will be heard at City Hall this Tuesday.

Posted by kgs at November 27, 2003 01:15 PM | TrackBack
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