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Fire district's board hadn't seen budget details

Original post made on May 30, 2018

When the Menlo Park Fire Protection District's board unanimously gave preliminary approval to the 2018-19 fiscal year budget on May 15, neither the board nor its finance subcommittee had seen more than an 11-page "executive summary" of the proposed budget.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, May 30, 2018, 10:21 AM

Comments (6)

3 people like this
Posted by Harold Schapelhouman, Fire Chief
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on May 30, 2018 at 5:29 pm

For more information on the Fire District’s budgets and audits, please visit our web-site at www.menlofire.org; Click on the Fire District tab which takes you to the Open Government tab, then click on the Accounting and Budgeting page.

Budget Development Timeline:

November/December 2017 – San Mateo County provides the Fire District with property tax revenues and a growth projection.

December 2017 - New positions are proposed by the Fire Chief in his mid-year request to the Fire Board.

January 2018 - The Fire Board sets the revenue or growth percentage for fiscal 2018/19 budget

February – April 2018 – Staff reviews and updates assigned program budgets – These are reviewed by the Finance Manager, Fire Chief, Deputy Chief and Fire Marshal.

February 2018 – An additional three firefighter positions are approved above the current 95 cap. Other non-firefighter FTE’S positions are discussed.

April 2018 – New proposed non-firefighter FTE’s with a costing proposal are explained to the Boards Strategic Planning Committee and included into the proposed budget.

May 2018 – The Proposed budget is presented to the Boards Finance Committee, who in turn makes recommendations for changes which are then reviewed at the Regular Full Board meeting and incorporated into the proposed budget. First Reading – Approved by the Fire Board.

June 2018 – Second Reading (review and discussion) of the 2018/19 budget first goes to the Finance Committee on June 5 and the Full Board on June 19 for adoption.

Comments regarding the budget or you’re attendance at any of the public meetings is encouraged and accommodated if needed.

Fire Chief Schapelhouman


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 30, 2018 at 7:24 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Other agencies post their budgets for review by elected officials and the public in much greater detail."

This is not a truthful statement.

Menlo Park Budget timeline:

Budget posted 29 May - 170 pages

First reading June 5

Final adoption June 9

elapsed time from first reading to adoption FOUR days

elapsed time from budget posting to adoption TWELVE days



Atherton

Not yet posted
First reading ???
Adoption ????

East Palo Alto

Budget posted May 24 190 pages

First reading May 29

Adoption June 19

elapsed time from first reading to adoption TWENTY ONE days

MPFPD Budget timeline

First reading May 15 with guidance to staff re needed revisions

Budget posted 24 May 138 pages

Final adoption 19 June

elapsed time from first reading to adoption THIRTY FOUR days

elapsed time from budget posting to adoption TWENTY SIX days


elapsed time from budget posting to adoption TWENTY FIVE days




5 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 30, 2018 at 7:43 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Corrected:

"Other agencies post their budgets for review by elected officials and the public in much greater detail."

This is not a truthful statement.

Menlo Park Budget timeline:

Budget posted 29 May - 170 pages

First reading June 5

Final adoption June 9

elapsed time from first reading to adoption FOUR days

elapsed time from budget posting to adoption TWELVE days



Atherton

Not yet posted
First reading ???
Adoption ????

East Palo Alto

Budget posted May 24 190 pages

First reading May 29

Adoption June 19

elapsed time from first reading to adoption TWENTY ONE days

elapsed time from budget posting to adoption TWENTY SIX days

MPFPD Budget timeline

First reading May 15 with guidance to staff re needed revisions

Budget posted 24 May 138 pages

Final adoption 19 June

elapsed time from first reading to adoption THIRTY FOUR days

elapsed time from budget posting to adoption TWENTY SIX days




1 person likes this
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 1, 2018 at 9:49 am

Ok Peter Carpenter:

We get it.....fire district well run. Reserves $$$$$,and no debt. Even if the fire district could return over taxed funds, there’s no provisions in local or state laws.....Board of supervisors or state elected officials pass legislation to return overtaxed taxes!

How about the states 14 billion dollar surplus.... can Governor return to the tax payers the surplus.......NO NO!!


2 people like this
Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiña
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 1, 2018 at 1:55 pm

Roy Thiele-Sardiña is a registered user.

While Peter and I sometimes disagree on budgeting and pay issues. We are in Sync here.

I think the use of technology to make the department more efficient, productive (not the same thing) and more importantly SAFER for the firefighters is money well spent.

The use of Drones alone has made Search and Rescue more effective and safe. It makes looking at a fire from multiple angles easier (and therefore safer for firefighters).

I am a HUGE believer in technology and it's application to solving problems. and I commend the District for it's forward thinking in this matter. Nicely done.

Roy Thiele-Sardina


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 1, 2018 at 2:25 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Thank you Roy.

One of the innovations the Fire District is partnering on is a helmet/face shield that integrates night vision and thermal imaging and create a visual map of the interior of a structure. Using a standardized protocol MPFPD firefighters were able to locate a victim in a test structure in less than three minutes compared to almost eight minutes without the device - that will save lives!


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