This is an archive of a past election.|
See http://www.smartvoter.org/ca/sj/ for current information.
Stockton Fire Department and Charter Amendments
City of Stockton
Charter Amendment - Majority Approval Required
Pass: 28841 / 52.30% Yes votes ...... 26306 / 47.70% No votes
Index of all Measures
|Results as of Nov 23 1:19pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (167/167)|
|Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text|
Shall the Stockton City Charter be amended to provide for a modernized structure and administration of the Fire Department that includes revisions to the appointment procedure and duties of the Fire Chief and Deputy Fire Chief; revisions to impasse resolution procedures for employee disputes; exempting the Fire Chief and Deputy Fire Chief from the civil service system; and removing mandatory vacation accrual provisions for fire department employees?
The Charter provides that the Chief and Deputy Chiefs must be hired from within the Stockton Fire Department. The Charter also provides the Chief and Deputy Chiefs with the civil service protections applicable to rank and file members of the Stockton Fire Department, which restricts the ability of management to suspend, demote, or discharge the Chief or Deputy Chiefs.
The measure would permit the City to recruit the Chief and Deputy Chiefs both from outside and from within the Stockton Fire Department. Also, the measure would provide that the Chief and Deputy Chiefs are "at-will" employees, which is consistent with how other members of the City's management ranks (such as the Chief of Police) hold their positions.
The Charter currently requires that all disputes pertaining to wages, hours, or terms and conditions of employment that remain unresolved after good-faith negotiations between the City and Fire Department employees union shall be referred to an Arbitration Board. The Arbitration Board would then hold a hearing and render a decision that is binding on the parties. The Charter further provides that any decision of an Arbitration Board that would impose upon the City additional costs, shall not be effective unless and until the necessary revenue and appropriations have been approved by the City's electorate.
The measure would remove the binding arbitration provisions and instead would permit the City and Fire Department employees union to proceed with voluntary, non-binding mediation of disputes pertaining to wages, hours, or terms and conditions of employment that remain unresolved after good-faith negotiations. Submission of the dispute to mediation would not be mandatory. Each party to the mediation would bear its own expenses, while the cost for the mediator's time and related expenses would be shared equally. The measure would also require that any Memorandum of Understanding be approved by a majority of the City Council, following public disclosure of the associated costs and certification by the City Manager that the costs are appropriate and affordable within the City's budget.
The Charter at section 2528 provides that members of the Fire Department shall accrue and be permitted to use vacation time of not less than 15 working days per year, which may be taken as the Fire Chief directs. The proposed measure would remove section 2528, which would then leave the vacation accrual and vacation pay of Fire Department personnel subject to the normal negotiation process applicable to all represented City employees.
The proposed measure also makes grammatical changes to the Charter and replaces certain gender specific terms with gender neutral terms.
/s/ John M. Luebberke, Interim City Attorney
|Arguments For Measure H||Arguments Against Measure H|
|While we are in the grip of a "Great Recession," labor costs threaten to bankrupt the City.
This isn't a one-time problem + it's an on-going structural problem. To avoid financial ruin, City Charter provisions must be brought into the 21st Century. Today:
An independent expert called Stockton's Fire union agreement one of the "worst" in the nation.
Measure H is a crucial first step to do four basic things:
arbitrator + who may have no experience in Stockton
3. Removes the requirement that the Chief be hired from
4. Confirms the City Council's final authority over
Firefighters provide essential public safety, but the status quo is indefensible. Stockton can not afford "worst practices."
Vote Yes on Measure H
/s/ Rick Goucher, President Chamber /s/ Donna Brown, Yes on Measure H /s/ Ann Johnston, Mayor, City of Stockton /s/ Katherine Miller, Vice Mayor, City of Stockton /s/ Dean Andal, Businessman
The City Council already cut the number of Fire Truck Companies in the City by 25%. Firefighters and Paramedics on Truck Companies provide critical lifesaving services such as the "jaws of life" and conduct rescue operations to save downed residents and firefighters in house fires. These cuts have impacted emergency response times. This cut was made despite the fact that firefighters offered millions of dollars in concessions and to pay more for their retirement and health care.
Don't make it easier for the politicians to make deeper cuts that put us at risk. Vote NO to keep politics out of the fire department and away from our public safety services.
/s/ Sean S. Hidalgo, Fire Captain /Paramedic /s/ Deborah Wilkens, Registered Nurse /s/ Brian Morris, Retired Stockton Police Officer /s/ John B. Hymes, Retired Stockton Fire Battalion Chief /s/ Gloria Nomura, Former Stockton Vice Mayor
|Spending by Stockton politicians is wildly out of control and has lead to cuts in fire and paramedic services and the layoff of 18 police officers. Response times to emergencies have increased and will only get worse. In a life or death situation, seconds matter. Measure H puts our safety in jeopardy.
Measure H is not what it seems. If you look at the fine print you'll see it actually makes it easier to layoff firefighters and shut down neighborhood fire stations, threatening public safety. Measure H eliminates the protections that stopped City bureaucrats from cutting the daily number of firefighters and paramedics on duty by 23 percent.
City politicians want to use Measure H to balance the budget by laying off fire fighters and paramedics and cutting emergency services. Measure H could cause Stockton to fall below National Fire Protection Association recommended minimum staffing levels for fire companies, leaving staffing decisions to bureaucrats.
While closing fire companies and cutting neighborhood police patrols, city politicians continue to waste taxpayer dollars. They spent $22 million on a marina that continually loses nearly $750,000 a year. And, right after approving layoffs for police officers and cutting fire and emergency medical services, they spent $1 million to pay out a failing private sector company that lost $7 million in taxpayer funds managing city entertainment venues. Recently they handed out a $1 million no-bid contract making an exception to Council competitive bid policies. Enough is enough.
Politicians in Sacramento and Stockton have spent money we don't have. Now they are trying to make up for their mistakes by balancing the budgets at the expense of public safety.
We can't put our safety in the hands of the Stockton City Council. Protect fire and paramedic services by voting NO on Measure H.
/s/ John Hymes, Retired Battalion Chief Stockton Fire Department /s/ Gay Dail, Registered Nurse /s/ Sean Hidalgo, Paramedic/Fire Captain /s/ Brian Morris, Retired Stockton Police Officer /s/ Leslie Ann Brown, Small Business Owner
With its hands tied because of existing Charter provisions, the City has laid off hundreds of employees, closed community centers, slashed library hours and cut Police Department staffing. And still Stockton suffers from a "severe and chronic" budget deficit.
While every other area of the budget has been slashed, spending on Firefighter salaries and benefits continues to rage out of control.
Police and Fire make up 78% of the General Fund! Fire spending alone accounts for $47 million. And thanks to its special perks, Fire exceeds its official budget by millions every year.
As The Record noted, "An unwise contract gave the union the right to staff the department ... It also gave the union power to decide time off ... That's one big reason the fire department overspent its budget by $6 million last year.
Measure H does exactly what is says. There is no fine print. It removes special privileges that only Fire enjoys, and returns control of spending and staffing to the Fire Chief and the elected, accountable City Council.
While the union uses scare tactics to resist giving up control, the fact is outside experts consider Stockton's deal with its Fire union of the "worst "in the nation.
Enough is enough. Stockton cannot continue to enrich these public employees at the expense of the rest of us.
/s/ Patrick Johnston /s/ Fritz Grupe, Board Chairman, Business Council /s/ Cleveland Edwards, Colonel (Retired) USA /s/ Jonise C. Oliva, President, San Joaquin Chamber of Commerce /s/ Robert W. Hong
|Full Text of Measure H|
|The City of Stockton Charter is hereby amended to read as follows:
ARTICLE XVI FIRE DEPARTMENT
SECTION 1600. Organization.
SECTION 1601. Powers and Duties.
The Fire Department shall enforce all ordinances and laws and shall supervise all matters relating to the prevention, control, and extinguishment of fires and the protection of the property impaired thereby, and the prevention and control of fire hazards within the City.
SECTION 1602. Fire Chief.
SECTION 1603. Absence of Fire Chief.
SECTION 1604. Deputy Fire Chief.
SECTION 1605. Assignment of Chief Officers.
SECTION 1606. Temporary Firefighters.
SECTION 1607. Impartial Mediation for Employee Disputes.
(1) All disputes or controversies pertaining to wages, hours, or terms and conditions of employment which remain unresolved after good faith negotiations regarding a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the City and a Fire Department employee organization should be submitted to impartial mediation upon the declaration of an impasse by the City or by the recognized employee organization involved in the dispute.
(2) Within three (3) days after either party has notified the other, in writing, that it desires to proceed to mediation, representatives designated by the City and representatives of the recognized employee organization involved in the dispute shall request cost free mediation through the California State Mediation and Conciliation or other mutually agreeable organization. The parties may mutually agree on a private mediator or other impasse resolution process.
(3) Any mediations proceeding convened pursuant to this Article shall be conducted in conformance with State law. The parties may also adopt such other procedures that are designed to encourage an agreement between the parties, expedite the mediation process, or reduce the costs of the mediation.
(4) The cost of any mediation convened pursuant to this Article, including the fee for the services of the mediator, shall be borne equally by the parties. All other expenses which the parties may incur individually are to be borne by the party incurring such expenses.
SECTION 1608. Restrictions.
ARTICLE XXV CIVIL SERVICE
SECTION 2501. Employees Subject to Civil Service.