Letter to the Editor: Interested to see what efficiencies come from Meeks Bay fire deal
April 15, 2014
Regarding the Sierra Sun April 11 article "Meeks Bay inks deal with North Tahoe Fire," kudos to both the Meeks Bay and North Tahoe fire protection districts for their proactive efforts to address the retirement of the Meeks Bay fire chief in an efficient and constructive manner.
It also is gratifying to learn that "an ongoing evaluation of the partnership" between the two districts will be used to determine if the new agreement becomes permanent.
I sincerely hope both districts will use objective criteria related to service needs, functionality and cost-effectiveness, while de-emphasizing the need to merely preserve the status quo.
After working more than two decades in state government, I learned that change often happens one retirement at a time. The April 11 article notes that "(John) Pang's retirement comes at time when several district leaders will be eligible to retire in the next few years."
To me this statement screams "OPPORTUNITY!" The opportunity for fire protection districts throughout the Lake Tahoe Basin to examine their service needs, functionality and cost-effectiveness of continuing the status quo compared to new opportunities to provide "a higher level of public safety."
This may argue for merging some fire protection districts to realize cost efficiencies and achieve a higher level of public safety. It is refreshing to see our local fire districts pursing critical evaluations and reexamining options without requiring a mandate from a higher authority, or acting in a time of crisis.