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FDAC F I R E D I S T R I C T S A S S O C I AT I O N O F C A L I F O R N I A

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FDAC F I R E D I S T R I C T S A S S O C I AT I O N O F C A L I F O R N I A

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2016 Board of Directors

President Richard Pearce, Tiburon FPD 2nd Vice President Steve Kovacs, Murphys FPD Treasure Daniel Grebil, Scotts Valley FPD FDAC STAFF Catherine Smith, Executive Director Carmen Berry, Account Coordinator Patrick Espanol, Account Assistant David Blue Garrison, Graphic Designer Additional Photography Pexels, Pixabay and Stocksnap The purpose of this Association shall be: 1) to present a united position on fire protection issues; 2) to coordinate with other associations with similar views on fire protection including legislation; 3) to provide advisory services and any other services deemed appropriate by the Board of Directors that may benefit member agencies; 4) to keep member agencies informed on laws relating to fire suppression, emergency medical and other related services provided by member agencies; 5) to take an active role in the legislative process affecting public agencies providing fire suppression, emergency medical and related services. Thank you to all the authors in this issue for sharing with us their time and expertise. If you have an idea for a future article, please contact Catherine Smith at the FDAC office at casmith@fdac.org Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of FDAC. For more information on FDAC or this magazine, please contact the FDAC office at 916.231.2137 or visit the website at www.fdac.org.

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PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

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I am pleased to introduce the newly designed FDAC Report publication. FDAC’s Board of Directors is committed to providing enhanced member benefits and increasing communication on timely issues. FDAC News will arrive electronically on a regular basis with information on legislation, regulations, district news, fire service trends and educational opportunities. As I enter into the last few months of my presidency, I wanted to share how proud I have been to have served in this capacity for the past 18 months. I have had the opportunity to work with a dedicated and determined board of directors forging ahead on behalf of California’s fire protection districts. Our partnerships with our risk sharing pools - FAIRA, FASIS and FDAC EBA – are stronger than ever. FDAC/CalChiefs Joint Legislative Task Force was reestablished after a brief hiatus. Our successful annual conference continues to grow in attendance and vendor support. Make note that in 2017, we have moved to the beautiful coastal property of Monterey Tides on April 5-7. Details are starting to come together for that conference. Included in this newsletter is an article on the Little Hoover Commission’s revisiting the 2000 report titled, Special Districts: Relics of the Past or Resources for the Future.” For those of us who were around in 2000, we can remember the discomfort we felt reading some of the criticisms and conclusions found within that document. Recently, as I was testifying in front of the Commission on behalf of FDAC and fire districts I was confident in the evolution of special district government since that time and reminded of the vital role fire protection districts play in protecting California’s citizens and environment. Our crucial role in California’s world class mutual aid system and our relentless pursuit to be the best in the fire service. FDAC is looking to 2017 with anticipation as the new legislative session kicks off and our nation moves into a new era. FDAC will remain vigilant on behalf of our constituents and the need for adequate funding for the fire service. My hope is that FDAC will see high member retention as the districts serve as the backbone of this organization. Without our dedicated members, FDAC would not be the strong voice it is for fire protection districts. On behalf of FDAC’s leadership, I wish you all the happiest of holidays and a safe and prosperous new year.

Chief Richard Pearce FDAC President

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“The hero is the man who lets no obstacle prevent him from pursuing the values he has chosen.” - Andrew Bernstein

You serve others and LCW is honored to serve you. At LCW we are not solely lawyers. We are your trusted partners, helping you avoid legal problems and navigate issues. Fire Districts serve others, and we are honored to serve them for over 35 years in all areas, including:

• • • • • 4

Public Safety Employment Law FBOR Investigations Discipline

• Litigation • Negotiations/ Labor Relations • Wage & Hour • Retirement FDAC

To learn how we can help your District visit: www.lcwlegal.com


A Complete Yoga Wellness Program for Firefighters FireFlex Yoga is the most effective, affordable, easy-to-implement functional movement program specifically targeting firefighters’ needs.

For more info visit us at: fireflexyoga.com Questions? Contact us at: info@fireflexyoga.com or Call: 831.431.0850

NEED MONEY FOR AN EQUIPMENT PURCHASE? We’re here to help. CSDA Finance Corporation has provided special districts and other public agencies with financing for capital improvement projects and equipment purchases of all kinds for over 25 years. CONTACT US TODAY

Learn more about CSDA Finance Corporation’s tax-exempt financing programs. Call 877.924.2732 or visit www.csdafinance.net.

A proud California Special Districts Alliance partner.

FDAC

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SAVE THE DATE

FDAC ANNUAL CONFERENCE

APRIL 5-7, 2016 MONTEREY, CA

FDAC

www.fdac.org

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Nuggets for Leadership The Public Trust Steve Kovacs, Murphys Fire Protection District

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eeping the public trust is probably one of the most important tasks we have as fire districts. However, it can be the most challenging as well. It can be lost in a heartbeat due to any negative scandal once public, but may take years to regain. The public expects the highest of ethical behavior from us and will continue to hold the fire service to a higher standard. One only needs to turn on the news or search the internet to find negative articles of what has gone wrong within their respective fire agencies. Where does this start? Why did this happen? How could it have been prevented? It comes down to two things: Values and Culture. Ensure your fire district has a good Value System in place where it is kept in the forefront, communicated to all and personnel are accountable for their actions. This is a key element and the first step to affecting Cultural change within your organization. Let’s work together within our organizations, with the public, labor and management to maintain this precious thing called “The Public Trust� to continue to provide the very best service to our customers.

FDAC

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Little Hoover Commission Revisits 2000 Special Districts Report

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alifornia’s Little Hoover Commission has held two hearings on its revisit of their report “Special Districts: Relics of the Past or Resources of the Future.: which they released in 2000. The Commission held its first hearing on August 25, 2016 and the second on October 27, 2016. FDAC was in attendance at both hearings. The August hearing was a general overview of California’s special district operations and governance. The hearing was kicked off with a presentation by Kyle Packham, legislative director of the California Special Districts Association (CSDA). Packham shared CSDA had submitted detailed written testimony in response to the Commission’s inquiries. He gave a brief overview of special districts followed by updates on how special districts have incorporated many of the recommendations provided in the 2000 report. Packham reiterated the rights of special districts to receive property taxes and the misunderstanding of actual district assets which can be dollars in the bank or pipes in the ground. He reminded the

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CATHERINE SMITH

Commission that “Connecting governance, revenue authority, and specialized service delivery is central to the success of special districts.” What opportunities are there for continued improvement for special districts? Packham identified further discussion on SRA fees; funding for research to evaluate consolidations as well as a push to have special district representation on all LAFCOs. The second hearing was focused primarily on the impact on climate change on special district services delivery and was highlighting the response to those challenges on water and wastewater agencies. Following up on the Commission’s interest in the impact of client change also on the fire service, FDAC President Chief Richard Pearce also provided comments on how climate change, drought conditions, tree mortality are all fueling the increase in intensity of fires and length of the fire season. FDAC recommended that the Commission encourage: • Forest management practices which include reducing fuel loads, development of fuel

breaks, public information on defensible space, enforcement of defensible space and land use planning. • Adequate capacity of fire suppression resources, adequate equipment and appropriate reimbursement for mutual aid response to limit local hardship. • Enhanced collaboration between local, state and federal agencies. These relationships must include adequate financial resource and reimbursements to all participants. • Improved data collection and sharing of data. Following the hearing, the Commission reached out to FDAC to express their thanks for FDAC’s written and verbal testimony. “They made a strong impression on the Commission,” shared Jim Wasserman, Deputy Executive Director. The Commission has opted to schedule a hearing in January 2017 to consider a new study on forest management issues in California. FDAC will be strategizing on its role at that hearing.

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The Legislative Analyst’s Office has just issued the following report:

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nder our current projections, assuming no changes in existing state and federal policies, we estimate the state will end the 2017-18 fiscal year with $11.5 billion in total reserves. This includes $8.7 billion in required reserves, which must be deposited into the rainy day fund, and $2.8 billion in discretionary reserves, which the Legislature can appropriate for any purpose. These reserve levels reflect the continued progress California has made in improving its budget situation. Our estimates include the effects of statewide ballot measures that were approved on November 8. The condition of the state budget depends on many volatile and unpredictable factors. This uncertainty is present in the near term and becomes greater in each subsequent year. We discuss two illustrative economic scenarios for the fiscal years after 2017-18. Under a mild recession scenario, the state would have enough reserves to cover its operating deficits through 2020-21. This means, under our assumptions, the state could weather a mild recession without cutting spending or raising taxes. However, this conclusion assumes that the state does not make any changes to its current policies and programs in any year during the outlook. This outlook also assumes no changes in federal policy, even though the recent election results suggest some such changes are now likely. State or federal policy changes could have a significant impact on the state’s bottom line. This report and a summary infographic are available using the following link: http://lao.ca.gov/Publications/Report/3507?utm_ source=subscription

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Zone 1 Zone 2 Zone 3 Zone 4 Zone 5 Zone 6

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Vacancies on the FDAC Board of Directors

he Fire Districts Association of California (FDAC) currently has vacancies for seats on the Board of Directors for Zone 3 and Zone 4 (please see map for zone boundaries). All interested candidates are encouraged to apply regardless of your position as either a chief or governing official. For those outside of Zones 3 and 4, please note that we will be holding elections for many zone and at-large seats at the FDAC Annual Conference scheduled for April 5-7 in Monterey, CA. The FDAC Board of Directors is the governing body responsible for all policy decisions affecting FDAC’s member services and legislative programs. Serving on the Board requires interest in the issues confronting fire districts statewide and the commitment to travel to all Board meetings, usually four per year. FDAC reimburses directors for all related travel expenses as outlined in Board policy. FDAC is undergoing significant positive changes, including a stronger legislative program, expanded educational offerings and refocusing on the goals and vision of the organization. The FDAC members chosen to fill vacated seats will be intimately involved in guiding the future of this growing association and the fire districts it represents. If you would like to be considered for one of the vacancies on the FDAC Board of Directors please submit a letter of interest to the FDAC office as soon as possible, as our goal is to fill these seats as quickly as possible. If you have any questions regarding the Board vacancies or FDAC, please contact Carmen Berry at 800.829.4309 or cberry@fdac.org. 700 R Street, Suite 200, Sacramento, CA 95811

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FDAC Certification of Achievement Program

he Fire Districts Association of California’s Certificate of Achievement program is comprised of four modules: Fire Protection District Planning; Laws, Regulations and Codes; Organizations and Allied Entities, External Influences. The Achievement Program represents the core set of knowledge created and accepted by the fire community, and encompasses everything directors and chiefs need to know about Fire Protection District Planning. If you are interested in holding this program in your Fire District please email cberry@fdac.org or call 1-800-8294309 for more information. Day 1

Day 2

Fire District Legal Aspects (4 hrs)

Fire District Planning (4 hrs)

How not to get burned!

Response route to success • Strategic Planning • Standards of cover • Business Planning • Succession Planning • Risk Analysis • Technology

• Health and Safety Code: Fire District Law • Ballot Measures • Workers’ Compensation and Labor Code • Ethics • Collective Bargaining • Fire Code Adoption • EMS: Title 22 • Overlapping jurisdiction with Cal Fire /SRA • LAFCO, consolidations and annexations

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Day 3

Day 4

Fire District Leadership (4 hrs)

Fire District Trends & Issues (4 hrs)

Avoiding the backdraft • Finance: budgets/property tax • Audits • Financial Reserves • Open Meetings & Brown Act • GASB 34 and GASB 45 • Prop 13, AB8 and property tax distribution • Board Meeting Dynamics • Boardship • Agendas

Latest hot stuff! • Current events & Legislation • Hiring a fire chief • FLSA • Recruitment/Retention • Generational Diversity • Firefighter Bill of Rights • Fire Fighter Safety • “Your district issues” • Associations and Fire Service Affiliation

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w w w. f d a c . o r g

FDAC

FDAC Report November 2016  

FDAC Report offers an insight to the Fire Districts of California and their success.

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