Letter: Los Altos Hills spends far more per capita on fire

The

Jeers for the news that the city of Gilroy spends more on fire
services than any City in Santa Clara County,

which appeared in the opinion section Friday, July 1, is
extremely misleading and does not accurately convey the sum of the
findings in the Grand Jury report that surveyed all fire services
in Santa Clara County.
Dear Editor,

The “Jeers for the news that the city of Gilroy spends more on fire services than any City in Santa Clara County,” which appeared in the opinion section Friday, July 1, is extremely misleading and does not accurately convey the sum of the findings in the Grand Jury report that surveyed all fire services in Santa Clara County.

In surveying the 18 cities and special fire districts within the county, the Grand Jury found that Gilroy allocates approximately 21 percent of its general fund budget for fire services. This figure, taken alone, does not begin to tell the story. Gilroy currently has one of the lowest city budgets per capita in the county, largely as a result of aggressive and pro-active cost-cutting measures which have taken place over the past two years. These measures have also placed the city in a much stronger financial position than most other cities in the county.

To best illustrate the point, the Grand Jury also found that Gilroy spends the second lowest amount, per capita (per resident), on fire services as compared to the other 17 agencies. Gilroy spends $156 for fire services compared with $871 for Los Altos Hills Fire District (the highest) on a per capita basis.

Efficient and effective public safety continues to be Gilroy’s highest priority. It is important that the citizens of Gilroy understand that the City Council and city administrator continue to maintain this priority, while providing many other services that Gilroy residents expect and deserve. A full understanding can only be expected when all of the facts are presented.

Joe Kline, public information officer, city of Gilroy

The Golden Quill is awarded occasionally for a well-written letter.

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