!Update – AFD’s Sundberg and Cowan still want to take your money!

fire statin

We all saw that the Arcata fire tax didn’t come anywhere close to passing this week. Thank goodness! Even more enjoyable for us at THC headquarters was reading this article in the Times-Standard, in which AFD Chief Desmond Cowan and AFD Bond Chair Linda Sundberg demonstrate either their complete disconnection from reality or their malicious intent to snag more money for the fire district despite the wishes of the public. Yes that is the same Linda Sundberg who is Supervisor Ryan Sundberg’s aunt. You will recall that Ryan Sundberg is the guy who pushed spending $30,000 of your hard earned tax dollars to do political polling to see if there is any way to convince voter to support yet another tax. Check out the details of that dumb idea here. Is it any wonder people have begun calling them Stupidvisors? Maybe it’s a family trait that they just like wasting other peoples money. Who knows?

We’d like to share with you some of our favorite quotes from the article. Linda Sundberg, come on down!

The absolute funniest quote from the T-S article was this, from good ol’ mama Sundberg: “Some people may see this vote as a mandate against a tax increase, but our residents still expect us to bring our on-duty staffing level up to three on an engine” Now, this demonstrates Sundberg’s apparent struggles with disassociation in two ways: 1.) yes, this vote absolutely is a mandate against tax increases for the stated purposes. To view it in any other way is just plain ridiculous. And, 2.) Where in the hell is Sundberg getting the idea that residents expect a staffing level of 3 per engine? We haven’t heard that from a single person in the public. Not one.

Wouldn’t it be nice if, every once in while, Humboldt County’s voters were actually listened to? Unfortunately, it seems like ignoring the will of the public is something of a family tradition for the Sundberg’s.

For the second quote of note, let’s turn to Chief Cowan, who said: “It’s apparent that with Measure A we just didn’t do a good enough job communicating the benefit to our voters.” However, it is apparent from THC’s perspective that an overwhelming “No” vote from the public did not do a good enough job communicating to Cowan & Co. that we just aren’t buying the bullshit they are selling.

Wake up, AFD: the only way Humboldt is going to accept such a measure is if the tax increase is directly related to an increase in service, not an increase in the salary burdens that we are shouldering.


AFD’s Measure A tax trick: Vote NO!

THC has talked about how flabbergasted we are over the Measure A tax assessment proposed by the Arcata Fire District a number of times, here and here.

Since Humboldt is hitting the ballots tomorrow, THC thought it an opportune time to remind you how freakin’ unnecessary the  proposed tax hike is. And that’s putting it mildly.

And plenty of our neighbors in the Fire District agree. This nearly 100% increase in property tax assessment for the Fire District is going to fall on property owners, and then onto the shoulders of renters. Take a look at some community letters sent over to the Mad River Union by some similarly mystified AFD residents: check ’em!

We thanks Mr. Glen Nagy of Arcata for the letter he submitted to the MRU, and for posing the most poignant question in relation to the new tax directly to Chief Cowan: Does the AFD really need this tax?

The answer, according to Nagy: “When I queried the Chief about the ability of the AFD to serve and protect the community if the tax does not pass, he unequivocally assured me that the AFD could, in fact, continue the same level of responsiveness and service to the community if the new tax does NOT pass. Landlords would simply pass this increase on to their tenants, but the rest of us would continue paying more. This new tax would raise what each citizen pays by nearly 100 percent.”

And in case you couldn’t take the time to search for all the salary info that the AFD’s 12 Fire Chief’s and Captains (?!?!) are being paid, we took the liberty of taking a quick screen grab of the top 6 for you:

fire captureThat’s a lot of hooch! So why, THC wonders, should the people of Humboldt surrender even frickin’ more of our hard-earned money to support a fire organization that blows their already significant tax-takings on shiny new pick-up trucks and bloated upper-management salaries?

It’s simple…we shouldn’t!

Get out and vote NO on Measure A, Humboldt. Don’t believe the Fire District’s fear-mongering, and should you pass a few people from the Fire District advocating for passing the Measure – be sure to ask them why they keep coming after our wallets when they only use the money to fatten their own.



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3 Responses to !Update – AFD’s Sundberg and Cowan still want to take your money!

  1. Anonymous says:

    What does it take for these people to understand the concept of NO?


    • MOLA42 says:

      Depends on your viewpoint I guess. If you believe the mandate of the people has been given, then yes they should do with what they have.

      If you believe that safety for the public and your associates are at risk and therefore the greatest concern, then they would be criminal to stop looking for additional funding.

      As always, it’s complicated.

      The local public does not want to foot the bill. I think they heard that. So they are looking at grants and other means of getting the bucks together (not mentioned in the TS article but mentioned in LoCO and North Coast Journal interviews).

      Bake Sales, anyone?


      Am I the only one who finds it ironic that it is relatively easy to raise a tax to fund Anything (General Fund), but when you say specifically what you want to do with the money it takes a 2/3’s vote? Shouldn’t it be the other way around?


  2. Tax Fatigue says:

    This is the vibe I detect from AFD’s statement.
    The big Chief say’s were are going to keep having elections and count the ballots at the station next time, with a bunch of our guys supervising so that they come out in our favor!

    My hunch is that the next one will be a Benefit Assessment with AFD praying for another low ballot return from the property owners like 2006.

    Property Tax Assessments are the Holy Grail for these guys!


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