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Prescott Valley Tribune | Prescott Valley, Arizona

home : opinions : editorials October 20, 2014

1/29/2014 9:38:00 AM
Fire districts could relieve taxpayers

The Central Yavapai Fire District - which includes Prescott Valley in its vast territory - and Chino Valley Fire District boards are exploring a form of consolidation that would reduce administrative costs, increase efficiency, and remove duplication. Incidentally, those plans equal better, smaller government.

The end result would combine administrative efforts, and essentially the two firefighting efforts, into one entity. One has a new chief, the other needs one. Both have firemen, fire trucks and stations. Both organizations are researching the how, why and when of if this can work.

Plus, as Chino Valley Fire Chief Scott Freitag said at the recent CYFD board meeting, "What you're looking at is two governmental organizations that, for all intents and purposes, do the same job... (and) both organizations are short administrative personnel."

A first step happened Jan. 21 when the CYFD board suspended its search for a new fire chief, in case it does partner with Chino Valley. Why? It would waste money, time and effort when the position could become unnecessary.

Freitag, who was hired in September, added that "there's not a magic million dollars we're going to find today, but if we look 10, 15 years down the line, we will see savings."

As long as CYFD Interim Chief Scott Bliss is correct - that the plan must be "operationally sound," it must make sense financially, and the politics of the situation must work - the districts and their residents have nothing to lose and much to gain.

Unfortunately, when other consolidation debates have surfaced in the past, such as with school districts, not all of the parties involved knew of Bliss' three rules. Proper dissemination of information is required.

Go for it.

Related Stories:
• Central Yavapai, Chino Fire may unify admin

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