Fire Control District Election August 26, 2014

Of local interest is the vote on the millage increase for the Matlacha/Pine Island Fire Control District.

The Ballot wording is as follows:

INCREASE OF MAXIMUM AD VALOREM TAX MILLAGE RATE FOR MATLACHA/PINE ISLAND FIRE CONTROL DISTRICT.

Shall the maximum ad valorem tax millage rate for funding of the Matlacha/Pine Island Fire Control District be increased from the current rate of 3.0000 mills to 3.7500 mills? Yes, No

The campaign mailer sent to district members states as follows:

Address side:
Pine Island Fire Protection & Rescue District
Support your Local Fire Department
VOTE YES FOR THE MILLAGE CAP
Paid Political Advertisement paid for by Southwest Florida Professional Firefighters & Paramedics PC, 2030 West First Street, Suite C, Fort Myers, FL 33901

Reverse side of the mailer:
Vote Yes! For The Millage Cap
A MILLAGE CAP OF 3. 75 WOULD PROVIDE FOR:
• Mandates for replacing bunker gear
• Technology updates for radio and computer communications
• Air pack required replacement
• Lower response times throughout the district with Station #4
(End of mailer text)

- The Southwest Florida Professional Firefighters & Paramedics PC is the local union.
- The ballot question indicates that the millage is already capped at 3 mils.
- There are no supporting documents referred to in the mailer.
- Address side of mailer does not include "Matlacha" in the "Pine Island Fire Protection & Rescue District."
- The registered name of the district is Matlacha/Pine Island Fire Control District.
- State law does not require unions and political action committees to include supporting documents, facts or figures.
- Chart indicates tax revenue is rising with property values.

(The Historic/Projected/Income chart is from the Matlacha/Pine Island Fire Control District website)

The Matlacha/Pine Island Fire Control District website furthermore states.

"THIS IS FOR FACTUAL AND INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. IT IS NOT IN ANY WAY INTENDED TO CONVINCE ANY PERSON TO VOTE FOR OR AGAINST THE REFERENDUM MEASURE. EACH VOTER SHOULD VOTE ACCORDING TO THEIR OWN CONSCIENCE."

The following webpage link to Matlacha/Pine Island Fire Control District union contract includes information about: Health Insurance, Sick Leave, Vacation, Individual compensation, Volunteer, Fitness requirements, and other union/department clauses.

Union Contract

Budget link:

2013-2014 Subtotal personal services $3,274,323
2013-2014 Total Expenditures & Reserves $4,723,838

During the off-season (approximately 6) months there about 7 thousand residents on Pine Island. Matlacha includes a large chunk of Cape Coral and is not included in the 7 thousand.

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