Recall Larkspur (Colorado) Fire Protection District's Board of Directors
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An immediate recall of members of the Board of Directors of the Larkspur (Colorado) Fire Protection District is needed due to the continued mismanagement of the department, including public funds. We feel that this is necessary in order to protect citizens and personnel of the district. Please sign this petition to show your support for a better future of your fire department.
Vote May 8th for Applegate and Whalen..............
I believe that the Board of Directors (BOD) of the Larkspur Fire Protection District (LFPD) undertook an over ambitious capital improvement venture in an irresponsible manner which has resulted in financial disaster for the LFPD – a public agency.
This capital improvement process involving the renovation and additions to station 161, located in the Town of Larkspur, and station 162, located in Perry Park, was initiated without consideration of three very basic and essential concepts:
1. Provide a valid public process to ask the District residents for their input on solutions to issues that affect them.
2. Ask the District residents if they would be willing to financially support selected solutions and pass a capital improvement bond as funding prior to initiating any capital projects.
3. Any capital improvements need to be the best balance of financial considerations, issue resolution, and efficiency and effectiveness of operations.
These are steps that any small public agency should take when considering a sizeable expenditure of tax payer money.
I do not know how, in good conscience, a BOD of a small public agency could authorize the expenditure of over three million dollars of the tax payer’s money without seeking valid public input on the matter. This is especially true when the LFPD did not have the money in the bank to spend in the first place. The financing vehicle that the LFPD BOD encumbered upon the taxpayers, without the tax payers permission, was a lease-purchase mechanism that imposed a yearly payment that the LFPD annual budget could not support and culminated in a huge balloon payment at the end of the lease term. Please contact the LFPD BOD for details on how that was supposed to work.
It should also be noted that prior to the station 161 and station 162 renovations; the LFPD had full ownership and equity in both the land and structures on those properties, all of the LFPD response apparatus were fully paid for and owned by the LFPD and the LFPD had well over $500,000 cash reserves in the bank. At the end of the construction process, the LFPD had no equity in either station 161 or in station 162, no cash reserves, at least two of the LFPD’s primary response apparatus were held by the bank as collateral for the lease-purchase plan AND the LFPD was several months short of funds to pay its annual obligations concerning payroll, utilities, and all other costs of doing business.
To make up for this shortfall, the LFPD was making payments only to select obligations and doing this by using credit cards to make the payments until a stop-gap interim loan/line of credit was secured by the BOD to pay the bills until the property tax revenue began to be distributed in March. These financial shortages started in the fall of 2009 into the spring of 2010, continued in fall of 2010 into the spring of 2011 and the LFPD will be short of funds during the early months of 2012 even with the passage of the general bond obligation in the November 2011 election. At one point in the fall of 2010 the LFPD was within ten days of not making payroll. Although the BOD knew the LFPD would be short of funds in the fall of 2009, 2010, and 2011, they took no early action to secure financing that would see the District through these times. They waited until the last minute to accomplish this and it almost did not happen in time, as the lending institutions did not like the sketchy financial situation they observed that the LFPD was in. The interim financing/line of credit required that several more of the LFPD’s response apparatus be used as collateral. This is no way to run a public agency!
The current LFPD BOD does not have a 5-year or a 10-year plan developed or in place. There is no plan for climbing out of the financial mess that the LFPD is in. There is no vision for the future. Response capabilities, public safety, emergency health care, families and jobs are at risk with the day-to-day approach by the BOD in operating the LFPD. The LFPD needs new leadership with vision and sound financial practices to carry the District into the future and to continue to provide the outstanding care and response capacity that we, as tax paying residents of the District, deserve.