Speaking About Big Bear Fire
City of Big Bear
Lake Mayor Randall Putz
As Chief Willis, BBFA Board Members, and even
members of the public pointed out Wednesday,
April 17, 2019, the funding shortage for the Fire Authority is not a new
issue. Big Bear’s Fire agencies have worked hard over many years to reduce
costs, with the Authority deficit spending for several years to avoid a
reduction in service. The Fire Authority has spent the last 2 years doing
concerted outreach to help the community understand the severity of the issue,
as well as better understand what level of service the community desires. Many
workshops, meetings, mailers, polls, and news articles have been used to help
educate citizens, but unfortunately it has taken the proposed closure of a fire
station to get folks to pay attention.
While I am hopeful both the Big Bear
residents and business community will ultimately understand the benefits of
supporting a better-funded and more capable fire service, we have our work cut
out for us to gain the 67% support necessary to pass a new revenue measure.
Increased response times, higher property insurance rates, and decreased
community safety, not to mention fire station closure, will result if we are
not successful. That is the financial reality we face.