Justifying the fire tax
EDITOR: I have lived in Sonoma County for nearly 50 years and don’t believe I have ever voted against sales tax increases or bond issues that were proposed for the general benefit of the county. However, I have second thoughts on the half-cent sales tax proposed to bolster fire services in this new “combustible era,” as detailed in the paper (“High hopes for sales tax to aid county fire effort,” Jan. 12).
Our supervisors continue to disregard state standards for fire safe roads by not only allowing but promoting commercial and residential development in these areas. This makes simultaneous access by fire equipment and evacuation by residents impossible.
The state has set standards for minimum road widths, requirements for alternate escape routes, necessity for turnouts, etc. If the county was really serious about adapting to our new fire-prone reality, it wouldn’t only stop evading these standards, it would adopt them wholeheartedly and also do so with strict enforcement.
The issue of fire safe roads standards should be a main topic of discussion when evaluating the justification for this tax increase.
S. BRANTLY RICHARDSON