County Fire Tripple Fee Increases: the more fees, the fewer services

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Do not believe a word of what Hartwig says. His intent is to make more money for County Fire while providing fewer services in area 5. Hartwig is the same individual that sold a less service deal to the city of 29 Palms for more money and to have a potential 3% increase to the $150.00 plus a year “Fee” imposed by the Board of Supervisors. “– Steve Spear, 8-year veteran of the Twentynine Palms City Councilmember.

The more fees and assessments (taxes) that are stacked-up on our homes and property by county fire management, the fewer services county fire management provides.

This is the reality in less populated, underserved areas like in the Morongo Basin.

Persons in poverty, percent 22.0 %. US Census  Yucca Valley

The county fire fee and assessment process is not a “proposal”.

The San Bernardino County Fire has put into motion the process for spiking more fees and assessments that will result in encumbering and burden homes and real property in and around the Morongo Basin and Morongo Valley.

It shall result in increased rentals, leases and mortgages. It is an extreme hardship and unacceptable burden on many living in the Morongo Basin and Morongo Valley areas.

County fire management has begun the first mandatory step; i.e., public hearings. After which, no vote is require to raise fees and assessments (unless the public demands it).

If property owners do not demand a public vote, property taxes will be raised and our mortgages, escrow accounts, rentals and lease contract and will (again) be spiked by County fire management.

Where are the plans to increase services in our underserved area when taxes (assessments and fees) are raised? Where are those in the Chief’s talking points?

Rubbing salt in the wounds of  homeowners and property owners, who are already overburdened  — our area is “underserved” in terms of fire protection.  Source: San Bernardino County Professional Firefighters Local 935

Aside from our area being underserved since Chief Hartwig took control of fire services in our area, and cut to the core on everything on the east end of the Morongo Basin, there is clear and convincing proof that fees & assessments increases result in fewer services.

The county is playing games with budget line items, using County Fire as the pawn.  Hopefully SBD County residents will be smarter than 29 residents [who put their trust in Hartwig and got hoodwinked like lambs led to slaughter].–  Blayd posted at 10:57 am on Wed, Aug 8, 2018

Tell them they’ll have to hold off on their brand spanking new fire stations and SAY NO AND FIGHT THIS NEW SHAKE DOWN TAX! — Roadrunner dessert posted at 2:30 pm on Thu, Aug 9, 2018.

County Fire Chief Hartwig Lied to us
Way to go Chief. Once you secured the contract we learn County Fire pulled a “bait and switch” cutting services, increasing costs, and placing all of us and our property at risk at any given moment.

You’ve got to be kidding… County to charge for use of Wonder Valley Community Center

Back in 05-12-2017, County Fire management under the leadership of S.B. County Fire Chief Mark A. Hartwig disclosed that they were adding 200 more square miles from 59.1 square miles area of the east end of the Basin.

Then he closed the station.

Chief Hartwig also suggest, but later reneged, the Lear Station may be opened sometime after county fire took over. Hartwig’s sales pitch was all documented hogwash.

Then he “spiked our fees.”

Next, he shockingly downsized the local TPFD crews and left the population “underserved”.

Since San Bernardino County fire cut services across the board on the east end of the Basin, we continue to be at risk. Now county fire management and the county want more and more fees and assessment with no assurances that basic services will be met.

I stand with the firefighters in our area. However their Chief is not trustworthy because he has a problem telling tall tales to get what he wants.

Vote wisely regarding the approximately 22 percent of residents living in poverty in our area who are paying mortgages and rent.

And vote wisely for the large demographics of singles mothers desperately trying to raise their children on less and less. These are the mothers that raise the future of America.

Listen to the  needs of senior citizens who are terrified by each new assessment, tax and fee. Be sure this spike will spike the housing market in terms of increases in leases, mortgages, and rental contracts.

It shall impact Americans with Disabilities in unacceptable ways.

The Chief’s actions say, “Let them eat cat food.” 

Overall, we as individuals are taxes on pro rata shares more so than when the founding fathers and our country went to war against taxing tyrants.

Endnote: The Chief’s message is: Give me the money or I cut your safety net (to living in a modern society with fire protection services). Pretty bold chief, Kinda like extortion. Privatizing fire is a better alternative to being extorted ever few years.

It’s something like paying the bully for protection, where enough is never enough, and you receive less and less protection. It is akin to pay up or be punished.

Opinions by Branson Hunter
Here is the Link to proposed fire tax, includes description, legal stuff, Frequently Asked Questions, and method to oppose increase.




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2 Responses to County Fire Tripple Fee Increases: the more fees, the fewer services

  1. Branson Hunter
    Branson Hunter August 11, 2018 at 10:09 am

    “The whole LAFCO process is a slap in the face of the democratic process,” said resident Kathy Mallon. “Now they’re going to do it in Upland again [and parts of the Morongo Basin and Morongo Valley]. It’s pretty much a money grab as far as I see it. It’s a money grab on the back of taxpayers, where we have no chance in hell to meet the requirements of their process.” The Sun, July 15, 2017, after the annexation of SB City.

    While California law normally requires an election to institute a tax, that isn’t the case when residents annex themselves into an existing area that has a tax, such as the county’s fire protection district. Instead, the Local Agency Formation Commission — LAFCO
    The Sun, July 15, 2017, after the annexation of SB City.

    “We sort of gave away the farm in many ways,” Councilman Henry Nickel said, referring to the agreement to give property tax revenue to the county.
    The Sun, July 15, 2017, after the annexation of SB City.

  2. Branson Hunter
    Branson Hunter August 12, 2018 at 7:54 am

    Liar, liar, pants on fire Chief Hartwig. Fire management and LAFCO’s requirements fall short of traditional American values of fair play and substantial justice; it’s also is not conforming to the constitution of due process or established voting rights. County fire management mandates an automatic 3% annual increase a year to feed the budget, and the county wants more and more assessment in already underserved areas for less and less services. I want the city (29) to pay for fire services. I want a new Chief.


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