City Adopts New Police & Fire Contracts

The city council today held a special session to adopt new contracts for police and fire. The existing contracts expired June 30, 2009, but...

The city council today held a special session to adopt new contracts for police and fire.

The existing contracts expired June 30, 2009, but the city was able to continue on a one-month "memorandum of understanding" that extended the service to July 31, 2009.

The new police contract goes into effect immediately, costing the city nearly $8.7 million, for the 2009/2010 fiscal year.

The contract also include a provision whereby the city and the Riverside County Sheriff will meet in the first quarter of 2011 to discuss the possibility of moving Menifee's police headquarters from the Perris Substation to the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta. Currently, Temecula's police department operates out of there, but there's an expectation they'll be moving close to the new city hall building.

The new fire contract runs through the same period of time, but at a cost of nearly $6.9 million.

Riverside County's fire services is provided by the California Department of Forestry.

Councilman Denver asked if the fire department will adopt the city's name and city seal on their trucks and uniforms, similar to the police department. City Manager Wentz replied that he's had discussions on that. However, a representative from the California Department of Forestry happened to be on hand, and said that their department has a policy against putting any city's name and insignia on their property or uniforms.

California Close to Seizing Property Taxes

After the contracts were adopted, the Mayor called for council member comments. No else spoke up, so the Mayor asked the City's financial consultant, Gary Thompson to provide a status on the State of California's attempt to seize local property taxes, as well as gas taxes.

Thompson said the State Legislature is trying hard to get the required the 2/3 majority vote to seize city property taxes, however if such an attempt passes, Menifee will not be affected because the city has no historical property tax data by which the State can determine how much to take.

However, nearby cities like Temecula, Murrieta, Perris, Hemet, could be hit really hard if the State takes all of their property taxes.

But Thompson thinks there's a good chance it won't happen, because the Governor is already against seizing such monies, and because Democrats are going to need several Republican votes to pass the measure, which is very unlikely.

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