Glen Ellen, VOM and Mayacamas merger meeting
Hearing set for March 4 for public airing of fire district consolidation
The proposed merger of Glen Ellen, Valley of the Moon and Maya-camas fire districts will achieve a major milestone with a public hearing scheduled for March 4 at the county supervisor’s chambers in Santa Rosa. Interested parties are invited to gather at 2 p.m. for a detailed explanation and discussion of the merger, which will bring many of Sonoma Valley’s residents under a single fire protection agency.
The idea is “to gain greater economy and efficiency in providing fire protection and emergency services for residents of the district,” according to the meeting announcement. The move to consolidate Sonoma County’s three-dozen fire districts has been extensively reported on in the Kenwood Press, with articles available at www.kenwoodpress.com.
Last November, the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) amended Glen Ellen’s sphere of influence to include the areas under consideration. Kenwood, Schell-Vista and the City of Sonoma declined to join in at this time for various reasons. All are expected to become part of the larger district in the future, and eventually merge into a single county district.
One effect of the current merger will be to enable the new larger district to apply Glen Ellen’s maximum $200 per parcel property assessment to more parcels. Glen Ellen’s assessment is the highest of the three districts.
If LAFCO approves moving forward, both property owners and voters will have the opportunity to block future action through casting a negative vote via mail. If 25 percent of either property owners or registered voters (voting separately) vote no, the issue will go to the ballot in November. If over 50 percent of either class reject it, the matter is dropped. If neither threshold is achieved, the consolidation will go into effect with immediate consequences for tax assessments and coverage.
The public may review relevant documents at LAFCO, 111 Santa Rosa Ave., in Santa Rosa, and the Commissioners will hear any relevant testimony and accept written documents at the meeting.
The supervisors’ chamber is located at 575 Administration Dr. in Santa Rosa.