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Scotts Valley
June 21, 2024

Letters to the Editor | Published Nov. 3, 2023

A case against Measure W

After reading the editorial from Scotts Valley Fire Protection District Chief Mark Correira in favor of Measure W (“The ‘Why’ Behind Measure W for a New Fire Station,” Oct. 13), I felt compelled to inform the public as he suggests.

According to Transparent California, the lowest paid firefighter in the district makes $153,953 in wages and with benefits costs the taxpayer $198,955 annually. There are several employees of the district who make more than $200,000, with the highest paid making over $330,000. I believe that is more than the Sheriff of Santa Cruz County makes.

An AMR paramedic, who really provides you with life-saving treatment if you have a medical emergency, makes an average of $65,000 yearly.

While firefighters show up to medical calls, it is AMR paramedics who provide you life-saving treatment if needed and transport you to a medical facility, not firefighters. If your life is in danger, it is the police who come to save you, not firefighters.

The District already owns the land for the proposed new fire station, so why is it going to cost over $22 million? Because firefighters have the only taxpayer funded jobs that pay them to sleep on our dime. I believe the $22 million is to build a Taj Mahal for the entitled, who will work and sleep there.

Meanwhile, the police department is jammed into the basement of city hall and you do not hear them complaining about an old building. Of course, police officers do not get paid to sleep by the taxpayers, they are out and about protecting life and property.

Maybe if the firefighters were doing the same and not sleeping on our dime making outrageous wages, they would not need such a showpiece for an office.

Vote no on Measure W.

Don Dietrich
Scotts Valley

Measure V’s success is great news for SVUSD

Thank you to those who voted to support Scotts Valley Unified School District’s Measure V. Thank you to those who answered their door and engaged our campaign walkers in civil conversations about school funding and what we can do about it.

Thank you to those who attended our campaign events to hear our story and ask questions. Thank you to those that contributed funds allowing us to spread our message through mailers and signs.

And a special thank you to the campaign team that included school staff, parents, business and community leaders, and a wide variety of neighbors that walked, talked, shared on social media, and otherwise collaborated on this successful venture.

We can feel good not only about the value Measure V funds will bring to our students, but also about how its success reminds us that we can come together to address shared challenges.

The results will not be certified until Nov. 10, but the math seems clear — Measure V has succeeded and will provide some near- and mid-term financial stability to our local public school district. This is great news for our district’s staff and students as this revenue will continue to provide needed support.

We are fortunate to live in a community able and willing to make this modest additional contribution to the shared endeavor of public education.

For property owners over 65 or receiving disability income and interested in an exemption, the form will be available through the District’s webpage (scottsvalleyusd.org/page/important-links) a few weeks after the election results are certified. That form will not be due until the end of June 2024. If anyone needs assistance with it, our District staff is happy to help (831-438-1820).

If you have a Measure V sign that was missed during the cleanup, you can put it directly into your garbage bin (the plastic is not recyclable). The metal stakes can be recycled, but the cross arm must first be broken off (just bend it back-and-forth a few times) to avoid damaging the recycling machinery.

Finally, we also hope the community will show the same level of support for Measure W, whose ballots are due Nov. 7. A new fire station is within our grasp; a “yes” vote will improve safety for everyone. 

It would be nice if “someone else” would fund it, or if more of the taxes we already pay were allocated to our local needs. But those choices aren’t on our menu. If we want the benefits, and we want them now, supporting our local agencies is a choice we can make.

Tanya Krause
SVUSD Superintendent

Michael Shulman
SVUSD Governing Board President

We welcome letters to the editor and commentaries on all topics of local interest. Email your submissions to [email protected]. Letters must include the writer’s name and hometown (for publication) and phone number (for verification). Submissions may be edited, and will be published as space permits. Letters are limited to 400 words, commentaries to 600 words.


  1. Readers,

    Public buildings like police and fire stations must be built to rigorous seismic standards and due to government contracting rules they are required to pay “prevailing wage” to the builder which is additionally expensive. This is an issue – but for another day and discussion.

    As a comparison – the Sheriffs Office remodel of the buildings they now occupy along the Soquel frontage road cost us 44 million dollars over ten years ago. Mind you the buildings were already there but needed interiors completed. Recently San Jose FD completed a fire station at a cost of 33 million dollars.

    Mr Dietrich was once a union representative for the sheriffs office deputies arguing for pay and benefits now enjoyed by sheriffs deputies who make almost the exact same pay as firefighters and his union Operating Engineers Local 3 fights hard to keep prevailing wage laws enforced.

    As for “sleeping on the job” it is a well established work model for firefighters worldwide to work around the clock shifts that include time to sleep. Sleep that can be interrupted at any time for emergency response. Ironically, it would be far more expense to staff 3/8 hour shifts per day, or 4/10’s or even 3/12 shifts per week at the same levels that we maintain today. 2 to 3x as much.

    Lastly, SVFD and its paramedics respond far more quickly than AMR does – and as we all know minutes count when it comes to saving lives.

    I urge you to vote yes on Measure W.

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