Next year there’s going to be a big change in voting dates in California. Instead of the primary election being held in June, it’s moving up to March 3, 2020. On that ballot, Oceano voters will decide a special tax measure to fund fire and emergency medical services.
In August, 78% of residents in another San Luis Obispo County unincorporated town—Templeton—voted in favor of a new parcel tax to improve fire protection services. Measure A-19 added an extra $180 a year to each Templeton property tax bill.
Paavo Ogren is the acting general manager of the Oceano Community Services District.
“We're currently part of the Five Cities Fire Authority, and similar to Templeton—[there’s] limited funding for some of these unincorporated communities, and so we're working on a similar measure that the [Oceano] voters are going to see on the ballot in March,” Ogren said.
Each city and unincorporated area the Five Cities Fire Authority serves needs to pay a share for firefighters, engines, EMTs and ambulances. The special tax measure going before Oceano voters in March, if approved, will pay for that service, and more.
“[The special tax would pay for] an improvement in staffing and upgrade in services,” Paavo said.
Oceano CSD officials continue to work out details of the special tax measure expected on the March 2020 primary ballot.