JUNE 5 ELECTION RESULTS:
Annexation Documents and Resources
The following final documents are the product of seven years of operational and financial analyses. They are presented in reverse chronological order (remember that videos of any of these City Council meetings can be accessed through the City Council Meetings and Agendas link):
• March 10 2012 – Notice of Election
• March 9, 2012 City Council Action – Setting the election date for June 5, 2012
1. Staff Report
2. Power Point Presentation
• February 9, 2012 LAFCO Hearing – Request for Reconsideration Hearing
1. LAFCO Staff Report
2. City Letter to LAFCO - Response to Request for Reconsideration
3. Letter from Marilyn Oliver, Vice-President, Bartel Associates, LLC
4.Letter from Michael G. Colantuono, Attorney
**additional reports can also be obtained directly from the LAFCO website at
• January 3, 2012 City Response to Request for Reconsideration
• November 10, 2011 LAFCO Hearing – Application
1. LAFCO Staff Report
2. Letter to LAFCO Board
3. LAFCO Power Point Presentation
• November 3, 2011 – Public Workshop (click here for video link)
• October 6, 2011 – Public Workshop (click here for video link)
• September 13, 2011City Council – Directing Staff to submit LAFCO Application
1. Staff Report
2. CITYGATE Associates REPORT (Phase I Briefing with FY2009-1 Data)
3. Power Point Presentation
4. LAFCO Application Questionnaire;
5. City of Sausalito Resolution with attached Lease of Premises and Equipment Disposition Agreement and Agreement regarding Certain Financial and Personnel Conditions of Annexation;
6. Resolution Accepting a Negotiated Exchange of Property Tax Revenues between the City and the District;
7. Plan for Service which includes:
- Employee Transfer Plan and Implementing MOU Sideletter;
- Agreement regarding Financial and Personnel Conditions of Annexation;
- Agreement Regarding District Use of the City Fire Station and Transfer of Onwership of City Fire Apparatus and Equipment to the District ;
- Property Tax Agreement
The following diagram depicts the timeline of events that led to the creation of the above documents.
A considerable amount of information was analyzed in defining the City’s final LAFCO application. This draft information was presented to elected officials at various meetings prior to September 13, 2011. They are presented below in reverse chronological order:
• July 26, 2011 City Council – Notice of Intention to Submit LAFCO application:
1. Staff Report
• June 21, 2011 City Council/SMFPD Board of Directors – Joint Meeting to consider Submitting LAFCO application:
1. Staff Report
2. Power Point Presentation
• May 3, 2011 City Council - Public Outreach Update / Citygate Update
1. Executive Summary of Public Outreach Update by Whitehurst/Mosher
2. Power Point Presentation Public Outreach
3. Power Point Presentation Citygate Update
•Facts and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
• Bartel Associates – Impact on CalPERS Contributions of Southern Marin Fire Protection District Merger
Identifying a stable, cost-effective and
long-term solution for providing Sausalito
residents with high-quality fire protection and
A History of Partnership
Since 2004, the City of Sausalito has partnered with the Southern Marin Fire Protection District (SMFPD) to provide the residents and businesses of Sausalito with high-quality fire protection and emergency services.
Even before that, when the City of Sausalito operated its own fire department, the two agencies regularly cooperated in responding to major fires and other emergencies that neither
one on their own had sufficient resources or personnel to handle.
Governed by a formal contract between the City and Fire Protection District, this partnership has proven to be highly effective in keeping Sausalito residents and businesses safe. Indeed, many residents today may not even be aware that their fire and emergency services are provided under the day-to-day supervision of the Fire Protection District.
Under this model, the SMFPD provides almost all management, operations and administrative services, including a fire chief and other key management and firefighting personnel, while the City of Sausalito owns and maintains its downtown fire station and equipment and employs 15 firefighters who are then managed by the Fire Protection District.
A Need for Change
Despite the success of the current model, it has become outdated in the face of changing state and federal standards which require certain levels of firefighter staffing, training and supervision to ensure a safe and adequate response to fires and other emergencies.
In addition, the current contract no longer reflects the full scope and cost of services that the Fire Protection District provides to the residents and businesses of Sausalito. There is an annual gap of almost $395,000 between what the City pays and what SMFPD’s costs are to provide the level of supervision now provided for City fire and emergency services.
As a result, the City and the Fire Protection District began formally in 2006 to study more efficient and cost-effective ways to provide Sausalito with fire protection and emergency services that can better keep pace with changing firefighting standards and maintain the same high level of public safety which residents have come to expect.
Creating a Sustainable Model
A Joint Working Group composed of staff and elected representatives from the City and Fire Protection District conducted many months of careful research and analysis, working with union representatives and experts in municipal finance and consolidation, before making their recommendation to the City. The Joint Working Group came to the conclusion that the best model for Sausalito tax payers and the provision of fire protection and emergency services was for SMFPD to annex the City’s fire service area. Staff then took this recommendation to the City Council for their consideration.
At their meeting on September 13, 2011, the Sausalito City Council approved Staff’s recommendation to file an application with LAFCO (Local Agency Formation Commission) to allow for the Southern Marin Fire Protection District (SMFPD) to formally annex Sausalito’s area for fire services.
Avoiding a Parcel Tax and Costly Election, While Preserving Public Input
The final LAFCO application approved by the City Council on September 13, 2011 did not included a recommendation that city residents tax themselves $90 per parcel to pay for basic fire protection service. Instead, the annexation would be funded by transferring a portion of property tax dedicated to fire services from the City to the Fire Protection District. (The transfers will continue to be managed by the County.) Because there are no new taxes, the LAFCO process did not require the city to hold an election.
Initially, an election was necessary because California law requires a vote if parcels are to be taxed. The election was never to be about annexation. The election was to decide if parcels should be taxed an additional $90 per year. The city’s application to LAFCO would save taxpayers such a burden, save the city money from conducting an election, and would add money back to the city’s general fund.
In lieu of an election, the City announced a public outreach effort that included:
• City website updates on the LAFCO process and SMFPD.
• Use of the City’s popular “Sausalito Currents” email list to educate residents and solicit feedback.
• Two public workshops prior to the November 10, 2011 public hearing at LAFCO.
o The first workshop was held Thursday October 6, 2011 at City Hall
- Click here for a video link (scrolling down to October 6, 2011)
o The second workshop was held on November 3, 2011.
- Click here for a video link (scrolling down to November 3, 2011)
• Creation and distribution of a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document, to be distributed online and by print around town.
- Click here for the Facts and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The LAFCO Process
The next decision of whether to allow SMFPD to annex Sausalito’s Fire Department was held before LAFCO, which has its own review and public comment process. City Staff pledged to help residents navigate the LAFCO process whenever such assistance is requested, in addition to the public education campaign above. Including the following diagram of the process with links to LAFCO.
On November 10, 2011 LAFCO approved the annexation of the territory of the City of Sausalito into the SMFPD for the provision of fire protection services by a vote of 7-0.
However a technicality in properly noticing the Protest Hearing required that the Protest Hearing be continued to February 13, 2012.
On December 10, 2011 a request for reconsideration was submitted to LAFCO by Councilmember Linda Pfeifer and resident John Flavin.
• Click here to read the City's response (updated 1/3/2012)
LAFCO held a hearing on February 9, 2012 on the request for reconsideration of the Commission’s approval of the annexation of the territory of the City of Sausalito into the SMFPD for the provision of fire protection services. The Commission denied the request for reconsideration and again affirmed the LAFCO November 10, 2011 resolutions approving the City’s application.
On February 13, 2012 LAFCO held an administrative hearing to receive protests to the proposed annexation.
On February 24, 2012, the Marin County Registrar of Voters, Elaine Ginnold, certified that on February 23, 2012 the verification of all signatures on the LAFCO Sausalito Fire Department Consolidation Protest Petition was completed. The Registrar reported that as of February 23, 2012, there are 5,103 registered voters in the City and made the following determinations:
Signatures required 1,276
Raw Count 1,970
Sample size 1,970
No. valid signatures in sample 1,370
No. duplicates in sample 139
No. invalid signatures in sample 461
Because more than 25% (1,276) and less than 50% of the registered voters in Sausalito submitted validated protests LAFCO was required to cause the question of annexation to be submitted to the voters of Sausalito for approval.
On March 9, 2012, the City Council called for the election on June 5, 2012.
About the Southern Marin Fire Protection District
The Southern Marin Fire Protection District is a special district created in 1999 by the consolidation of the Alto-Richardson Bay Fire District and the Tamalpais Fire District. The agency is governmed by an elected seven-member Board of Directors.
For more information, visit www.southernmarinfire.org