VIDEO: An El Dorado County fire chief will step down to save the job of a firefighter who nearly died last summer on the same day local voters rejected a tax increase that would have kept him employed.
Garden Valley Fire Protection District Chief Clive Savacool said Wednesday he’s planning to step down as soon as possible in order to keep firefighter Scott Wager employed.
However, two other firefighters with less seniority are certain to be laid off by this summer. The layoffs come after a September vote saw 54 percent of voters in the Garden Valley service area reject an assessment that would have levied an additional $71 to $182 annual fee on each parcel in the district. The $400,000 in revenue would have allowed the district to keep two firefighters on duty 24 hours a day. The vote was the latest in a long line of local ballot initiatives to fund rural fire departments to fail in the state’s conservative rural regions, where residents feel they’re being overtaxed by Democrats in Sacramento.