SAN ANDREAS – The Calaveras Local Fire Protection campaign will host a series of drive-thru petition signing events on Saturdays in January. The events are designed to make it convenient for Calaveras County voters to participate in the effort help keep firefighters in the county.
“We hear from voters who want to sign the petition but just haven’t been at one of the places where we’ve been. This gives an easy option for anyone to drive up and sign,” said Dana Nichols, chairman of the Calaveras Local Fire Protection Committee.
Nichols said that the campaign’s goal is to collect 3,000 signatures by the Feb. 22 deadline. That number would assure that there are at least the 2,161 valid signatures required to get it on the ballot. Nichols said that as of Christmas, the campaign was just under half way to that goal with eight weeks remaining.
Putting the measure on the ballot will allow Calaveras County voters to decide whether to provide the nine local fire districts and one municipal fire department with funding to improve their operations.
“In most cases, that would make it possible for the districts to have at least a couple paid firefighters on duty 24/7,” Nichols said. “Right now, most of Calaveras County’s local fire agencies depend on volunteers. Those volunteers, however, want to earn a living and so often decide to move out of the county for living-wage jobs. Often we lose them to Cal-Fire or city fire departments.”
Sign-Up Saturdays will be 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 1, Jan. 8 and Jan. 15 at the following locations:
Mokelumne Hill – Corner of Highway 49 and Highway 26
San Andreas – Treat’s General Store
Valley Springs – Highway 26 and Hogan Dam Road
Copperopolis – IGA parking lot