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New firehouse sparks discussion at MAC meeting

Original post made on Feb 3, 2010

Fire Chief Richard Price discussed plans for a new Station 32 on Tuesday night that drew some opponents but more supporters, resulting in standing room only at the meeting of the Alamo Municipal Advisory Council.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, February 3, 2010, 3:31 PM

Comments (28)

Posted by Alamo Ron, a resident of Alamo
on Feb 3, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Chief Price did a commendable job at the MAC meeting. He is an outstanding public servant and the fire district is lucky to have him. His discussion was reasoned and direct. He pretty much destroyed the opposition's and their flyers that contained numerous falsehoods.

The new fire station will be a credit to Alamo. Our firefighters fight fires and save lives - they deserve the very best.


Posted by Leonard Vinci, a resident of Alamo
on Feb 4, 2010 at 6:51 am

This was my first MAC meeting. I attended the meeting to support the new fire station location. I agree with Alamo Ron with regard to Chief Price and his excellent detailed presentation. I was very pleased to see how may came to support this great project.

Alamo needs a new fire station that will meet our current demand, the old station has out lived itself.

Well in closing I just want to congratulate the SRFD and Chief Price for having the insight to realize a new Alamo fire station is needed to handle the day to day emergencies in our community.

I look forward to day of the ribbon cutting of our New Alamo Fire Station Engine #32.

Thanks, Leonard Vinci a resident of Alamo for 35 years.


Posted by Sandra, a resident of Alamo
on Feb 4, 2010 at 7:27 am

The show was definitely worth the price of admission. The Chief was predictably good and the Dirty Trick Club split up into different corners of the room to not look suspiciously grouped. The Chief detailed the tactics used against him and his department by the DTC to attempt to embarrass them and waste their time and resources. He maintained his composure but you could sense the restraint. Highlights included Dan Haller not realizing that homes other than his own had loss value in this economy (he should have surveyed his Mothers Group again for their expert analysis). Greg Kerr getting caught lying about the traffic report caused more than a chuckle. Some other lady up front near the Chief wasn't sure we even needed the existing fire station, not to mention the new one. I had gone to see if the all the hype about the Wolske's was true. But it wasn't. They did not deliver the promised show. They made one comment (which no one understood) and then remained quiet and polite – even giving up their front row seats to others in the crowd. No one took credit for the much maligned flyers but it appeared that Haller was DTC leader and is the likely author in my opinion. He seems to have been the most effective in squeezing taxpayer money out of the department. The Haller family is the one to keep our eyes on. Thank you for being there Dolores.


Posted by Norma A., a resident of Danville
on Feb 4, 2010 at 10:41 am

Green Valley Elementary has existed very well with a fire station at the corner. We have one of the busiest intersections, with GV, LC, and MV school traffic, and everyone seems to be able to coexist peacefully. While the stir is mainly from the residents who live closest to the disputed location, would you rather have a nice, new station that is put there to protect YOUR interests, or other buildings that we can think of that would surely, really up your ire? How less busy do you expect your neighborhood to be when you choose to live on or near a well traveled, major road that has freeway access?


Posted by No Friend of Haller, a resident of Alamo
on Feb 4, 2010 at 11:07 am

Chief,

I'm a big supporter of you and the new station but I will publicly oppose it if you give Haller one more cent. I really don't like that guy and what he is trying to do.

Like you said, he is more than 100 feet away from the new station as designed – much further away than many neighbors of your other stations including the current Station 32! They never got the handouts he is receiving.


Posted by Common Sense, a resident of Alamo
on Feb 4, 2010 at 11:49 am

Ditto what No Friend of Haller had to say, Chief. The mitigations you've put in place to reduce the impact are more than adequate.


Posted by supporter, a resident of Alamo
on Feb 4, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Good for Mr. Haller. His was the only honest comment delivered by the "Dirty Tricks Club" (love that name!); he said plainly that he didn't want to live by a fire station. The ultimate NIMBY. The fire department has bent over backwards to accommodate the neighbors, have produced a facility that will serve Alamo well for the next 50 years, and will beautify what has been an eyesore for many years. Now let's get on with it.


Posted by Nor Omala, a resident of Alamo
on Feb 4, 2010 at 2:25 pm

While I generally support the new firehouse, it makes me sick to read so many snide and disparaging comments from my so-called neighbors. I sure hope I don't have the displeasure of meeting a single one of you.

I bet dollars to doughnuts that everyone of you so-called "strong supporters" of the new firehouse would have the exact OPPOSITE opinion if it was next to YOUR house (yes, I'm calling you all a bunch of hypocrites).

And it's even more disconcerting to see so many people hide in the weeds and take anonymous pot shots at people who will take the brunt of the noise, inconvenience and loss of property value. Shame on you all - a pox on all your houses.

While I think the new location is better than the current one, I think the size of the firehouse is way too big and unnecessary. Since when do supposedly "tough and brave" firefighters need their own individual rooms? Firefighters aren't charity cases (well, at least that's how is should be) - they are extremely well paid, get amazing amounts of paid time off, have overly generous pensions and their workload is minuscule (just 2.2 calls a day - only call outs once every ~11 hours? - what do they do all day to stay awake? Polish their shiny red trucks?).


People love to say how "dangerous" the job is and elevate firefighters as if they are akin to noble warriors selflessly putting their lives on the line. But that's just a load of codswallop and Hollywood spin to justify outrageous salaries and bennies. If danger truly was a determinant of pay, then why don't far more dangerous professions like lumberjacks and coal miners get paid multiples of what they earn? Reality is that the so-called "danger" is a canard used to justify overly generous pensions/salaries by fat unions to screw taxpayers.

Build the new firehouse, but let's fund it by cutting firefighter salaries and bennies. If firefighters want to work in fancy digs with private rooms (which is the real reason for the new firehouse) then let THEM pay for it - otherwise, make em stay in the current firehouse - it works fine now and they clearly aren't over worked.


Posted by The Truth Hurts, a resident of Alamo
on Feb 4, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Nor Omala = Haller

Just like Chief Price said, when they talk about salaries and workloads, you know the project is Righteous.

Go back to watching the kids T.


Posted by DTC, a resident of Alamo
on Feb 4, 2010 at 3:11 pm

Abnormala,

You are just the kind of upstanding citizen that we are looking for. Please consider membership.

DTC, Alamo Chapter


Posted by East Side Neighbor, a resident of Alamo
on Feb 4, 2010 at 5:37 pm

It's too bad that the DTC folks do not realize that when they are caught publishing lies, they lose credibility for any arguments that they make.


Posted by CCCFPD, a resident of another community
on Feb 5, 2010 at 10:35 am

Firefighting isn't dangerous work? Tell that to these local families.

Web Link

Web Link

Please show a little respect and keep your comments on topic.


Posted by Jake, a resident of Stone Valley Middle School
on Feb 5, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Hey Abnormala,

Let me know how I can trade my house for Dan and Tiffany Haller's SIX BEDROOM, FOUR BATH mansion on Megan Court with its swimming pool and park-like backyard – 100' from the back of the fire station – and I'll prove to you that I'm no hypocrite! My family would LOVE to be in this situation.


Posted by Thaller, a resident of Alamo
on Feb 5, 2010 at 10:12 pm

My friend just called me after reading this to let me know that we were being slammed on this blog. Nor Omala is not me. This is me and I did just put our kids to bed. Several "facts" above are not true and honestly so hurtful. I wanted to set the record straight. To start with- we have nothing but the utmost respect for the firefighters that work hard every day so that we can all sleep at night assured that if our homes caught on fire, they would risk their lives to pull us out. We would not ever comment about their salaries or their bark-a-loungers or whatever they were. They need things like a gym in order to train every day to be prepared to do their job. Like professional athletes, their bodies pay for that. We have several good friends that are firefighters, in Seattle, San Francisco, San Mateo, San Bruno. I cannot speak for others but we have never had any problem with what is planned inside the station. They know better than we what they need to do their job. This is why it is SO annoying that Chief Price tried to associate us with those fliers, and mainly because he KNOWS that those things are not our issues. He is a very good politician. We believe the employees at the Alamo Station should get a better working situation. Our hope was that they could add on and remodel the existing station instead of disrupting so many other peoples lives by moving it. These are people's lives, people! We have neighbors with retirements at stake, two widows with the need to sell their homes, others with teens going to college and need to be able to sell their homes. We have three neighbors not putting homes on the market because of the uncertainty. Heck- look at the Wolske's issues selling theirs. You can argue it's unsellable because of the home but that was at 2.1, really people? It's a beautiful home. We would like to have our children play in the back yard without smelling diesel fumes. We didn't choose a home behind a station. Also, our home was built in 1973 and does not have 6 bedrooms. It's far from a mansion. We have not received one dime from the Fire District. Chief Price came to our home one year ago and it was HIS idea's to mitigate because we were worried about being trapped in a home in which our baby couldn't nap or our dog howled all day or gave himself hotspots (both happen with sirens). We have not mitigated anything with them. They give us credit for the orientation of the station- which I'm not sure there was another way they could have done it. We ask for a standard fence behind their station with landscaping on their property and they propose these big metal things that are not continuous. I am sure that any of you would like to have a fence between you and a commercial facility. They have not agreed to do that. We asked that they let us know when they would be doing work at the site so we could make arrangements to be out. They did not do that and our infant did not nap for two days while they did soil samples. The last time this group of "Alamo" citizen's wrote you wrote about the size of our pool, I think that might have been "Jake"- if that doesn't demonstrate the need for privacy - I don't know what does. I also do not see many homes here that DON'T have a pool. At least each of our neighbors do. It seemed clear that many of the people at the MAC meeting weren't even from Alamo and it seemed like the Chief or Architect firm asked their friends to come. Obviously these blogs are covered by many of the same. The Architect firm has been foot canvasing the neighborhoods trying to drum up support. Everyone- including the people responsible for the flier- why can't you all just state the facts and let the people in we voted for decide what is the right choice. I had a copy of the flier as it was on my door and it didn't have all the things on it that Chief Price addressed- so go figure. And seriously, have a heart people, none of these neighbors, not us, not even the Wolske's ever did anything to you. Personally, my family's concerns with the station from Day one have been: 1. Privacy, 2. Noise, and 3. Property Values- that hasn't changed. And the mother's club is a reasonable gauge for whether a FAMILY would buy a home behind a station because our home is a family home. A retired couple would not buy our home. I recognize "Sandra" "Jake and DTC from the last really nasty blogging. I really hope that you can look yourselves in the mirror because the lies and nastiness that you have spewed is really sad. I think last time people blogged that you were firefighters or on the payroll somehow. I would hate to think of you as firefighters because every firefighter that I have ever met has been honorable. Our interest is if they decide to build here that this station is built in a way that has the least impact on the surrounding neighborhoods and is a functional station for the brave people who protect us.


Posted by Triogenes, a resident of Alamo
on Feb 6, 2010 at 9:26 am

Tiffany,
You were not present at the meeting so you only have information that other people told you – not what you personally observed or heard. If you were there you would know that the Chief made no mention whatsoever of the author of the flyer. I'm sure he has his suspicions, as do I. Your family continues to try to mislead. You try to imply that the Chief "made up" contents of the flyer – that the flyer didn't say those things. Well most people in the room HAD THE FLYER IN THEIR HANDS – the one that was delivered to our homes - while the Chief reviewed the BS items on it. You are now trying to say that the Chief fabricated the items he publicly reviewed. Could your family be any more disrespectful to the Chief and the department? Is this your way to "set the record straight?" You purposefully refer to him as a "politician" – he is not elected and he is not a politician (although I would vote for him if he decided to change branches of government). Your husband was the one doing the political dancing.

It's good to hear that you "have some friends that are firefighters." I bet you have some friends that are black too. You really sound sincere when you say that and then follow it with "get them as far away from me as possible."

You buy a house on a major thoroughfare with thousands of cars and trucks heading to and from one of the busy freeways in the Bay Area and then blame a firehouse with two calls a day for diesel fumes? What are you smoking?

If you would have been there you would have heard each speaker introduce themselves and state their address. They were your neighbors – just like me. The fire department didn't bus people in like you try to give the impression they did. No fire department employee, architect, etc. spoke a word. Just more DTC rhetoric and tactics out of your family…


Posted by Sandy, a resident of Alamo
on Feb 6, 2010 at 10:40 am

Triogenes, You are an idiot. If you have been reading above, they live on Megan Court. Which is a cul-de-sac not a a major thoroughfare. I was at the meeting and was one of the many who did not speak but came to hear a factual presentation of what the new Alamo station would encompass, to which I was a little disappointed. I haven't yet decided what I think about this move and don't really know if any of us really have a say. I'm personally still waiting to hear how this is going to be a better move for us on the West side.


Posted by Gladys, a resident of Alamo
on Feb 6, 2010 at 11:31 am

Tiffany, the Chief is a highly respected man in our community. A man with a long career of putting his own life on the line for families like yours. I'm not sure trying to discredit him is the best strategy. It seems to me that he has tried very hard to help your family in many ways. To say the fire district hasn't spent one dime on your family is simply not true. At the meeting your husband himself said the fire district paid for *your* sound consultants, planned privacy screens, special landscaping, etc. You two should really get your stories straight before you show up here and confirm what everybody is already thinking. And I think you owe the Chief an apology.


Posted by Alamo Lady, a resident of Alamo
on Feb 6, 2010 at 2:44 pm

I have lived on Miranda Ave. (north of Stone Valley School) for over 30 years. Will this new fire station benefit me personally? Yes; it's closer to my house than the old one, and more attractive also.
I question, however, the necessity and expense of the facility.
Our local schools seem to be having so many financial problems, and are cutting programs (or are charging parents for) that my children received when they were young. If it were up to me I'd keep the current station (an average of just over 2 calls per day does not seem to be a highly active station) and spend those funds on our local schools, rather than on a luxurious firehouse.
However, if the fire department has significant funds that MUST be spent in their department only, then probably now is a good time to build, price-wise, given the weak economy.
I'm just a practical taxpayer trying to see money spent where it is most needed.


Posted by Jim, a resident of another community
on Feb 8, 2010 at 7:44 am

To Alamo Lady: The Fire District is an independent district with it's own budget. It is not associated with the County, it is not associated with the school district. It's funding is collected solely for the purpose of providing protection for the citizens of the valley.


Posted by Askidoo, a resident of Alamo
on Feb 8, 2010 at 9:36 am

The comments above and at public meetings regarding money are totally beside the point if you know about how your tax money is allotted. Jim above is right fire money cannot go to a school district from funds for the fire district. If you are concerned about how the fire district money is spent that should be directed to them and their board and not to the ALAMO MAC. If you are concerned about the school district direct comments to them not the the fire district or MAC.

To each citizen of Alamo an efficient responsive fire department is always a goal - 20 seconds closer to someone's house may save a life.
To each neighbor your goal should be to make this project the most amenable to your neighborhood. It seems that the fire district and Chief Price have been trying to do that by the design of the firehouse looking more like a home than an institutional building; by willingness to have sound engineers and planting; etc but there may be a ways yet to go so don't destory that working relationship by putting out dumb fliers. Like landowners everywhere sometimes the house footprint is old, dated and has problems and you are better off starting anew: that is what the fire district did. Individual rooms to provide for both male and female firefighters, great equipment in the kitchen, etc. are all things they should have just as neighbors should have the project with the problems worked out - traffic, noise, look of the building. I thought the Cheif explained well the way they anticipate dealing with those situations.

The jabs at what a neighbor's home is or isn't really demean the purpose of looking at a project (as does attacking them - neighbors or Chief - personally).

Change, being unknown, is always a challenge to the people nearest and who will, more than others, live daily with its impact so give them their opportunity to point out better ways to build the fire station at that blighted corner and at the same time allow all of us in Alamo to have an efficient 21st centure firehouse.


We are lucky that the fire department is willing to work with the community on this since we have no local government making a decision (MAC's are advisory only) and the county usually deals with setbacks, height, process etc. and doesn't look out more than peripherally at our community interests. Therefore the fire district's willingness to mitigate any neighbor's concerns and the neighbors outlining those concerns should be appreciated and make for a better project for all.


Posted by Miranda Momma, a resident of Alamo
on Feb 8, 2010 at 11:42 am

Please take a moment today, and drive down Miranda Ave.

Have you looked at the "Pride of Ownership" the fire department is showing at their potential new station?

This property was in "Market Condition" when they closed escrow. Now, it is bringing down everyone's property values in its present condition. If they wait long enough, the weeds will be considered a "Fire Hazard".

To all the homeowners on Stone Valley Road, you are considered to be in a very undiserable area of Alamo, (according to the Chief) already troubled with noise pollution. What is a little more?

Please tell me, if they changed a flight plan to impact the noise level of your home, would you not complain? Would you not want your voice heard?

As for additional space for future growth. Alamo is just about built out! Any additional homes will be minimal, not requiring more fire fighters.

According to "Real Appraisers" (people you pay for their valued opinion)yes, your home value will decline! No matter how lovely it is, you could put it on the cover of "Architecural Digest", it still is a Fire House!

To the homeowners on the "West Side", do you really think that you will be gaining 15 seconds to reach your home? That is one of the most important reasons for the new location.

Has anyone done a real time study, or just looked at a map?


Posted by Treebeard, a resident of Alamo
on Feb 8, 2010 at 3:21 pm

Dear Thaller,

Ya gotta find that return key one of these days. A 916 word paragraph is tough to read and no one does...


Posted by Alamo Lady, a resident of Alamo
on Feb 8, 2010 at 3:49 pm

Miranda Momma:

I just drove down Miranda. Someone is working on the weeds right now.
I don't know if your comment generated the weed eating, but I'm
glad to see it being done.


Posted by Jake, a resident of Stone Valley Middle School
on Feb 9, 2010 at 7:13 am

Tiffany's post was meant to be a find-a-word puzzle – not a paragraph to be read. I found b-a-r-b-e-q-u-e on a diagonal! The word list will probably be in the next flyer.

I sure hope the fire district checked Tiffany's schedule before mowing those weeds yesterday or there will be hell to pay. She seems to have gotten stage fright after trio spanked her for lying and TB schooled her on proper writing techniques. Still, I hope she comes back.


Posted by thaller, a resident of Alamo
on Feb 9, 2010 at 12:32 pm

Thank you Askidoo, I appreciate your comments. You put some thought into it and were very considerate to all involved. It is true about the money as I understand it- it is divided up by the state and county and the Fire Board decides how they spend it. Short of donating it to the schools (again decided by the Fire Board), the money can't be moved from one that has excess and one that is lacking.

Treebeard- sorry it was late at night for me and I wasn't thinking about sentence structure. I know you didn't take the time to count those words!

Miranda Momma- Thanks for the laugh about the weeds- I thought the yellow mustard was kind of pretty. ;) And we love our neighborhood- it is very quiet and the kids can walk from friends house to house. When we were looking it reminded us of the West Side but without access to the trail. It is sad that people are trying to make it less than what it is. I would encourage all to take a drive through our neighborhoods and see for yourselves.

Gladys- You must have misunderstood because Chief Price spoke about the green screens( the metal structures with vines) and things that the FD has done to help on the FIRE DISTRICTS property not ours. My husband has dark hair too, but spoke about what we have been told about our property value in response to the statement that our property values would go UP.

To the others not worth mentioning by name- you're just a bully with multiple names trying to intimidate anyone that speaks up with your lies. Knock yourself out.


Posted by Golden Rule, a resident of Danville
on Feb 9, 2010 at 12:52 pm

I think it is very sad how people seem to enjoy making a good faith dispute into a personal attack on their neighbors. I thought, apparently incorrectly, that Alamo was a neighborly, friendly, place to raise a family. What is wrong with people that they can not have an amicable, open discussion about an issue, without making it a personal attack on each other? I wonder how many of the people who crossed the line with mean spirited comments on their neighbor, consider themselves to be Christians?


Posted by Appalled, a resident of Alamo
on Feb 9, 2010 at 1:57 pm

I thought we still lived in a place where citizens had the right to express their concerns with what the local government does.

Mrs. Haller's goals of
1. Privacy
2. Noise, and
3. Property Values

Wow! You are right. How horrible of them to care about these things!

Seems VERY reasonable to me. Which of you that favor the move would not care about these three points? I certainly would. I think that all of you would and I am absolutely appalled at the immaturity and the lack of empathy that my "neighbors" have toward the Hallers.

Interestingly, I do not see cost on the above list. From some of the moronic comments I just read, you would think the Hallers demanded a payoff. I believe they are a normal family and they CERTAINLY have a normal set of concerns than anyone with a brain would also have.

OK. Go ahead and slam my sentence structure, or perhaps I have a spelling error. Like Tiffany said, knock yourself out! Anything but sticking to the facts or the issues, eh?


Posted by CDSI Research, a resident of another community
on Feb 9, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Dear Dolores,

A unique commentary has occurred in several exchanges on the EXPRESS Forum that examines the hateful, defamatory nature of a handful of pseudonyms. The concern by the commentators is for such defamation occurring in their community. What must be realized are pseudonyms do not have a community even when they claim to be from Alamo, Danville or another community. Pseudonyms are fictitious and only live on-line.

The issue of the exchange is a new fire station that has the capability to deliver fire protection, fire service and emergency medical services. The primary commentary should be directed to you, Dolores, so you can seek answers from Chief Price to inform Alamo's community of neighborhoods. And, yes, to be sure, Alamo is a community of neighborhoods and very considerate neighbors.

Hal/CDSI


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