City Manager Mark Lewis has concluded that "it would not be fiscally prudent" for Monterey Park to contract with Los Angeles County for fire protection and rescue services.
Lewis, who reviewed a proposal made by the Los Angeles County Fire Department, maintains that the city would lose local control and would pay more for firefighting. An analysis by county fire officials said Monterey Park might save almost $600,000 each year by consolidating its fire department with the county. But Lewis said his assessment shows the city might have to spend an additional $457,757 each year.
Despite Lewis' claim that the proposal would be more costly, officials of the Monterey Park Firefighters Assn. say the city would benefit by contracting with the county. Association spokesman Paul M. McCrummen, a Monterey Park Fire Department captain, said the analysis by Lewis "has somewhat overstated the figures or in other cases used totally meaningless" numbers.
McCrummen said the 48-member union, currently engaged in contract negotiations with the city, wants Monterey Park officials to continue working with the county on the proposed consolidation.
Firefighters, McCrummen said, would benefit by having improved salary and benefits and increased opportunities, if the firefighters worked for the county. In addition, he said, the city residents would gain by having the improved fire protection that the county department can provide.