No-Annex.com's sole purpose is to help defeat the proposed annexation by the Fig Garden Police Protection District.
IMPORTANT YOUR PROPERTY TAXES MAY GO UP BY
September 11th, 2012:
Here we go again. We have repeatedly been told that this is our last opportunity to join the Fig Garden Police Protection District. We were told in November 2003 that we would never have another opportunity to join. We heard the same thing in 2006, now here we are again. Will this be your last opportunity? Only if they are successful and get your money. They need your money, look at their own report and note that this fee is likely to go up every year. Here is the 2010 LAFCO EXECUTIVE OFFICER’S REPORT outlining the plans regarding the Fig Garden Police Protection District. Here is the link, if that doesn't work try this one.
There will be a meeting on Circle Drive Monday September 17, 2012. I will post more information when I can. If you live on Circle Drive you should attend this meeting.
If you live in other areas of the Fig Garden Police Protection District and know of similar activities please let us know and we will post it.
I find it interesting that the FGPPD has their own web site with no information. If they wanted us to be informed wouldn't they share their thoughts with us?
Update March 21st, 2012:
Update March 20th, 2012:
The Fig Garden Homeowners Association has a new President and as you can see from his President's Message in the Spring 2012 Newsletter, he states "The Fig Garden Homeowners' Association Board continues to encourage the Fig Garden Police Protection District commissioners to look at including areas outside the core, so we can provide this wonderful protection to all our neighbors."
We could do nothing and pay for both the Police and Fire Protection Districts..... Cost of $828 a year.
We could continue to watch them and be ready to fight. The first time we went through this they weren't going to give us a chance to vote. The Fresno County Board of Supervisors were ready to vote to increase our taxes by $225 without a vote of the people or a legal, complete application. See First Application.
We could ask to be annexed into the City of Fresno. The City of Fresno opposes the Fig Garden Police District annexation. Then they could never ask us to join their districts again. Well, they did try to annex some city folks the first time, hey- their money's good too.
Attend the Annual Membership Meeting. Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Fig Garden Swim & Racquet Club
4722 N. Maroa
If you did not see the flyer here is the agenda:
1. Call to order
2. Introductory remarks
3. Treasurer's Report
4. Nomination of Directors & Voting
5. Discussion of matters of general interest (This is for us)
I will be adding crime stat comparisons with more current data as I can.
Update October 23rd, 2007:
The ballots have been counted and the Fig Garden Police Protection District annexation has been defeated!
Of the 385 ballots returned, 190 voted yes for the annexation, 178 voted no and 17 were not counted due to no signature. This annexation needed 66% of the vote to pass. They received 51.6% yes votes and 48.4% no votes. About 50% of the ballots were returned, good work neighbors!
Update September 30th, 2007:
Neighbor to Neighbor Letter of September 26, 2007
Update September 21, 2007:
How will your taxes go up to $828.00 per year when this election for the Fig Garden Police Protection District tax is only $299.00 per year? Simple; after this election if the District is successful, next you may be asked or required to enter into the Fig Garden Fire Protection District. Yes, the people in the core district are paying $828.00 for special Police and Fire assessment districts. Shhh, don't tell anyone but if this annexation passes, next they may want you to help pay for their Fire Protection District. You are all ready receiving the benefit of the Fig Garden Fire Protection district. If you place a call, the Fire Engine that will respond is from the Fig Garden Fire Protection District. Why should your neighbors living west of Maroa pay $529.00 per year more for the same service you receive? Once you are in the Police Protection District it would only make sense for you to be included in the Fire Protection District. The Police and Fire District already have the same boundaries, why shouldn't the Fire District change it's boundaries if the Police Protection District changes? After all, you will then be part of the District and it would only make sense that they stay uniform. A yes vote may be a vote for an $828.00 per year increase in your property taxes over and above what you are currently paying and it will have yearly increases indexed to the cost of living without a vote!
Regarding the mailing sent out by the Fig Garden Police Protection District of September 14, 2007. You can see it here.
Under What Are The Benefits If I Vote "Yes"?
(You are currently in a 34-square mile beat patrolled by a single deputy sheriff.) It may be true that the area is 34 square miles, but not all of the area is county (see map) and it is not always patrolled by one sheriff, at times there may be 3 or more deputies working this area. It would be like me saying that for your $299.00 per year (maybe $828.00) you don't have a sheriff providing enhanced service because L25 (Fig Garden Police Protection Deputy) isn't on duty 58 hours per week. Residents that I have talked to have reported response times of 1 to 3 minutes. Oh, if your house gets TP'd you may not see a deputy for a while but you need to remember that the calls are prioritized and I have personally seen calls of high priority have response times that have amazed me. Way to go Lincoln 21! I have seen that deputy morph into 4 Deputies in less than 3 minutes of the call. When you have Superman or Superwoman who needs enhanced service? By the way, I have seen houses on Van Ness TP'd 4 or 5 times in the last year with the enhanced service I haven't seen that on my block in 30 years, go figure. We have Neighborhood Watch, neighbors helping neighbors works better than anything the Government can come up with, even "enhanced" police protection.
Under Will I Lose Any Benefits By Voting "Yes"?
Look at the map again. Lincoln 21 area only goes north as far as Van Ness and the river and south to about Dakota. Although he could go as far north as Highway 41 and the river and south to Highway 180 most of that area is now in the City of Fresno.
The Districts contract CAN be impacted by County budget cuts. How?- by the county increasing the fee it charges the Fig Garden Police Protection District. Remember why we are here “...the Fresno County Sheriff, ...doubled his [sic] fees. To continue the desired coverage it is necessary to spread the cost ...over a larger geographical area.” --from proposal 2003, signed by Russell Vanrozeboom and William Pipes, of the Fig Garden Police Protection District.
When they don't have any more geographical areas to spread the costs your rates will go up. So if the Fresno County Sheriff doubles the rate again, guess what? Your taxes will have to go up.
Under Can The District Increase The Cost?
YES!!!!!!!! Even Without a supermajority as they say. It can and most likely will go up every year for inflation based on the consumer price index (CPI). According to their own analyst it will need to. You can read the report by their analyst here; the statement is on the last page of the document. And don't forget the $529.00 per year tax for Fire Protection that may be coming your way soon!
Under Will This Opportunity Come Again?
They start off by saying "No." and end by saying "If the measure does not pass, it is very unlikely the District will offer it again to your area." Very unlikely is not NO! This is not the first attempt at this annexation; each time you were told the same thing, this will be your last chance. Let's hope so.
Under Be Sure To Vote
I couldn't agree with them more on this, please vote. It's up to you, who do you want to have responsibility for your primary safety "enhanced" or "Superman / Superwoman"? Vote NO!
Update: September 9, 2007
Attention Voting Area Residents:
Have Questions?: Please include information to identify yourself as residing in the voting area, for example 1100 block of E. Pico.
To send a question please click here, your question will be forwarded to one of your neighbors and we will do our best to give you an honest answer within 72 hours.
Crime Statistics: For area already using "enhanced" service, or "core area": Please click here.
Sheriff's Department Priority Call Response Time Standards: click here
Update: September 5, 2007
You will be voting on the annexation into the Fig Garden Police Protection District October 23, 2007 if you live in the areas shown on this map. So look for your ballot coming by mail soon and vote NO to this unfair tax. They say that this is your last chance, they said that in 2003 and again last year. When they first proposed the annexation it was only going to be $225.00 a year. So this is your 3rd last chance! I think it will only be your last chance if it passes, then it will be too late. This tax will go up. It can go up every year by the cost of living index and according to their own analyst it will need to. You can read the report by their analyst here; the statement is on the last page of the document.
You will be told that you will have the opportunity to join the district and obtain an added layer of protection. This is an opportunity for them to increase their budget by nearly $400,000.00!
You will be told about budget reductions. It should be noted that the Fresno County Board of Supervisors passed a budget this year that shaved $18.7 million from various departments to keep deputies on the streets and that the supervisors are going to be asking for an increase in sales tax to be placed on the June 2008 ballot for more Sheriffs. It was reported in the Fresno Bee August 20, 2007 that this years Sheriff's budget was increased $24,200,000.00 over last years funding; that is not a reduction.
Although the area (Lincoln 21) covers 30 to 35 square miles, only a small portion is in the County that is patrolled by the deputies. See map, note the blue areas on the map are the County islands and that many of the smaller Country islands will be annexed into the City of Fresno. Also note that the area has 24 Field Officers assigned to the area and all entry level field deputies are assigned here during their training phase. Yes that's right the crime is low in this area and it is used for training. I'm not complaining, the deputies do a fine job for us and our response times are low without the enhanced service. We get the same service as the people living on Van Ness extension. Our area without the enhanced service has one of the lowest crime rates in the state, as a matter of fact you can read that in their analyst report here on page 3.
By the way this tax is NOT deductible on your income tax returns. I called the IRS to ask and was directed to IRS publication 17 pages 139 - 141. So if you are told otherwise it's not true! By law you CAN NOT deduct this on your income tax.
Update: October 25, 2006
Well we have foiled them again, but only temporarily.
Ballots were due to be mailed at the end of September, but that election was postponed because the FGPPD failed to submit an argument in favor within the deadline. What, they didn't know about the election that they had initiated? I think they were hoping we wouldn't know and the best chance they have of winning this election is by keeping people in the dark. So the FGPPD got a court order to have the election pulled. What did this cost the County? Do you think that if we failed to submit an argument that the court would pull the election for the people?
The Elections office has told us that FGPPD must start the entire procedure over, not with LAFCO but with the election office, filing papers just as they did previously. I talked to Rusty Van Rozeboom and he said that it will not be resubmitted until after the first of the year. So that means that the decision was not made at their October Board Meeting. The next FGPPD meeting is January 8th, 2007, this would be the earliest that they could legally make the decision to resubmit the ballot. But we will want to keep checking with the Elections office to see if anything is filed by FGPPD so that we can be ready to resubmit our argument against just in case it is submitted before their January meeting. We may be at a disadvantage because they already know what we will be writing, or at least they think they do. We should plan on having a few people attend the January FGPPD Board meeting so we can get a heads-up on their plans. If you can make the January 8th meeting please let us know.
We need to be ready because no one will notify us when the process is started and we have a limited time to file our arguments.
Update: September 17, 2006
It has been hard to get information regarding crime stats for the areas of the proposed annexation. We have crime stats for area 1 of the proposed annexation. You can see them here.
Through the Neighborhood Watch program we have been able to get stats for the "core" area (Maroa to Palm, Shaw to the canal at Dakota), the proposed annexation area 1 (Blackstone to Maroa, Gettysburg to Ashlan) and part of the old (2003) proposed area 1 (Palm to Fruit, Shaw to Gettysburg), each of the reports covers three months of data.
The core area covers from April 1 through June 30, 2006. Area 1 stats cover from May 1 through July 31, 2006. The old area 1 (Palm to Fruit) covers from April 1 through June 30, 2006.
In 2003 when the FGPPD was trying their first annexation attempt the Fig Garden Homeowners Association was passing around a flier with crime statistics, here is what it said:
Based on crime data from 2002 and 2003, crime rates east of Maroa and west of Palm, which is outside the police protection district, are higher:
*Crimes against people: 680% higher
*Burglary and petty theft: 42% higher
*Auto crime (burglary and theft): 18% higher
The low crime rate in the current police protection district reflects the sheriffs success using proactive policing techniques.
When asked to see the statistics and/or how they were computed, all we ever received was blank stares.
The stats below are obtained by using the crime reports that we have been able to get for the core area and two adjacent areas using this years data. Because of the low crime rate in the area in general I was unable to find any crimes against people in any area for the months reviewed. So I divided the calls up by priority, an explanation of the three priorities are below.
Priority 1 calls: These are emergency calls for service. These calls require an immediate response for the protection of life or property including all IN Progress person or property crimes and specific emergency, high risk, self-initiated traffic. These calls must be dispatched within 3 minutes after the call for service is received. Some Priority 1 calls include; Armed Robberies, Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Brandishing Firearm, Shots Fired, Homicide, Kidnap, and Rape.
Priority 2 calls: These are urgent calls for service. These calls are without immediate threat to life or property. Urgency does not exist, however, a response should be made as soon as possible or practical. Some Priority 2 calls include: Vehicle Accident Non injury, Identity Theft, Missing Person, Narcotics Violation, Noise Nuisance, and Public Hazards.
Priority 3 calls: These are nonemergency calls for service, no urgency exists requiring immediate response for protection of life or property. Some Priority 3 calls include: Animal complaint, Lost/Found Property, Neighborhood Watch Meeting, Patrol Checks, Petty Theft, and Vandalism.
Below are the numbers I came up with using the reports I was able to obtain. Here are the reports and how I calculated the numbers. I was unable to find any priority 1 calls in any area for the months reviewed.
Priority 2 calls are 52% higher in the core than Zones 1855 and 1753.
Priority 3 calls are 22% lower in the core than Zones 1855 and 1753.
There is one item that sticks out, calls for narcotic violations are 233% higher in the core than in Zones 1855 and 1753.
Most of the core area are large houses with fenced yards. In the proposed annexation area most of the houses are smaller homes and residents park in their driveway and on the street, so one could expect to have more vandalism in the areas where people are parking on the streets. As for the narcotics calls, well that could explain itself.
You can find the law regarding Police Protection Districts here, it is the California Health and Safety Code section 20000 to 20007. Please note the California Health and Safety Code section 20005 that states; “No tax levied, assessed, or collected, and no election held, pursuant to this chapter is illegal, void, or voidable on account of any error, omission, or informality, or failure to comply strictly with this chapter”.
Also note that the state no longer allows new police protection districts after 1959 (H&S 20007), but allows existing ones to continue. I'm not sure why the State Legislature decided to pass H&S 20007, could it be that the Legislators thought it unfair? That maybe the rich could form districts and make lower income people pay for their enhanced protection? Sound familiar?
In the Municipal Service Review Exhibit “A” states “The current police protection services provided by the District are adequate in the areas served. The SOI revision is proposed to allow residents the opportunity to vote for enhanced police protection in additional areas adjacent to the current area receiving service”. Is this an opportunity for enhanced police protection or an opportunity to share the pain of this tax?
Remember to VOTE! You will be receiving your ballots soon.
Update: August 14, 2006
I live between Fruit and Palm, Shaw and Gettysburg. My property is not subject to this annexation, but I have been involved in the movement to defeat this unfair tax from the beginning. You will be voting on this issue by mail soon. I think voters should be well informed so that the voters can make an informed decision. That is the purpose for this Web Site and why I continue to operate it. You can see that the FGPPDs first attempt at annexing included the area from Blackstone to Fruit, the process of this attempt can be seen from the various links on this Web Site.
I have copies of two Arguments Against the annexation that were filed with the Fresno County Elections Department:
Don't you think it a little strange that not one person would take the time to write an argument in favor of the annexation if this was the great opportunity that they say it is?
You may not realize that on the FGPPD's first try to annex us that they also were trying to annex some residents of the City of Fresno too. Yes, they were trying to get the city residents in the area to pay for their enhanced protection.
You are being asked to provide the FGPPD with about $370,000.00 a year to pay for one officer to patrol the district. If you would just take some time to get to know your neighbors and look out for each other you can lower crime and save money. If throwing money at something makes you feel safer then maybe you should vote for the annexation. Please keep reading before you vote.
I would like to point out a few things that I have learned over the last few years working on this issue:
All one has to do is to drive down Van Ness from Shaw/Palm to Gettysburg and you can see the vandalism. So I can understand why some the people in the "core" area want extra police protection. Don't stop at Gettysburg, drive around and see the high number of homes for sale. Why? Is it because of crime, I don't think so. It may simply be becoming too much of a burden for some to pay for their various assessment district taxes.
One of the most effective ways to fight crime is through a Neighborhood Watch Program. According to the California Attorney General the best crime prevention tool ever invented is a good neighbor. The Attorney General goes on to say "There can't be a law enforcement officer at every corner, so citizen involvement is essential to combat crime". To form a Neighborhood Watch Program in your neighborhood contact the Fresno County Sheriff Office or Crime and Violence Prevention Center, California Attorney General's Office, P.O. Box 944255, Sacramento, CA 94244-2550 or visit their Web Site http://safestate.org/.
I hope this helps answer some of your questions. If you have any questions or comments you can send an email. If you would like your comments posted on the Web Site let me know in your email.
Good luck and remember to vote!
Update June 17th, 2006:
If you can help get out the word in your neighborhood send us an email.
Remember in August to look for the Ballot in your mail to expand the Fig Garden Police Protection District and vote NO!
You can see a copy of the Fig Garden Police Protection District's Annexation Resolution here.
A copy of the Legal Description is here.
The LAFCo APPLICATION FOR SPECIAL DISTRICT ANNEXATION is here.
Update March 30th, 2006:
Update March 26, 2006:
The Fig Garden Police Protection District is at it again, only this time they are asking for $299.00 a year. That is a 33% increase in three years!
Be sure to attend the annual Fig Garden Homeowners meeting this Wednesday, March 29th, 2006 at 7:00pm. The meeting will be held at Powers Elementary School, 110 E. Swift.
If you can help, please send us an email with your contact information and we will call you with the details.
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