October 21, 2011 TO: Darla Hartley, Fire Commission Chair Wayne Senter, Fire Chief FROM: The Community Budget

Review Committee RE: Review - 2012 Proposed Budget for South Kitsap Fire and Rescue

Introduction: In 2005 South Kitsap Fire and Rescue (SKFR) created a new process to enhance their budget development by including a Community Budget Review Committee (CBRC). This year a nine-member committee was selected that was comprised of various community members, citizens, and business owners from within the boundaries of SKFR's response area. The committee met on October 5, 12, and 19 with Chief Senter and his executive level staff for approximately 2 hours each night. These open meetings, encouraging public attendance, were all held at their headquarters station located at 1974 Fircrest Drive SE, Port Orchard, Washington. SKFR provided the CBRC information about how the district operates and what goals and standards impact their budget. This included an examination of the current standards, procedures, and practices SKFR utilizes in delivery of its emergency service to the community. The CBRC members provide comments below addressing two general areas: 1. Make strategic recommendations on how to improve SKFR's budgeting process and its ability to efficiently deliver emergency services to the community. 2. Make specific recommendations on how to maximize the CBRC process.


Strategic Budget Recommendations: 1. We agree that the most critical issue facing SKFR today is the upcoming levy election. Passage is required in order to continue operating at current levels without a significant reduction in service levels to the community. The CBRC was presented with a substantial amount of information pertaining to the election process and requirements. The CBRC was informed that a levy committee exists and is reviewing all requirements and time lines in order to establish a game plan. The CBRC agrees with Chief Senter and recommends that SKFR use the August primary to bring the matter to the public for a vote. We also agree and recommend to maintain the temporary six year term for the levy as well as the dollar amount so that the community sees this levy request as a continuation of previous support. This committee understands that issues still remain with the politics involved in the election process and that SKFR, along with their Fire Commissioners, are working diligently to resolve those issues and uncertainties. This committee further recommends that SKFR take the time to open dialogue with all working members of the district in an effort to create defined contingencies for a levy failure knowing how limited those contingencies may be. 2. The CBRC, in conjunction with the levy campaign, recommends SKFR actively research avenues through multi-media sources to promote the successes that can be attributed as a result of the successful six year fire levy in 2006. Continue to find creative methods that are cost effective and not labor intensive to reach the most people within SKFR boundaries. A greater number of community members need to be informed about the many Fire and EMS service delivery improvements. SKFR is the largest and busiest fire agency on the Kitsap peninsula and yet has the lowest tax rates to fund that mission. The CBRC found the “Five Year Strategic Plan 2010-2015” to be an excellent source of positive information as well as a perfect sales aid for community support. We recommend the district research ways of providing this printed material on a much wider basis. Making the material available through such places as public libraries or county offices. The Kitsap Realtors Association and the Chamber of Commerce may prove to be effective partners to provide the material to new homeowners or new community members. You have a positive story to tell, more people need to hear the story. 3. We recommend SKFR actively pursue revenue reimbursement from sources currently listed as tax exempt but require coverage or service. We believe that community members are available and willing to participate and help create successes in these efforts. 4. We recommend that the annual “Service Level Objectives and Evaluation Report” be footnoted in an effort to effectively explain and define the impact of “Failed” for final assessment of a particular timed service measurement. Community members who review the material might not be aware of the purity of the raw data and the influences of unique one time events that result in complex results.


5. We recommend that the numerous sections detailed in the Budget Worksheet be standardized. In many sections, for example section 522 50 31, items #1205 thru 1272, budget line items are listed in excruciating detail, while other sections are listed in more general categories. For review purposes, we recommend more general grouping of budget line items. This would simplify the budget review worksheet process, but still designate funding for respective line items. As long aas strict inventory control procedures are in place, single item budget lines should not be necessary on the Worksheet. 6. We commend and congratulate Chief Senter for the successful formation of The Wellness Corporation and the selection of Chief Senter as the Chair. It is very important to continue the work required to achieve the ten (10) Health Care Goals established in order to control health care expenses. This has been an ongoing effort for many years. Reaching a milestone like this highlights the fact that SKFR enjoys the highest level of leadership with a sharp vision for future needs and the talent to create solutions. 7. SKFR representatives should continue to seek leadership roles regarding legislative issues and changes that protect or advance the cause for stable funding, regionalization and professional accreditation. Recommendations for Future CBRC Processes: 1. Prior to the first scheduled meeting of the CBRC, continue to hold an orientation meeting for those new members of the CBRC to help them become acquainted with the general operation of SKFR, its budgeting process and general expectations of the CBRC process. 2. Have staff explain the responsibilities of their departments within the organization and focus on how those actions serve the mission statement in general but also the strategic plan highlighting specific budget line items that need critical review for continued community service at levels that the community enjoys and expects. Focus on recent creative problem solving strategies that serve the citizens. This should allow a greater amount of time for open discussion and question/answer sessions. Conclusion: Once again, the major challenge facing SKFR is, within the constraints of current revenues, provide the staffing necessary to maintain a reasonable emergency response time for the citizens they serve. It appears SKFR, through continued organizational changes, has been very proactive in providing commendable emergency response time considering the resources they are provided. The "Recommendations" included in this document are given as suggestions that may help SKFR continue to refine and improve the critical service they provide our citizens. We thank the SKFR Board of Fire Commissioners and Chief Senter for actively seeking


input and recommendations from the community they serve. We encourage Chief Senter to continue to engage the public in their budget development. The CBRC would also like to thank Deputy Chief Wright, and his staff for providing us with all information requested and supporting a very open dialogue about any and all topics concerning the agency's budget and operation. Transparency can be very uncomfortable at times. Knowing this, SKFR welcomed our scrutiny regardless of where it might lead.

Bernie Golbeck, Chairman Glenn Schmidt Rob Putaansuu Bob Lamb Jay Villars Wayne Cohen Steve Hutchins Terry Dielman Steve Krecker