Woodbridge Fire District (WFD), a rural fire department in conservative San Joaquin County, had never, in nearly 80 years of service, asked its community to support a tax increase. However, by 2018, tough times were calling for bold action. Despite expanding its service area significantly over recent decades, inadequate funding levels had forced WFD to eliminate firefighter positions and periodically close a fire station (up to 40% of the time), increasing response times and putting residents at risk. It was time to get the community involved in shaping the future. District leaders engaged CliffordMoss to help in early 2020. Less than a year later, WFD’s Measure U, a local parcel tax on the November 2020 ballot, passed with 73.43% support.
How did Woodbridge Fire District manage to pass a first-time parcel tax with over 73% support in conservative San Joaquin County? Here’s how they did it:
Election Success for Templeton Community Service District
The election success story of the Templeton Community Service District (TCSD) is a tale of what great community listening looks like. Templeton Fire and Emergency Services (TFES), a service of TCSD, provides fire protection and emergency services for an area with a population of approximately 8,000 in rural San Luis Obispo County. After previous electoral attempts to raise revenues had failed, TFES was left operating its services from one fire station, which was only staffed from 8 AM to 5 PM daily. Volunteer firefighters covered night shifts when available. With demand for services increasing, a solution was needed that could ensure full-time, adequate staffing at the department’s only fire station; without one, there was every possibility that TCSD would have to dissolve its main fire protection service.
In the COVID 19 Era - 5 Public Information Takeaways for Cities
When times are tough and the stakes are high, how do you keep your community with you? One CliffordMoss 2020 client, the City of San Leandro, stands out. In the middle of COVID-19, with fractured politics, social unrest and a historic, contentious Presidential election, the City of San Leandro knew it had to peak perform in the public engagement space with a challenging measure heading to the 2020 ballot. Teaming up with CliffordMoss and employing a smart strategy, the City launched an effort to engage its community about a ballot measure critically important to the city’s future. Operating strictly in the “information ONLY” lane with facts, candor and transparency, the City’s strategy worked. How did San Leandro leaders navigate to keep their community with them – especially during pandemic conditions? Here are 5 takeaways:
Story #35 Lessons Learned from Local FIRE Revenue Measure WINS & LOSSES
Local revenue measures benefitting public fire agencies have enjoyed a long history of success in California’s tough tax election environment. And yet, as unforeseen changes in the environment have taken their toll in recent years – like devastating wildfires resulting from climate change as well as the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, to name just two – local fire revenue measures have been impacted in good ways and bad. The truth is while most fire measures win, not all do. So here in simplest terms are 4 vital lessons learned to ensure YOUR fire measure succeeds.
Story #62 Lessons Learned from Passing a Sales Tax in Conservative Central California after Two Losses
Story #54 Top Lessons Learned from Winning City Ballot Measures
How long has it been since your city navigated the white waters of passing a local tax measure? Is it time to launch yet again? If so, get your boat out, get ready to launch and listen up! For most public agencies these days, the key to success is Informing voters about the FACTS early and throughout the planning and election window.
CliffordMoss has helped numerous cities run successful information-ONLY public engagement programs. We’ve learned some important lessons. Here are our top four takeaways.