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FD Special Election; Paramedic Tax 2010CITY OF Agenda Item No. 12 n. 1�V&4 Meeting Date: July 19, 2010 SAN RAFAEL CITY COUNCIL AGENDA REPORT Department: Fire Department; City Attorney Prepared by: Chris Gray, Fire Chief fT City Manager Approval: Lisa Goldfien, Deputy City Attorney II SUBJECT: Resolution Calling a Special Municipal Election to be Held on Tuesday November 2, 2010; Ordering the Submission of a Proposition of Increasing the City's Paramedic Service Special Tax Rate and Appropriations Limit to the Qualified Voters of the City of San Rafael at the Special Municipal Election to be Held on November 2, 2010; Requesting Consolidation with any Other Election Conducted on the Same Date; Requesting Election Services by the County Clerk; and Requesting the City Attorney to Prepare an Impartial Analysis of the Measure. BACKGROUND: History/Development of San Rafael Paramedic Services: In 2010, San Rafael Fire celebrates 30 years of Paramedic Service. In 1980 we started with one ambulance and six Firefighter/Paramedics (two on duty each day), responding with our firefighters on engines to 1,900 medical calls that year. Emergency medical calls now represent approximately 75% of the nearly 7,000 fire and rescue emergency calls the Fire Department responds to annually in the greater San Rafael area. As our community has grown and continues to age, and as the number of calls has increased, response times for ambulance paramedics have also increased due to more transports. We are constantly working to improve response times while ensuring that our Firefighter/Paramedics receive the best training and have use of the finest equipment and latest technology. With the revenues from the Paramedic Service Special Tax, we have been working to have at least one paramedic on all of our fire engines to improve response times to community members who need medical help fast. All of our engines are now equipped to allow a paramedic on board to initiate Advanced Life Support procedures, such as establishing IV's, administering medicine, and performing advanced airway procedures, prior to the arrival of an ambulance. To accomplish this, we returned Engineers and Captains to Paramedics to provide these life saving skills at no additional cost to the EMS system. Paramedic engine companies are able to provide advanced life supportive care, in a quicker fashion throughout the city and other jurisdictions we serve, due to their numerous locations and varied geography. The paramedic engines are the first step in the chain of survival for the cardiac arrest patient. A prompt beginning of care, including defibrillation and heart medications, is paramount in turning around a patient who might not survive otherwise. After initial advanced life supportive care from fire engines, a paramedic ambulance team arrives and teams up with engine based paramedics and EMT's to maximize the emergency medical delivery and effectiveness. FOR CITY CLERK ONLY File No.: G% ", Council Meeting:/9� Disposition: ��� SAN RAFAEL CITY COUNCIL AGENDA REPORT / Pa2e: 2 Additionally, since the Department began placing Advanced Life Support paramedics with their equipment/medication on fire engines, there has been an improved use of pain medication, specifically Morphine, for all types of pain management including limb and hip fractures, kidney stones, burns, shingles, as well as other causes. It has been shown that early effective pain management is essential in reducing the lasting physical and psychological stress for patients in these stressful emergencies. San Rafael voters, along with residents in the Marinwood Community Services District and County Service Areas (CSA) #13 and 19, last renewed and adjusted this special paramedic tax back in November 2006. Some of the accomplishments and innovations introduced in the Fire Department over these past four years, in part due to the funding provided by the Paramedic Service Special Tax include: • Expanded and improved service, reduced arrival times, and increased efficiency. • A transition to the Marin County Communication Center from a single on -duty San Rafael Dispatcher, providing a significant improvement in emergency dispatch capability at a lower cost. • Equipment of each City neighborhood fire engine with Advanced Life Support tools and medication, allowing the flexibility to compliment our two Medic Units which run a high call volume. • Paramedics are now sometimes available at all six (6) San Rafael Fire Stations, versus two (2). • Fire Engineers and Fire Captains trained and licensed as Paramedics have been reinstated to perform skills, thereby increasing our service level without adding new positions. • Upgrading all Engines from a very simple Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) to provide advanced capability to view the heart and treat life-threatening medical issues that before would have had to wait for an ambulance. • Initiating an EMS Coordinator position to oversee day-to-day activity, training and quality care. • The implementation of 12 lead heart monitors (EKG) on all of our Medic Units. This enhanced capability to take a close look at the heart has saved many civilian and firefighter lives, delivering them to definitive cardiac care. • A complete revision of pharmaceutical acquisition, security and inventory control methods, with the assistance of our Medical Director. The new system allows for distribution 24 hours a day to serve the community and to deliver life saving drugs to the scene of a major incident. • The cross -staffing of an Engine with a Medic Unit to increase flexibility and service. • The introduction of several new pieces of life-saving equipment to assist patients, including stair chairs and gurneys for better patient transport; intraosseous needles for infusion of fluids/medications directly into bone marrow; and capnography that measures carbon dioxide output and is the vital sign of ventilation. • The transfer of Third Party medical billing from the Novato Fire Protection District to the City San Rafael effective July 1, 2010. This move will provide us with improved turnaround, customer service and ability to maximize cost recovery. • Initiating a practice of only hiring Firefighters that are qualified Paramedics in order to best meet the needs of our community. • A reduction in the use of other public and private agencies for patient treatment and transportation by improvements with paramedic distribution, incident management and maximizing existing resource capability. Our goal is to see that all patients are assessed and SAN RAFAEL CITY COUNCIL AGENDA REPORT / Pa2e: 3 treated by a Paramedic and when necessary transported to a higher medical authority. Our stated goal is that everyone who calls for assistance has the right to a medical assessment by a San Rafael Paramedic. The Paramedic Service Special Tax: In 1979, voters approved a special tax intended to "fully fund" a Paramedic Service Program within the City of San Rafael. This excise tax was imposed on all residential units within the City and authority was given to the City Council to revise the tax annually to ensure that sufficient taxes were collected to fully fund the program. No maximum tax rate was established. In 1988, voters approved an ordinance amendment that also imposed the paramedic tax on non-residential structures located within the City. Pursuant to the amended ordinance, the City Council would annually review the cost of the Paramedic Service Program as detailed in the annual City budget, and then, by ordinance without further vote of the people, adjust the tax so that the paramedic program would continue to be fully funded. Over the years, the rate of the tax has increased as a direct result of rising costs and expanded services directly tied into the call volumes for medical emergencies noted earlier in this report. However, the Council's ability to raise the tax rate was limited by the passage of Proposition 218 in 1996. As a result of Proposition 218, the City Council now may not increase the paramedic tax rate. The level of taxes to be imposed by the City Council to provide paramedic services requires voter approval by a two-thirds majority of the voters voting on the increase. Consequently, voter approval was obtained in 2002 for an increase in the residential rate from $53.00 to a maximum $61.00 per residential unit and from seven cents ($.07) per sq.ft. to a maximum eight cents ($.08) per sq.ft. in the non-residential rate. In 2006, the voters again approved an increase in the residential paramedic tax rate to a maximum of $85.00 per living unit and the nonresidential paramedic tax rate to a maximum of eleven ($.11) cents per square foot. ANALYSIS: The residential rate for the Paramedic Service Special Tax approved by the Council for the current fiscal year is $85.00 per unit and the non-residential rate is $.11 per sq.ft. However, contrary to the expressed intent of the ordinance, the current tax rate does not "fully fund" the Paramedic Service Program into the future. As has been done historically, staff projected service levels and related costs looking out four years (fiscal year 2014-15) to determine tax levels needed to support and enhance our emergency medical services operations. After reviewing the total current and four year projected costs of the Paramedic Service Program, revenues provided by Ambulance Transporting, and the total revenue generated by the current Paramedic Tax maximum rate, staff believes that an increase in the Paramedic Service Special Tax is necessary if the revenue required to fully fund the Paramedic Service Program is to be available to the City. As Paramedic Service Program costs continue to increase, the gap between the costs of the program and the amount of tax collected to fully fund it, will continue to widen. Unless the paramedic tax is increased, General Fund monies could be required to support the Paramedic Service Program. Additionally, the increased tax rate may allow the City to improve paramedic service and response times, especially in Northern San Rafael through the addition of three new paramedic positions that will be assigned to an engine company. The City has had a long standing working relationship with the Marinwood Community Services District. A study completed this past spring by both parties identified a number of strategies to improve this relationship, all with an eye toward developing regional fire protection services across the San Rafael and adjacent District responsibility areas. Currently, City representatives are part of a City/MCSD Working Group, exploring the study alternatives and seeking ways to enhance fire and paramedic services to those served by both communities. Preliminary Working Group results were shared with the City Council at July 6th study session. Results from this exploration of new service improvements, including new contract proposals, will be part of separate public processes unfolding over the next few months. Both the Fire Department and the Management Services Department have reviewed the costs and expenditures of the City's Paramedic Service Program and have determined that the maximum residential SAN RAFAEL CITY COUNCIL AGENDA REPORT / Page: 4 paramedic tax rate should be set at $108.00 per living unit and that the maximum nonresidential paramedic tax rate should be set at fourteen ($.14) cents per square foot. City staff has met with representatives of the County, CSA's and Marinwood Community Services District to discuss the current paramedic budget and special paramedic tax situation. As a result, the Board of Supervisors and the Marinwood Board of Directors are currently considering similar ballot measures for the November election. If the voters approve this increased maximum tax rate, the City Council would still be required to annually review the costs of the Paramedic Service Program and adjust the paramedic tax rates to fully fund paramedic services. But, in no event would the Council have authority to set the residential and nonresidential paramedic tax rates at levels in excess of the maximum amounts approved by the voters. Any increase in the rate of the paramedic special tax must be submitted to voters for approval and must pass by a two-thirds majority. In addition to raising the maximum paramedic tax rates in 2002 and 2006, the voters approved corresponding adjustments to the City's appropriations limit established pursuant to Article XIIIB of the California Constitution, to allow the City to spend the additional tax revenues. Under Article XIIIB, these appropriations limits may only be adjusted for a maximum of four years at each election. Since the current appropriations limit increase will expire at the end of this fiscal year, it would be prudent to once again seek voter approval of an increase in the appropriations limit. If the Council chooses to place this tax measure before the voters, the attached Resolution requests the Board of Supervisors to consolidate the election with the General Election to be held on November 2, 2010. It is also requested that rebuttal arguments be permitted on the paramedic tax ballot. Finally, the Resolution directs the City Attorney to prepare an impartial analysis of the paramedic tax increase measure. FISCAL IMPACT: Though the election will be consolidated with the General Election to be held on November 2, 2010, the City will incur a cost for this special tax election, estimated by the County of Marin (as of July 15, 2010) to be no more than $70,955, based upon 28,382 registered voters at $2.50 per voting opportunity. If the tax is approved, the City will be able to increase annual funding for the Paramedic Service Program up to a maximum $108.00 annually per residential unit and up to a maximum $.14 per square foot per non- residential structure. These rate increases would begin the first of a four year cycle commencing in fiscal year 2011-2012. The City Clerk's budget contains sufficient funds to cover the election costs. OPTIONS: 0 Adopt the Resolution: 1. Calling a Special Municipal Election for Tuesday, November 2, 2010; 2. Ordering the Submission of a Proposition of Increasing the City's Paramedic Service Special Tax Rate and Appropriations Limit to the Qualified Voters of the City; 3. Requesting the Board of Supervisors to consolidate with any other election conducted on the same date; 4. Requesting election services by the County Clerk; and 5. Requesting the City Attorney to prepare an impartial analysis of the measure. 0 Reject the Resolution calling for an increase in the paramedic special tax. RECOMMENDATION: Adopt the Resolution and approve the Ordinance wording. ATTACHMENTS: Resolution, including Exhibit "N'- proposed Ordinance RESOLUTION NO. 13017 RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SAN RAFAEL: 1) CALLING A SPECIAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION TO BE HELD ON TUESDAY NOVEMBER 2,2010; AND 2) ORDERING THE SUBMISSION OF A PROPOSITION OF INCREASING THE CITY'S PARAMEDIC SERVICE SPECIAL TAX RATE AND APPROPRIATIONS LIMIT TO THE QUALIFIED VOTERS OF THE CITY OF SAN RAFAEL AT THE SPECIAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION TO BE HELD ON NOVEMBER 2, 2010; AND 3) REQUESTING CONSOLIDATION WITH ANY OTHER ELECTION CONDUCTED ON THE SAME DATE; AND 4) REQUESTING ELECTION SERVICES BY THE COUNTY CLERK; AND 5) REQUESTING THE CITY ATTORNEY TO PREPARE AN IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS OF THE MEASURE WHEREAS, the Charter of the City of San Rafael, Article IV, Section 1, authorizes the City Council to call a special municipal election; and WHEREAS, the City Council has determined to call a special municipal election to be held on November 2, 2010, to submit to the qualified electors of the City of San Rafael at said special election, a proposed ordinance amendment which would increase the maximum Paramedic Service Special Tax rate on residential units and on non-residential structures and which would increase the corresponding appropriations limit for fiscal years 2011/2012 through 2014/2015; and WHEREAS, the City Council of the City of San Rafael may request the Board of Supervisors of the County of Marin to consolidate the special municipal election with any other election conducted on the same date; and WHEREAS, the City Council of the City of San Rafael may request election services by the County Clerk of Marin County, California. NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that pursuant to the requirements of the laws of the State of California there is called and ordered held in the City of San Rafael, County of Marin, State of California, on Tuesday, November 2, 2010, a special municipal election of the qualified electors of San Rafael, for the purpose of submitting to the electors of the City a proposition of increasing the City's Paramedic Service Special Tax rate and appropriations limit. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that there shall be submitted to the voters of the City at the special municipal election to be held on November 2, 2010 the proposition attached hereto as Attachment "A" and incorporated herein by reference, to be known and referred to as the "CITY OF SAN RAFAEL PARAMEDIC SERVICE SPECIAL TAX RATE INCREASE AND APPROPRIATIONS LIMIT INCREASE" or as "Measure _". [designation to be assigned by County Registrar of Voters] BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that pursuant to Section 13247 of the Elections Code, the Council hereby directs the Registrar of Voters to use the following abbreviation of the tax proposition on the ballot: CITY OF SAN RAFAEL PARAMEDIC SERVICE SPECIAL TAX RATE INCREASE AND APPROPRIATIONS LIMIT INCREASE MEASURE "To protect lifesaving paramedic services by maintaining rapid response times, providing advanced heart attack treatment, and keeping trained paramedics on fire engine companies, shall San YES Rafael Municipal Code Chapter 3.28 be amended to permit phased increases, up to $23.00 annually above the current rate, on NO residential units, and up to $.03 per square foot annually above the current rate on non-residential structures; and, shall San Rafael's appropriations limit be correspondingly increased?" 2 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Registrar of Voters of the County is hereby requested to reprint the full text of the proposition, which is all that portion of this Resolution set forth in Attachment A, in the voter information pamphlet to be distributed to voters pursuant to Section 13307 of the Elections Code. In the event the full text of the proposition is not reprinted in the voter information pamphlet, the Registrar of Voters is hereby requested to print, immediately below the impartial analysis of the tax proposition, in no less than 10 -point boldface type, a legend substantially as follows: "The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure If you desire a copy of the measure, please call the San Rafael City Clerk at 415-485-3065 and a copy will be mailed at no cost to you." BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board of Supervisors of the County of Marin, is hereby requested to: Consolidate said election with any other election conducted on the same day; and 2. Authorize and direct the County Clerk, at City expense, to provide the following election services and to canvass the results of said election: ■ Provide Voter Indexes ■ Provide Voter Count by Precinct ■ Provide Drayage and Rental of Polling Places ■ Provide Printing of Sample and Official Ballots ■ Provide Printing of Measures and Arguments ■ Appoint and Notify Election Officers ■ Mail Sample Ballots and Polling Place Notification ■ Provide Precinct Supplies ■ Provide Training of Precinct Workers ■ Provide Processing of Vote by Mail Ballots ■ Provide Central Counting ■ Provide Canvass of Votes Cast ■ Provide such other services as are necessary to conduct the Special Municipal Election 3 by law. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that: The ballots to be used at the election shall be in both form and content as required 2. The polls for said election shall be opened at seven o'clock (7:00 a.m.) on the day of said election and shall remain open continuously from said time until 8:00 o'clock (8:00 p.m.) of the same day when said polls shall be closed, except as provided in Section 14401 of the Elections Code of the State of California. 3. In all particulars not recited in this Resolution, the election shall be held and conducted as provided by law for holding municipal elections in said City. 4. Notice of the time and place of holding the election is hereby given and the City Clerk is hereby authorized, instructed and directed to give such further or additional notice of said election in time, form, and manner as required by law. 5. Pursuant to Elections Code section 9285, the City Council of the City of San Rafael hereby directs the City Clerk to accept rebuttal arguments submitted to the Clerk within ten (10) days after the final date for filing direct arguments. 6. Pursuant to California Elections Code Section 9280, the City Council of the City of San Rafael hereby directs the City Attorney to prepare an impartial analysis of said ballot Measure. 7. The City of San Rafael recognizes that additional costs will be incurred by the County by reason of this consolidation and agrees to reimburse the County for any costs. 8. This Resolution shall be effective immediately upon its adoption by the City Council. n 9. The City Clerk is directed to submit a certified copy of this Resolution to the Board of Supervisors of the County of Marin. I, ESTHER C. BEIRNE, Clerk of the City of San Rafael, hereby certify that the foregoing Resolution was duly and regularly introduced and adopted at a regular meeting of the Council of said City on July 19, 2010 by the following vote, to wit: AYES: COUNCILMEMBERS: Brockbank, Connolly, Heller, Levine & Mayor Boro NOES: COUNCILMEMBERS: None ABSENT: COUNCILMEMBERS: None e'�stic'.z G . ji;e4 zcce ESTHER C. BEIRNE, City Clerk EXHIBIT "A" (FULL TEXT OF MEASURE) M cI L ._0 OWL[i] AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF SAN RAFAEL AMENDING SECTIONS 3.28.040 AND 3.28.050 OF CHAPTER 3.28 OF THE SAN RAFAEL MUNICIPAL CODE, TO INCREASE THE MAXIMUM SPECIAL PARAMEDIC TAX RATE ON RESIDENTIAL UNITS AND ON NON- RESIDENTIAL STRUCTURES AND TO INCREASE THE CITY'S APPROPRIATIONS LIMIT IN CONNECTION THEREWITH WHEREAS, the City Council of the City of San Rafael in 1979 adopted an ordinance imposing a special tax to "fully fund" a city-wide Paramedic Service Program (Chapter 3.28 of the San Rafael Municipal Code); and WHEREAS, for more than thirty (30) years, the City Council has imposed this tax amivally upon all residential units and upon all non-residential strictures within the City of San Rafael for the intended purpose of funding complete and total costs associated with the provision of a citywide Paramedic Service Program; and WHEREAS, prior to the passage of Proposition 218 in 1996, the City Council each year adjusted the Paramedic Special Tax rate to fund total costs of the City's Paramedic Service Program; and, WHEREAS, the passage of Proposition 218, eliminated the authority of the City Council to adjust the maximum rate of the Paramedic Special Tax without first obtaining the approval of two-thirds (2/3rds) of the voters at a municipal election; and WHEREAS, in 2006 the voters of San Rafael approved an increase of the maximum Paramedic Tax rate to $85.00 annually for residential units and $.11 per square foot annually for non-residential structures; and WHEREAS, the City Council, after reviewing the total current and projected costs of the Paramedic Service Program, revenues provided by Ambulance Transporting, and the total revenue generated by the current Paramedic Tax maximum rate, has found that the current Paramedic Tax rate fails to fully fund the Paramedic Service Program, thus requiring the diversion of a portion of the City's General Fund to subsidize the Program, which diversion of General Fund monies threatens the provision of other City services including park maintenance, road repair, and police services and fire services; and WHEREAS, the maximum Paramedic Special Tax rate needs to be increased so as to ftilly Rind the City's Paramedic Service Program as was originally intended under the ordinance enacted by the voters of the City of San Rafael; and WHEREAS, it is crucial to ensure that the Paramedic Service Program remains completely and adequately funded by a combination of Ambulance Transportation billing and the paramedic tax revenues, so as to maintain rapid response times to medical emergencies, provide advanced treatment to heart attack patients and keep trained paramedics on fire engine companies; and, WHEREAS, the City Council has submitted to the City's voters on November 2, 2010 this measure to amend the Paramedic Tax ordinance to authorize an increase of the maximam Paramedic Special Tax rate so as to fully fund the Paramedic Service Program; and WHEREAS, this measure would also increase the City's appropriations limit for the next four (4) years in connection with revenue generated by the Paramedic Special Tax in accord with California Constitution Article XIIIB; NOW THEREFORE, the People of the City of San Rafael do ordain as follows: DIVISION 1: San Rafael Municipal Code section 3.28.040 is hereby amended to read as follows: Section 3.28.040 -- Special Tax Imposed - Non-residential. A special tax of up to a maximum of fourteen cents ($.14) per square foot is imposed upon all non-residential structures within the corporate limits of the City of San Rafael, on an annual basis, to fund a Paramedic Service Program. DIVISION 2: San Rafael Municipal Code section 3.28.050 is hereby amended to read as follows: Section 3.28.050 -- Special Tax Imposed - Residential. A special tax of up to a maximum of $108 per residential unit is imposed upon all residential units within the corporate limits of the City of San Rafael, on an annual basis, to fund a Paramedic Service Program. DIVISION 3: As required by Article XIE B of the California Constitution, the appropriations limit of the City of San Rafael shall be increased each year, for a period of four (4) years, by the total amount collected each year under the Paramedic Service Special Tax (Chapter 3.28, San Rafael Municipal Code). 2 DIVISION 4: This Ordinance shall be effective ten days after the date on which the City Council has declared its approval by at least two-thirds of the City's electors voting at the special municipal election to be held on the 2nd day of November, 2010. ALBERT J. BORO, Mayor ATTEST: ESTHER C. BElRNE, City Clerk ROUTING SLIP FOR APPROVAL OF CONTRACTS / AGREEMENTS / ORDINANCES / RESOLUTIONS INSTRUCTIONS: USE THIS FORM WITH EACH SUBMITTAL OF ORIGINAL CONTRACT / AGREEMENT / ORDINANCE / RESOLUTION BEFORE APPROVAL BY COUNCIL / AGENCY. SRRA / SRCC AGENDA ITEM NO: DATE OF MEETING: July 19, 2010 FROM: Lisa Goldfien DATE: July 15, 2010 ORIGINATING DEPARTMENT: Fire Department, City Attorney TITLE OF DOCUMENT: RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SAN RAFAEL: 1) CALLING A SPECIAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION TO BE HELD ON TUESDAY NOVEMBER 2,2010; AND 2) ORDERING THE SUBMISSION OF A PROPOSITION OF INCREASING THE CITY'S PARAMEDIC SERVICE SPECIAL TAX RATE AND APPROPRIATIONS LIMIT TO THE QUALIFIED VOTERS OF THE CITY OF SAN RAFAEL AT THE SPECIAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION TO BE HELD ON NOVEMBER 2, 2010; AND 3) REQUESTING CONSOLIDATION WITH ANY OTHER ELECTION CONDUCTED ON THE SAME DATE; AND 4) REQUESTING ELECTION SERVICES BY THE COUNTY CLERK; AND 5) REQUESTING THE CITY ATTORNEY TO PREPARE AN IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS OF THE MEASURE. Robert F. Epstein City Attorney (LOWER HALF OF FORM FOR APPROVALS ONLY) Reie ed by ity M ecutive Director Apf ved as Council Agen y genda Item APPROVED AS TO FORM: y - j--9-- City Attorney (Signature) ❑ NOT APPROVED CITY OF Mayor Albert J. Boro Council Members Greg Brockbank Damon Connolly Barbara Heller Marc Levine July 23, 2010 Office of the City Clerk Diane Patterson, Assistant Clerk of the Board Marin County Board of Supervisors Marin County Civic Center 3501 Civic Center Drive, Room 329 San Rafael, CA 94903 RE: SPECIAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION- NOVEMBER 2, 2010 Dear Diane: Enclosed is certified copy of Resolution No.13017, with Attachment A Full Text of Measure- adopted by the San Rafael City Council onMonday, July 19, 2010 1) CALLING A SPECIAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION TO BE HELD ON TUESDAY NOVEMBER 2, 2010; AND 2) ORDERING THE SUBMISSION OF A PROPOSITION OF INCREASING THE CITY'S PARAMEDIC SERVICE SPECIAL TAX RATE AND APPROPRIATIONS LIMIT TO THE QUALIFIED VOTERS OF THE CITY OF SAN RAFAEL AT THE SPECIAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION TO BE HELD ON NOVEMBER 2,2010; AND 3) REQUESTING CONSOLIDATION WITH ANY OTHER ELECTION CONDUCTED ON THE SAME DATE; AND 4) REQUESTING ELECTION SERVICES BY THE COUNTY CLERK; AND 5) REQUESTING THE CITY ATTORNEY TO PREPARE AN IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS OF THE MEASURE Sincerely, , zst�e.�- e - F-'e�4 sr --e ES"fHER C. BEIRNE City Clerk cc: Elaine Ginnold Marin County Registrar of Voters 3501 Civic Center Drive, Room 121 San Rafael, CA 94903 Encls. 1400 Fifth AvenuCK omoZll4IdFlectioliOX`Ta7500axianKa ael, c pA5-�j5�ce Spacial Tax doc doc Phone: (415) 485-3066 / Fax: (415) 485-3133 / TDD: (415) 485-3198 Godbe Research CITY OF SAN RAFAEL Paramedic Tax Voter Survey Topline Report July 2010 The City of San Rafael commissioned Godbe Research to conduct a survey to assess potential voter support for a tax measure to protect, maintain, and enhance current paramedic services, and maintain rapid emergency response times. The survey was also designed to: (a) identify the tax increase at which voters will support the measure; (b) prioritize potential funding needs based on voter reception; and (c) test the influence of supporting and opposing arguments on potential voter support. SURVEY METHODOLOGY Overall, 400 registered voters completed the survey. In order to test support for the measure across different areas, the sample of 400 voters was split, with 300 voters from the City of San Rafael, representing a total universe of approximately 20,013 voters who are estimated to be likely voters in the November 2010 election. The remaining 100 voters resided in special districts such as the Marinwood Community Services District (n = 38), Community Service Area # 13 (n = 31), and Community Service Area # 19 (n = 31), representing a total universe of approximately 6,019 voters who are estimated to be likely voters in the November 2010 election. These study parameters resulted in a margin of error of plus or minus 5.6 percent for the split sample of 300 San Rafael voters, and plus or minus 9.7 percent for the split sample of 100 voters residing in the special districts. Interviews were conducted from July 10 through July 14, 2010. The average interview time was approximately 17 minutes. Once collected, the sample of voters was compared with the corresponding registered voter population in the respective areas to examine possible differences between the demographics of the sample of respondents and the actual universe. The data were weighted to correct any differences, and the results presented are representative of the voter characteristics in terms of gender, age, and political party type. QUESTIONNAIRE METHODOLOGY To avoid the problem of systematic position bias, where the order in which a series of questions is asked systematically influences the answers, several questions in the survey were randomized such that the respondents were not consistently asked the questions in the same order. The series of items in Questions 3, 4 and 6 were randomized to avoid such position bias. MEAN SCORES AND ROUNDING In addition to the percentage breakdown of responses to each question, results for the questions relating to the features of the measure (Q3), and the positive and negative arguments (Q4 and Q6) include mean scores. For example, to derive the overall influence of a positive argument on potential voter support (Q4), a number value is first assigned to each response category (in this case, "Much More Likely" _ +2, "Somewhat More Likely" _ +1, and "No Effect" = 0). The number values that correspond to respondents' answers were then averaged to produce a final score that reflects the overall influence of that argument. The resulting mean score makes the interpretation of the data considerably easier. Responses of "Don't Know" (DK/NA) were not included in the calculations of the means for any questions. Conventional rounding rules apply to the percentages shown in this report, .5 or above was rounded up to the next number, and .4 or below was rounded down to the previous number. As a result, the percentages may not add up to 100 percent. Topline Report Page 1 of 10 July 2010 Godbe Research 2010 Paramedic Tax Voter Survey City of San Rafael 1. Voters in your area may be asked to vote on a number of various local measures in November of this year. Let me read you a summary of one potential measure: To protect lifesaving paramedic services by maintaining rapid response times, providing advanced heart attack treatment, and keeping trained paramedics on fire engine companies, shall the (INSERT ONE OF THE FOLLOWING BASED ON SAMPLE TYPE) • (SAMPLE A) San Rafael Municipal Code Chapter 3.28 • (SAMPLE B) Marinwood Community Services District Ordinance 14 • (SAMPLE C &D) Marin County Ordinance 3458 be amended to permit phased increases up to $23.00 annually above the current rate on residential units, and up to $.03 per square foot annually above the current rate on non- residential structures? (OR INSERT ONE OF THE FOLLOWING FINAL CLAUSES BASED ON SAMPLE TYPE) • (SAMPLE A) and, shall the City of San Rafael appropriation limit be correspondingly increased? • (SAMPLE B) and, shall the Marinwood Community Services District appropriation limit be correspondingly increased? If the election was held today, would you vote yes or no on this measure? (GET ANSWER, THEN ASK:) Would that be definitely (yes/no) or probably (yes/no)? 39% 51% 21% 17% 10% 2% 20% 22% 9% 8% Topline Report Page 2 of 10 July 2010 Godbe Research 2010 Paramedic Tax Voter Survey City of San Rafael 2. Right now it's unclear how much the tax increase will be in order to maintain paramedic response times, improve emergency medical technology, and maintain and enhance current levels of paramedic service. If you knew that the amount of the tax increase would be $ , (READ ITEM A FIRST AND CONTINUE IN ORDER), would you vote yes or no on the measure we have been discussing? (GET ANSWER, THEN ASK:) Would that be definitely (yes/no) or probably (yes/no)? (if respondent says "Definitely yes" to any amount, record "Definitely yes" to ALL lower amounts and skip to NEXT Question) City of San Rafael (n = 300) 44% 20% 12% 20% 4% 47% 19% 11% 19% 4% 52% 18% 10% 17% 4% 57% 15% 9% 15% 4% Special Districts (n = 100) 51% 14% 6% 25% 5% 55% 18% 2% 22% 3% 65% 10% 3% 19% 3% 73% 7% 1% 16% 3% Topline Report Page 3 of 10 July 2010 Godbe Research 2010 Paramedic Tax Voter Survey City of San Rafael 3. The revenue from the tax would allow the City to spend funds on various emergency medical service needs. If you heard these tax funds would be spent on , would you be more or less likely to support the measure or does the information have no effect on your vote? (GET ANSWER, THEN ASK:) Would that be much (more/less) likely or somewhat (more/less) likely? Mean Score 1.0 Much More Likely 48% Somewhat More Likely 14% No Effect 29% Somewhat Less Likely 3% Much Less Likely 5% DK/NA 0% 1.0 49% 12% 17% 16% 18% 16% 27% 26% 27% 26% 30% 3% 2% 2% 2% 3% 6% 4% 2% 1% 1.1 1.0 51% 50% 5% 1 % 1.1 .8 51% 41% 4% 0% 79/6 2% Computation of Mean Score: "Much More Likely" = +2, "Somewhat More Likely" = +1, "No Effect' = 0, "Somewhat Less Likely" = -1, and "Much Less Likely" = -2. 4. During the next several months, voters will hear arguments from supporters in favor of the proposed measure we have been discussing. As I read each of the arguments for the measure, please tell me if you would be more likely to vote yes on the measure given that argument. If you heard that , would you be much more likely or somewhat more likely to vote yes on the measure, or does the information have no effect on how you would vote? Computation of Mean Score: "Much More Likely" = +2, "Somewhat More Likely" = +1, and "No Effect' = 0. Topline Report Page 4 of 10 July 2010 Much Somewhat Score More More Effect DK/NA Likelv Likelv 4C. Funds from the special paramedic tax are kept in a separate fund and audited annually to ensure they are only used for local emergency medical services and equipment. These funds can only be used locally and cannot be taken away by the State 4D. Local paramedics respond to over 4,000 calls from victims of heart attacks, strokes, accidents and other medical emergencies. This measure will help our paramedics keep up with the growing demand for emergency medical services 4E. If this measure passes, funds will be used to maintain rapid response times, provide advanced heart attack treatment and keep highly trained paramedics on fire engine companies 4F. Over 64% of funding for local paramedic services comes from a special paramedic tax that is set to expire next year. This dedicated funding source for local paramedic services was created in 1979 with authorization by over two-thirds of local voters and has been reauthorized three times in the last 12 years by the voters. This measure will maintain this important source of funding 4G. If this measure does not pass, funding for paramedic service will revert back to previous levels and paramedic services may have to be reduced or other municipal services would have to be cut in order to maintain paramedic services 4H. This measure will cost taxpayers an additional two dollars a month. That is a small price to pay to maintain essential lifesaving services. Plus, the cost of this measure is tax deductible 41. The measure allows for more efficient cross - staffing to ensure there will be a paramedic when residents need them most 4J. This measure enhances paramedic training which is crucial to integrating them into the Marin County Trauma, Stroke and Heart Centers teams to provide the best patient care in emergency situations Godbe Research 2010 Paramedic Tax Voter Survey city of San Rafael 5 Now that you know more about the measure, let me read you the summary again: To protect lifesaving paramedic services by maintaining rapid response times, providing advanced heart attack treatment, and keeping trained paramedics on fire engine companies, shall the (INSERT ONE OF THE FOLLOWING BASED ON SAMPLE TYPE) • (SAMPLE A) San Rafael Municipal Code Chapter 3.28 • (SAMPLE B) Marinwood Community Services District Ordinance 14 • (SAMPLE C &D) Marin County Ordinance 3458 be amended to permit phased increases up to $23.00 annually above the current rate on residential units, and up to $.03 per square foot annually above the current rate on non- residential structures? (OR INSERT ONE OF THE FOLLOWING FINAL CLAUSES BASED ON SAMPLE TYPE) • (SAMPLE A) and, shall the City of San Rafael appropriation limit be correspondingly increased? • (SAMPLE B) and, shall the Marinwood Community Services District appropriation limit be correspondingly increased? If the election was held today, would you vote yes or no on this measure? (GET ANSWER, THEN ASK:) Would that be definitely (yes/no) or probably (yes/no)? 51% 62% L 19% 13% 8% 1% 19% 23%0 3% 1% Topline Report Page 6 of 10 July 2010 Godbe Research 2010 Paramedic Tax Voter Survey City of San Rafael 6. During the next several months, voters will hear arguments from opponents of the proposed measure we have been discussing. As I read each of the arguments against the measure, please tell me if you would be more likely to vote no on the measure given that argument. If you heard that , would you be much more likely or somewhat more likely to vote no on the measure, or does the information have no effect on how you would vote? Computation of Mean Score: "Much More Likely" = +2, "Somewhat More Likely" = +1, and "No Effect' = 0. Topline Report Page 7 of 10 July 2010 Godbe Research 2010 Paramedic Tax Voter Survey City of San Rafael 7. Now that you know more about the measure, let me read you the summary again: To protect lifesaving paramedic services by maintaining rapid response times, providing advanced heart attack treatment, and keeping trained paramedics on fire engine companies, shall the (INSERT ONE OF THE FOLLOWING BASED ON SAMPLE TYPE) • (SAMPLE A) San Rafael Municipal Code Chapter 3.28 • (SAMPLE B) Marinwood Community Services District Ordinance 14 • (SAMPLE C &D) Marin County Ordinance 3458 be amended to permit phased increases up to $23.00 annually above the current rate on residential units, and up to $.03 per square foot annually above the current rate on non- residential structures? (OR INSERT ONE OF THE FOLLOWING FINAL CLAUSES BASED ON SAMPLE TYPE) • (SAMPLE A) and, shall the City of San Rafael appropriation limit be correspondingly increased? • (SAMPLE B) and, shall the Marinwood Community Services District appropriation limit be correspondingly increased? If the election was held today, would you vote yes or no on this measure? (GET ANSWER, THEN ASK:) Would that be definitely (yes/no) or probably (yes/no)? ly Yes 46% 61% y Yes 24% 14% No 8% 3% ly No 20% 22% 2% 0% A. Respondent's Sex: 1111 IM M 1 45% 55% B. Age: 4% It138% % %% % Topline Report FROM SAMPLE SHEET (NOT ASKED AS SURVEY QUESTIONS) Page 8 of 10 July 2010 Godbe Research 2010 Paramedic Tax Voter Survey City of San Rafael C. Party: Democrat Republican Other DTS D. Voting History: 30% 41% 29% 9% 42% 48% 18% 41% 41% 30% 34% 36% 8% 39% 53% 35% 21% 44% 33% 25% 42% 2% 38% 60% 30% 27% 42% E. Voting Propensity: F. Likely 2011 Mail Ballot Voter: 71% • 29% G. Permanent Absentee: 58% • 42% Topline Report Page 9 of 10 July 2010 Godbe Research 2010 Paramedic Tax Voter Survey City of San Rafael H. Household Party Type: Topline Report Page 10 of 10 July 2010