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October 06, 2010


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Dave- I wish you had gotten elected to office at some point so you would have a perspective of governmental functions from the inside.
I am the only member of this Board not from the fire service. I have no axe to grind. So I'm telling you right now your conclustions about what the Fire district is asking for is not founded in completely correct information. First of all I for one on the board said if we appointed a committe we needed to follow thier recomendations, whether we liked it or not. I attended those meetings and can tell you the committee was given all correct information about the fiscal condition of the District and the potential loss of income just from devalued properties let alone if Proposition 101 is passed. This department has been under funded since 1999. In 2005 when they went for thier last mill levy increase they shorted themselves and did not calculate for increase costs of operations. No raises have been given in the last two years. Cuts have been made to none essential programs and the district is still going backwards financally. At this point, we need to get enough of an increase to make sure we will not be asking again for the forseeable future. That is the mistake made at the last request. Just so you know- this department has .75 firefighters per 1000 people it serves. The surrounding area departments that you reffered to are at 1.15 firefighters per 1000. Also, the average mill levy in our area is 14.55. Yes, our might be slightly higher if we get our request, but I for one board memeber intends to lower the mill levy if 101 does not pass because we calculated that in our request , assumming it might pass. Finally, the fire department unlike other govermental intities does one thing only- Fire/Rescue services. There is not much that can be done to waste tax payers dollars short of buying "Cadalac Fire trucks". So my request to you is , while you are a goverment watch dog, consider that you may be barking up the wrong tree on this one.
I can be reached at 303-877-6230- Sincerely, Ted Terranova

Dave- I also wanted to address a couple of other items you raised. First of all the cost of joining in with the county ballot was projected to be from $60,000 to $75,000 based on who else participated, which was unknown at the time the board made a final decsion on that matter. Keep in mind the the county election is a polling place election except for those who requested mail in ballots. That means that 25 to 30% of eligible voters would have had to go to the polls to vote on this issue. Consider if on November 2 there is a blizzard who would likely not get to the poll? probably older folks on fixed incomes who would be likely to vote against a tax increase. So from a political stand point it might have given the District an advantage if we joined in with the county. The differance in price was $31,000 to $46,000.00. However, this borad felt because we were asking for a mill levy increase EVERY eligible voter would have the same advantage of a mail in ballot. This may actually prove to hurt the chances of winning but it seemed the right thing to do. For you to imply there was some "political advantage" makes no sense. Think about it Dave- I know you distrust elected officails but please do not judge our motives to make your point.By the way our current mill is 9.48. We are asking to go up 5.23. By my calculator that is 14.71. And depending on how you do the math if we get to 14.71- the 5.23 is a 35.55% increase not 55%.
No matter, the numbers are based on four factors-1. Loss of 1.2 million a year from devalued properties.2. Potential loss of 975,000.00 if 101 passes.3. The need to hire 9 front line firefighters to bring our engine crews up to national standard, and that our nieghboring departments have.4. Building reserves for apparatus replacements. That IS what the money is for. How could you be against that! We all hate paying taxes.,however, I do not think what the fire department does can be done by private enterprises. We need a properly funded fire department. Now,can on count on putting a yard sign on your property?- Ted Terranova

It is NOT a quaint notion that the public should pay for public utilities and services - in particular for essential ones that directly impact public health and safety. Your opinions about our committee, our qualifications and our predispositions is, like many opinions you have previously voiced, simply incorrect. That never seems to bother you. Everyone is entitled to be heard, but not entitled to be believed. My corollary to that is that everyone is entitled to his/her opinion, but NOT entitled to his/her own set of facts. In this instance you have misconstrued the facts to suit your preconceived opinion, much as you always do. Our committee did the homework before we made the recommendation. As skeptical as we might have been when we began the process, our conclusions were completely objective. My guess is that, if you are as smart as you think you are, and if you indeed know how to be objective, in our place you would have done as we did.

Dave, you are right on target. At a time when public sector employees make about 1.5x the private sector employees and the current state of the economy, this is a bad time to go out and ask us to give them a raise. I have never seen a committee or salary survey for a public entity that did not try to justify more money, that is why they are formed.

The arguments for a mail-in ballot is completely specious! Residents currently have the opportunity to get mail-in ballots or vote early or go on election day. It is their choice. The distirct did not need to mandate something that is less secure which mail in ballots are simply by the nature of them. The real reason behind this, that Mr. Terranova doesn't want to say, is that a mail-in ballot will make it more likely that this high mill levy will pass! Voters will be confused or not realize that they have to also mail in this one. Besides, separate elections have notably lesser turnout. Of course, this is how the fire protection district likes to run things - by having small turnouts so that pre-desiganted candidates and issues will win.

Finally, in all the numbers that Mr. Terranova cited he never once cites the actual cost of doing the one thing they do "Fire/Rescue services". Yes there is a cost to make sure that the services are available, but why doesn't he talk about the breakdown. Likely because he either doesn't have the numbers or because he knows that it counteracts his argument and proves that the increase is mostly for unneeded administrative costs. Of course, what do you expect from someone who cannot figure out that 55.1688% of 9.48 equals 5.23 or in other words - the exact amount of the mill levy!

So, are you criticizing your local fire department for including every eligible voter in the upcoming decision? Shame on you! How can anyone claim that "separate elections have noticeably less turnout" while also crying foul because the fire department chose to send a ballot to all eligible voters, unlike "placing the issue on Colorado's Nov. 2 ballot," which would have excluded very many voters.

The fire department believes that every eligible voter should have the opportunity to determine this matter, hence the decision to send a ballot to every eligible voter. Are you suggesting that some eligible voters should be excluded? If so, who are they?

I'm voting YES on ballot issue 5A, despite your displaced frustrations.

How would any elible voter have been excluded from the Nov. 2 ballot? That statement is utterly illogical. Its not a matter of exclusion and there is no shame here unless you're just trying to randomly smear otherwise valid arguments. The fact remains that special elections have less turnout - period. Its not a matter of opportunity which appears to be what you're arguing and is not even in question. There is the same opportunity in both cases. Its just the mail-in style is designed to evoke a particular outcome rather than actually get a true sense of the public's opinion.

Despite Mr. Terranova's verbose defense of the AFPD's request for a 55 percent tax hike, no refutation of his contentions on my part is really necessary.

For the points I raised, they are all validated by the links embedded within the essay ... most of which are to Arvada Fire Protection District documents themselves.

As to Terranova's peevish, multiple posts, my reaction is to paraphrase from Hamlet: "The 'board member' doth protest too much, methinks."

When I first read Mr.Chandlers' article, I was so happy to see that someone had put into print the reaction I had when the first letter arrived advising me of the proposition.

However, I have another concern.
Reading the article in "The Arvada Report",I find that the City and the Fire Dept. are basing their need on fact that the NFPA sets standards for the number of firmen that are needed based on the number of calls. According to the report,"20009 saw the Department respond to over 10,400 calls for service ......"

Please tell me that all of these calls were emergency calls, and that firefighters were in danger all 10,400 times. I do not believe that this is the case. I find your trips to schols to teach fire saftey very good. Going to the Harvest Festival is great! I know that when burnt toast sets off the alarm in a senior retirement community you must respond, but PLEASE do not try to convince me that people were in grave 10,400 times.

Then,I get my ballot and notice that it is going to some place in Aurora! If you have spent your money in a prudent manner, this ballot question would be on the County ballot. Had it been done by the County I would have no worries. I have toured the county facility and know that my ballot is secure. I know citizens who go the County and observe the counting of ballots. Even if this company in Aurora were to welcome observers, it is a bit much to expect citizens of Arvada to travel to Aurora, for ten days, to watch the count.

Frankly, to me, this whole election smells like last week dead fish.
Hildegard hix

Dave, I'm sorry that I did not gather All my thoughts the first time I responed to your article. I appreaciate that you have your concerns but really Dave check the facts before spouting them. In fact the District did spend $106,000 for the ALL mail in ballot, but we would of had to spend $75,00 to join in with the county and only 70% of eligible voters would be getting a mail in ballot. I would think someone like you would want ALL eligible voters to be able to weigh in on this issue via the mail in ballot process. The Fire board did. In the past mill levy elections the Fire Department was critisized for holding the mill levy elections in May, when a lot fewer people vote. Now you are critisizing us for trying to INCLUDE all voters. I guess we can't do anything right. Finally you quote the mill levy of neighboring departments but forget some of the closest ones like SouthWest Adams , whose mill levy is at 18.80 or North washington whose mill levy is at 16.4. If our request passes, and it WILL, we would still be below them at 14.71. How is that asking "TOO MUCH" . We believe our community, when presented with ACURATE facts, will be willing to fund thier fire department at something less than thier neighbors are funding thier departments. Or do you think our citizens are as selfish as you seem to be on this matter? Get A LIFE.

I think the whole thing is a sham. The mail-in ballots require postage which will be off-putting to many potential voters. I don't think many folks will respond, which is exactly what the district is counting on to allow their minions carry the election. I personally witnessed this exact type "general public voter bypass" device being used when I worked for a public utilities department in a neighboring city. It would be much more convenient to vote all at once in the general election.

Furthermore, this whole election is being run from end-to-end by a private entity (Community Resources Support, LLC.) They are on the district's payroll. I cannot see there can possibly be any disinterested party oversight in this "election process" and no Election Judge to preside over the proceedings.

Why aren't the "rolling station black-outs", and "extended response times" occurring right now if the district is in such dire straits?

I guess it's the same old fear and blackmail that greedy and desperate people must resort to when fleecing the flock.


Ted, you need a new calculator. Dave's math IS correct. A 5.23 mil levy is a 55% increase. The current mil is 9.48. If you raise it to 14.71, you have increased your mil by 55--as 5.23 is 55% of 9.48. That's a tough pill to swallow in this economy.

My ballot says this tax increase will raise 6.745 million. The Blue Ribbon Panel identified 1.53 million in increased expenses and and a POTENTIAL loss of 2 million in revenue.

This means that the need for nearly half and possible much more of this tax increase is not specifically accounted for except to 'rebuld reserves for future needs'.

I really want to support the Arvada Fire Department, but asking for so much money without showing a need doesn't seem right to me.

I actually hope someone can show my thinking on this is wrong. Bring on the comments, please!

Takado, you are absolutely correct. You're being told they need a little, but they are asking for an awful lot. Just "give us an extra $5M and trust us that it will be spent wisely"... this follows 9% annual increases in revenues over the past 5 years that obviously weren't enough. When you read the ballot question, you'll also note that there is no end date... ever!



I'm also sorry in addition to your thoughts that you and the 'Gold-Plated Commission' didn't bother to gather all the facts before issuing your "findings". If the AFPD gives you a letter and asks you to sign it without first thinking through what you're being asked to endorse, which raises taxes $3M+/yr more than the worst case scenario for revenues in 2012, then you really can't call yourself "Blue Ribbon". Rolly Fisher knew better than sign Scott McInnis' letter, but then again, he actually read it first.


Why is there a request for visitors to your site to "contribute" and "donate" via PayPal? Why don't you stop asking for more money? What are you doing with the money? Perhaps you should "tighten your belt" like your demand of others and stop asking for more money! You expect the Arvada Fire Department to provide more services with less money, why can't you do the same? If you really advocate "protection of the environment," as you claim in your sham to "contribute" to your PayPal account, why can't you also find it in yourself to also be an advocate for the Arvada Fire Department, whose stated mission is "to preserve life, property, and the environment"?

I do, however, clearly understand how you can relate to the portion of your site which quotes Merton as stating "You may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect."

Dave, you are "right on target" with that one, but also "barking up the wrong tree" as Ted Terranova acknowledged. I already voted YES ON BALLOT ISSUE 5A from the convenience of my home!


For everyone's information:

Emergency Services
Operations Deputy Chief
Mike Piper


Despite the snarkiness of some of the pro-tax hike commentators above, the issue on the ballot is not about my web site ... it is about the appropriateness and necessity for a 55 percent tax increase and the privatization of the election process by the Arvada Fire Protection District.

Nevertheless, I appreciate the attentiveness to my articles (and the comments left by others here who favor fiscal restraint and fair elections) by those who are seemingly outraged that anyone dare question the desires of the fire district government.

And by the way, my wife and I also voted this past weekend from the convenience of our own home -- on the ballot that we sent back to the Jefferson County Clerk in Golden; and we voted 'NO' to the AFPD request that we had to send to a private ballot counting company in Aurora.


Glad you finally want to talk about "the issue on the ballot." I have been anxiously awaiting that. What does the ballot question have to say about "the privatization of the election process?"

Does it say anything about avoiding the closure of fire stations? When are you going to comment about that? Do you think closing down fire stations is a good idea?

Ted Terranova has been answering your questions all along, when are you going to start answering his questions, and mine?

I am assuming you will also appreciate the "attentiveness to your articles" published today in the Arvada Press and Wheat Ridge Transcript. You should publish the link to those too.

For everyone's information:


The "Blue Ribbon Committee" was a farce. Not a one of them had any stated credentials in fire service management.
If Arvada's funding rates are lower than neighboring communities it would be good to know WHY. That fact, in and of itself, is not justification for a monumental increase. There are always extenuating circumstances.
As Arvada grows so does it's mil levy tax base. Saying they need more money because the city is growing doesn't make sense.
The seperate mail in ballot IS a ploy to limit participation. Put it on the ballot with all the other issues.
I voted for the last increase. NOT for this one. Make your case with complete facts and legitimate sources next time.

I to believe the AMOUNT of the requested increase it too great. I WILL be voting NO on 5A.

I do believe in a strong fire department but come back next year and ask for a REASONABLE increase.

Still Waiting...

When are the pro-suffering advocates going to talk about the ONLY and REAL issue on the ballot? Please make your case really soon for how you think firefighter layoffs and closing down fire stations benefits our community.

As long as you are sidetracked, however, it would be most enlightening to hear how you think that mailing a ballot to EVERY eligible voter can be considered "a ploy to limit participation." What idea(s)do you have for maximizing participation? Are you suggesting that ballots be sent to toddlers and household pets? Please explain that one...

Mr. Hart, what are your credentials in fire service management? Do you consider yourself a "legitimate source" of expertise on the matter?

In response to your question, the reason "Arvada's funding rates are lower than neighboring communities," is very simple. It occurs when people like you vote for it to be that way; that is, until tomorrow.

If tomorrow you decide that $7 a month is more than you are capable of or willing to pay, the result will be that fire stations will be closed. You'll then likely pay $15 more a month for insurance premiums - a net loss of $8 a month.

Have you ever heard the statement "don't cut off your nose to spite your face?"

I agree with Mike Piper! God Bless the Arvada Fire Department! Join me in voting YES on BALLOT ISSUE 5A!

To Mike Piper: Please answer why a $1.5M shortfall justifies a $6.7M tax increase. You and Ted Terranova and the Gold-Plated Commission threaten to lay off firefighters and close fire stations if there is no increase, but make absolutely no justification for the size of the increase. Either the 5.23 mil increase was pulled out of the air, or there are definite plans to dramatically increase spending beyond what is necessary. Maybe there was a slight possibility that the Amendments would limit revenues, but that will not happen now and this issue is an over-reaction.

So, are you giving out $5M in raises, buying a new district headquarters, or making a donation to the union retirement fund? Even in a worst case situation with falling property values, it's $3.5M more than needed, so please Mr. Piper, answer the question.

IF this enormous rate increase is passed, we will be interested in seeing how quickly the AFPD board spends their windfall.

It has come to my attention that whether or not this passes, the intention of the AFPD is to start construction on a new fire station #2. If the funding for fire personnel and the potential for closing fire houses is the concern,as it has been claimed, how is it that the AFPD can plan to build a brand new fire house. This new station #2 would be the third new fire house that has been built along with the 1 million dollar ladder truck.
Seems ridiculous and greedy that the AFPD needs more money to build a new fire house that they may have to close.

To All- The PEOPLE have spoken! The turn out was about 45%, about the same as the county ballots. So what is all this about "trying to limit the number of voters". The truth is that those of you that are negative about the AFPD are either ignorant, uninformed or just plain selfish. By the way, the final numbers put us closer to 65% for and 35% against. I would not call that CLOSE.
Thank you to the unselfish taxpayers of the Fire District. Your money will be spent ONLY to provide you with the BEST Fire and Rescue services in the region.
Finally, all this garbage about how since a private company ran the election that somehow that is why the results were what they were, is ridiculous. Do you honestly believe that this company would risk fines and imprisonmnet for the AFPD? Do you not know that they are oversighted by the Secretay of State? Just live with the fact that the PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN. And, I hear thier voices more then the minority detractors.Hopefully no more needs to be said!

Pardon me I miss spoke- The final results put us at 48.73 % returned ballots. Yes wins by 56.7%. Around 5,000 more Yes than No

Dave probably voted yes on 60, 61, & 101.....and they ALL LOST.

good thing the majority has their heads on straight.
Congrats AFPD

Way to go AFPD!! You did it!

In response to all of the blurry information Dave Chandler likes to present to the residents of the City of Arvada - I think he has no idea what else to do in his free time!

AFPD - be proud of your accompishments and don't pay any attention to Dave Chandler and his opinions. He can continue to believe what he believes, but the City of Arvada HAS spoken and they truly believe in YOU! Shame on Dave Chandler for asking for contributions to his website - its a good thing for this City that he's not in charge of the money here, and it makes you question his sincerity to this City.

It is a nice feeling to know that if I ever run into Dave Chandler, I will know exactly what he looks like so I can tell him exactly what an ignorant fool he really is to his face. Its also probably a great idea that he put his address on his home page so everyone knows exactly where he lives, including the AFPD, just in case they "accidentally" show up a little to late to help.

AFPD Greedy? I think not - they have every reason for this increase. Those of you that have not done your homework to see what 5A represents, do so before you speak or agree with Dave Chandler. It might be your house or your life on the line next time you see them. I have the utmost respect for every firefighter everywhere. They dare only to do a job most of you as a child have dreamed of, but could never attain. Dave Chandler does not know the facts of the ballot for 5A, and it seems to me that since he has nothing nice to say about this lovely city of Arvada, maybe he should move somewhere else!!

Cheers to you AFPD, for making 5A a success!!!

PROUD supporter of the Arvada Fire Protection District and
PROUD voter for YES on 5A
PROUD supporter of Mike Piper and Ted Terranova

Of all the comments posted in response to my article, I am pleased that those who were supportive of my opinion were generally civil, rational and factual.

On the other hand, those opposed could not seem to avoid ad hominem attacks, specious reasoning and superciliousness ... the comment immediately previous here is the prime example.

I have two brief responses to the rather ugly screed left by "Lilly".

First, it is subversive of our traditional American sense of discourse on public issues to argue that there ought not to be any debate at all once a governmental entity has made a decision to request something from the tax paying public. Yet, with a blatant threat directed against me and my property because I expressed my opinion ... that is exactly what "Lilly" encourages.

Secondly, a little advice from Abraham Lincoln for the cowardly "Lilly" for the next time that individual feels the urge to leave anonymous comments: "It is better to keep one's mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and resolve all doubt."

Lastly, let me clarify Ted Terranova's scattered assertions in his message on voter turnout.

For the Arvada Fire Protection District tax hike election, the total number of ballots sent out by Community Resource Services, LLC of Aurora was 66,900.

The total number of ballots cast in the fire district special election was 32,164 -- a 48 percent turnout -- less than half.

In Tuesday's general election run by the Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder, the turnout in Jefferson County was 74.3 percent.

It is a logical conclusion, therefore, to contend that the privatized special election that cost AFPD taxpayers about $50,000 resulted in LESS citizen participation than if the balloting had been conducted by our duly elected and sworn Jefferson County Clerk.

Ted Terranova attacked you personally instead of sticking with the issue at hand. Guess civility lessons went over his head. I wonder how many of the pro-fire department tax hike people will be cheering when we get our bills next year. I wonder how many fire department employees live in the City of Arvada.
I still wonder who counted the ballots.
K. Flynn


Of all the comments posted in response to your "article" (or should I say, comical entertainment), of course those that were supportive of your opinion were generally rational (factual is questionable). How could they not be? These people have the right to their opinion as much as I do. But, since you don't agree with my opinion, just by using vast words, only make you sound more foolish than necessary. Those that are opposed to your opinion (including me) are not snooty and arrogant, nor do we present false information. We are just that, entitled to our opinion. You sir, are the individual that has attracted negative attention by placing yourself in this circumstance and allowing open minded individuals, such as myself, to comment on your erroneous and immature actions to our city and its FINE FIRE SERVICE.

I have two of my own responses for you-

Our American sense of ANY public issues has been long lost early in your postings. Don't turn and point the finger to someone else and blame all of your problems you have ever had on the government and everyone else. Find something better to do with all of your unused time! The tax paying public has spoken and the government has listened - no matter what you try to do, including a request for a "Dave Chandler Special Re-Count", the city of Arvada has spoken. As far as an evident threat, nice try. My comment to you was that if for some unforseen reason I ran into you, at least I would know who you are, so I could tell you face to face what a complete idiot you present yourself to be. Threaten your property? Perhaps you should not put your address on your website - its not really rocket science Sherlock! Once again, its ok for you to express your opinion, but once someone tests your familiarity and maturity, you like to share that YOU are the one that is being threatened! Who here was really threatened? Was it YOUR livelihood that was up for grabs? Was it YOUR income that was being tested? Was it YOUR life that was put on the line when the firefighters were running into the burning house everyone else was running out of?

Please don't bother quoting Abraham Lincoln. He was the best President we have ever had in these United States and would roll over in his grave if he knew you had anything bad to say about our goverment. I won't keep my mouth shut, especially for you. You must not know me very well, as a "cowardly" person, I am NOT. You sir, are the coward here, simply by hiding behind your web page and trying to beat down the AFPD, when in reality, they are more recognized than ever in Arvada Fire's 99 year-old history.

Once again, Arvada has spoken and the facts remain. Whether your like the firefighters of Arvada or not, or whether they like your comments or not, they will still come running to help you on your worst day.

PS...thanks for trying to block my post - I guess its hard to debate with someone who has something true to share!
Publisher's Note: Still anonymous "Lillian" blatantly lies here. I own this web site and there are minimal settings for leaving comments (obviously) -- all that is required is a valid email address.

Dave, If I offended you or insulted you in any way I apoligise. I thought I was addressing the issues not personally attacking you. While I disagreed with your points of view on this matter, I respect your rights, and the rights of those that agreed with you to express them.
Now that the dust has settled I would also like to point out that the Arvada Fire Protection District has not nor will they ever single out an individual for not agreeing with them. God forbid you should ever need thier services, but if you do I can promise you that you and your family will be afforded the same great service as anyone who was for or against this recent issue. This is one of the reasons I am such a supporter of these folks because they really just want to do the best job of protecting ALL citizens. I as one current Board memeber, and I believe in the intigity of my fellow board memebers as well, will be good stewarts of the trust the voters have put in us. We will continue to try to do our jobs as cost effeciently as possible. Thanks to all who cared enough to weigh in on this issue.

By the way our current mill is 9.48. We are asking to go up 5.23. By my calculator that is 14.71.

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