Election Date Set for Vote on Switch of Fire Services

The City Council has set a Dec. 9 election for voters to decide whether the Los Angeles County Fire District should replace the city Fire Department and absorb local firefighters into its ranks.

The council set the special election Tuesday night after the county registrar-recorder certified that a group, including West Covina firefighters, had collected the signatures of more than 15% of the city's voters on a petition calling for a ballot measure on the issue.

Meanwhile, a citizens committee has formed to fight for the survival of the West Covina Fire Department. The West Covina Citizens for Local Fire Control, which includes a dozen former council members, contends that bigger is not better. "This is a gravy train for firefighters. They are after bigger paychecks with the county," said Nancy Manners, a former mayor.

The West Covina Firefighters Assn., which supports a county takeover of fire services, says the issue is not pay but better resources and equipment.

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