San Bernardino Seal

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 10/22/13, 5:09 PM PDT | Updated: 6 hrs ago

SAN BERNARDINO >> A third attempt to get proposals to run fire protection services for the city will come at the next City Council meeting — theoretically without an absent council member to block its passage.

It might have to compete with an alternative that half the council says is a better way to balance the budget and services.

Rather than paying a larger entity such as Cal Fire to do the job, the theory goes, San Bernardino should leverage its size and charge surrounding cities to provide services.

“If you can provide fire services to those smaller jurisdictions that are on your border when you’ve already got the infrastructure on the outskirts, why not find out if we can make any money?” said Wendy McCammack. “I think you open up the opportunity to create enough revenue to then drop your costs for delivering services.”

McCammack said she asked City Manager Allen Parker several months ago to look into what nearby cities pay for certain services and whether the San Bernardino Fire Department could do it for less. Parker was not available for comment Tuesday.

The suggestion doesn’t make much sense to Councilman Fred Shorett, who thinks that state and county agencies could probably perform the services more efficiently given their larger size.

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