Thursday, August 27, 2009

Piedmont Private Firefighters???

To the SF Chronicle Corrections Department:

Hi: I'm surprised that the blog area comments on this story didn't cover this issue, but I'll do it-- Please put a correction in Monday's paper concerning the lead sentence on your private fire staff story--

I'm not sure which of two problems John has: 1. He doesn't realize that Piedmont is a separate chartered city from Oakland, and has been for over 100 years, and thus has its own fire department (dating from back when Piedmont was a long way from any Oakland fire stations . . . .). Thus our town fire department is staffed by unionized public employees, just like the Forest Service, not a private service, or

2. He's confusing town with zip code. Piedmont and Oakland share three zips: 94610, 94611, and 94618. These zips include affluent Piedmont, but also most of the (geographically much larger) affluent areas of Oakland.

If the Chubb service, which, by the way, I've never heard of and have never received a solicitation on, is available in 94611, it can be accessed by nearly 600 owners of Oakland homes in that zip that have sold for more than $1 million. There are just about the same number of sold-for-over-$1 million homes in that zip in Piedmont.

If 910, 911, and 918 are all eligible for the program, only 718 Piedmont homes, based on sales prices from the MLS are eligible, but fully 1146 homes in Oakland are eligible.

Enough gratuitous bashing of Piedmont, thank you. Slam the privatization of public services all you want (in fact, as a Kennedy School grad and former Clinton appointee who faced Republican-led privatization efforts around my housing agency in the mid-90s, I can give you several great bullet points on this that weren't covered in the story); do it in a fair way; and attack Chubb for leaving out the 55 homeowners of over-$1 million homes in 94602--at least they should apply their rule fairly!!

Best, Maureen Kennedy 104 Pala Avenue Piedmont, CA 94611

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