San Benito County to vote on outsourcing 911 calls Tuesday

Media Advisory: June 20, 2011

Contact: Khanh Weinberg – (408) 678-3364

HOLLISTER, Calif. – Whether or not San Benito County residents will continue to get a local dispatcher when they call 911 will be decided Tuesday.

The San Benito County Board of Supervisors will vote on whether to contract out 911 emergency services to Santa Cruz County, more than 40 miles away.

If approved, it will be the last step in an ongoing process to contract out these vital services.

The county now shares the cost of 911 services with the City of Hollister. Despite community concerns of safety, cost-effectiveness and lack of competitive bidding, the Hollister City Council approved the outsourcing with a 4-1 vote on June 6.

MEETING INFORMATION: San Benito County Board of Supervisors, 481 Fourth St., Hollister, Tuesday, June 21, 9:30 a.m.

ISSUES:

  • No Cap contract: The contract sets no limits on what Santa Cruz County can eventually charge.
  • Safety Risks: When every second counts, leaving life-and-death decisions to an agency 40 miles away presents serious safety risks.
  • No Independent Study: Without competitive bidding, Santa Cruz County itself conducted the study that proposes it take 911 services from San Benito County.
  • Hurts San Benito County economy: If dispatchers are moved to Santa Cruz County, San Benito County will lose tax dollars. With a 20% unemployment rate, San Benito County needs more local services and revenue, not less.

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The Service Employees International Union is an organization of 2.1 million members united by the belief in the dignity and worth of workers and the services they provide. SEIU is dedicated to improving the lives of workers and their families and creating a more just and humane society.

For more information, visit www.seiu521.org

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