EAST COUNTY–The San Diego County Taxpayers Association (SDCTA) held the 15th annual Golden Watchdog and Golden Fleece awards at the Town & Country Convention Center in Mission Valley last night, and this year’s top honor, the Grand Golden Watchdog Award, was presented to the East County communities of El Cajon, La Mesa, and Lemon Grove, for “Heartland Fire Rescue Consolidation Efforts.”
On January 1, the three cities joined forces to consolidate fire management services, creating additional staffing capacity and containing costs while maintaining a high level of fire and emergency medical services. The expected savings is $560,000 among the three cities without a loss of service to the public.
City of El Cajon Councilmember Bill Wells said of the top honor received, “We on the City Council are very proud of our City, our staff and fire department who worked so well with the Cities of La Mesa and Lemon Grove to make this happen. This is one of those rare situations in government where everyone wins!”
Golden Watchdog Awards highlight smart, sensible practices in taxpayer-funded programs, and public service reporting on issues of concern to taxpayers. Golden Fleeces are given to government programs/services that exemplify the wasteful, inefficient or downright absurd use of taxpayer dollars. Recipients were announced at a dinner at the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center in Mission Valley.
The San Diego County Taxpayers Association is a non-profit, non-partisan organization, dedicated to promoting accountable, cost-effective and efficient government and opposing unnecessary new taxes and fees. Founded in 1945, SDCTA has spent the past six decades saving the region’s taxpayers millions of dollars, as well as generating information to help educate the public.