At their October 3, 2022 meeting, the Mill Valley City Council and Southern Marin Fire District Board unanimously approved the submission of an application to the Marin Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo) for consolidation/annexation of the Mill Valley Fire Department into the Southern Marin Fire Protection District.
The two Fire Service agencies have actively engaged in two formal shared services agreements since 2014, with the goal of determining the value, opportunities, and obstacles for a future consolidated effort between both agencies.
"It's a long time coming for our fire services to implement programs and efficiencies that result in cost savings while enhancing firefighter and citizen safety,” Mayor Jim Wickham said. “Our council has worked closely with Fire administration, SMFPD Board and labor unions since 2014 and unilaterally support the recommendation for annexation to LAFCO."
Agency staff determined that the shared services agreements created efficiencies by sharing battalion chiefs, a fire chief, a fire marshal, and capable support staff. They also found that the shared management configuration capitalized on operational and programmatic proficiencies unattainable as separate organizations and provided for financial and service improvements. Future consolidation is projected to result in additional benefits and opportunities to enhance services, avoid future costs, and increase the efficiency of the dollars the public has entrusted.
“We are excited about the efficiencies this relationship offers the community,” Fire Chief Chris Tubbs said. “Consolidated efforts that enhance safety, increase financial resiliency, contain costs and improve bottom line services such as fire prevention are the exact results we feel our community demands.”
Both the City Council and District Board of Directors will now move forward with an application to Marin LAFCO to annex the City of Mill Valley into the Southern Marin Fire Protection District.
Read the “Merger Assistance” Report here