Implementation Outline

  1. Each Governing Body interested must make the decision to research the possibility of an RFA within reasonable proximity to neighboring fire protection jurisdictions. This can be a full fire organization RFA, or a subset (i.e. Training RFA, Special Operations RFA, etc.). 
  2. The Governing Bodies send letters to each other indicating their desire to study the possibility of forming an RFA. 
  3. The Governing Bodies must appoint three (3) members each to form a “Planning Committee” (i.e. 3-each elected officials from any involved Fire District or Municipal/City Department). 
  4. The Planning Committee meets and establishes their rules of operation. 
    1. Frequency of meetings 
    2. Chair of Planning Committee (if desired) 
    3. Use of subcommittees 
    4. Time frame for final report 
  5. The Planning Committee must identify the following: 
    1. The vision of the RFA.
    2. The services to be provided by the RFA. 
    3. What the Governing Body of the RFA will be composed of (this is left totally up to the Planning Committee as to membership (i.e. a mix of City Council members, Fire District Commissioners, or citizens elected or appointed al large); the number of members on the new Governing Body (the statute is silent on this, so it is totally up to the Planning Committee); and length of time each member will serve on the new governing board. 
    4. The funding mechanism to be utilized by the RFA (i.e. ad valorem taxes, benefit charges, excess levy, EMS Levy, etc.). 
    5.  The level of service/standards of cover to be utilized by the RFA. 
    6. The makeup of the Administrative Team. 
    7. The extent that Labor will be involved in the planning process (it is strongly suggested they be intimately involved throughout the process). 
    8. The methodology to determine how different Labor groups will be combined within the RFA, potentially under a newly negotiated collective bargaining agreement (CBA), or under old CBAs for a short period of time until a new CBA can be negotiated. 
  6. The Planning Committee finalizes the RFA Plan and adopts it by majority of the Committee. 
  7. The RFA Plan is sent to the individual Governing Bodies. Each Governing Body must approve the Plan for the RFA to continue forward. 
  8. Once approved by the Governing Bodies, the Planning Committee develops ballot language to place the RFA before the voters in all areas affected by the RFA. 
  9. The individual Governing Bodies must approve the ballot language and then must place it on the same ballot within their individual jurisdictions. 
  10. If the RFA Plan includes a funding mechanism for ad valorem property taxes (up to $1.50 per $1000 of A/V), then a simple majority (50% plus 1) is required for passage. If the RFA Plan includes an excess levy or benefit charge for operations, then a 60% super majority is required (plus a 40% validation requirement if the excess levy is utilized for funding). 
  11. If the RFA Plan is passed by the electorate, then the RFA goes into effect on the following January 1st or July 1st following the election (NOTE: the RFA Plan does not need to pass in all individual areas, the vote is a combined total of all voting). 
  12. If the RFA Plan fails at the ballot box, then the RFA Plan is returned to the Planning Committee for further action. This action can include: 
    1. Retooling of the Plan for possible resubmission to the electorate. 
    2. Placing the same Plan before the electorate at a later date after additional public outreach. 
    3. Deciding that the RFA is simply not the thing to do at this time. The RFA Plan can be voted on three (3) times before the Planning Committee has to formally be dissolved. 
  13. The RFA begins operation on January 1st or July 1st following the election. If the RFA vote takes place after August 1st of a given year, then the RFA can not legally collect ad valorem taxes or a benefit charge until the year following the formation of the RFA. If the election is held prior to August 1st, then the RFA can collect taxes and/or the benefit charge the upcoming year. In situations wherein taxes or the benefit charge cannot be collected, the RFA should contract back with the original participating jurisdictions (i.e. cities and fire districts) to have them collect funds and distribute them to the RFA via a contractual agreement for the first year of the RFA. Thereafter, the RFA will collect revenues on its own.