Borrego Sun - Since 1949

By Kim Simas 

The Voters Decided – Now What?


Last updated 5/6/2019 at 9:30am

The votes were cast and the results were tallied.

Measure A passed on March 19, and the fight has not stopped there. Unfortunately, Julian is currently divided on what is best for its community.

Since the election, events have unfolded to include court filings, accusations and numerous concerns for the community of Julian.

There has been a lot of confusion over the events and what led to the dissolution of the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District (JCFPD) to be brought before a superior court.

It began with the former JCFPD board voting to file a resolution of application with the San Diego Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) to dissolve the fire district based on the financial needs. The resolution included that the County Service Area (CSA) Number 135 would assume the fire protection and emergency medical services for the area. Then the CSA No. 135 filed an application supporting the resolution to accept the expansion of their service area. LAFCO approved of the dissolution.

Once Measure QQ was added to the ballot and subsequently failed and Measure A was voted upon and passed, the JCFPD got to work to save itself. With the news of the County of San Diego EMS ending the medic ambulance contact with JCFPD, concerns about welfare of the Julian residents began to swirl. Soon came the accusations of violations of the Brown Act by the former JCFPD board, invalid votes and misconduct by LAFCO.

On April 8, the JCFPD filed a civil lawsuit against LAFCO and Micheal Vu, the Registrar of Voters. The claim is the LAFCO knew that the dissolution proceedings were illegal and that some votes are invalid.

Further claims state that LAFCO and the County took steps to seize the JCFPD property before a decision about the legality of the dissolution was finalized. Now, the Superior Court is left with the decision to decide if the previous JCFPD board violated the Brown Act’s open meeting law and if the dissolution of the JCFPD is in fact unlawful.

The other piece of the puzzle is the land on which the station 56 sits upon. The land was deeded to the JCFPD by the Frances H. Mosler Trust. The deed was stipulated that if the District abandoned the fire station, the land would automatically revert back to the Native American Land Conservancy.

While the JCFPD and LAFCO fight it out in court, Julian residents are left to wonder; What happens if there is a medical emergency in Julian? If a house is on fire, who will respond?

The reality is that the County has contracted with Cal Fire to provide firefighting and emergency services for Julian. Should an emergency occur, there are two Cal Fire stations in Julian that are staffed and available to respond. With so many allegations, claims and issues going on, it will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

Hopefully it will be resolved soon and the divided community can focus on unifying again.