Due to an editor's error, this article gave the wrong numbers for Measure Q vote totals. The unofficial count from Contra Costa County Elections Division, with 453 of 453 precincts counted, was 87,231 yes (52.45 percent) and 79,066 no (47.55 percent). Since the parcel tax required a two-thirds majority for passage, it has apparently failed.
A parcel tax to raise money for fire services in many parts of the county — Measure Q — apparently passed but failed to achieve the two-thirds majority needed on Election Day.
The $75 per parcel per year tax was expected to generate an additional $16.8 million a year and enable the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District, or ConFire, to maintain service in the face of eroding property tax revenues.
The district provides fire service through most of east and central Contra Costa — including Lafayette — as well as portions of west county. Without funding from Measure Q, district officials have said as many as 10 of 28 stations will have to be closed. They mentioned several towns where closures could take place, including Lafayette.
Opponents of the measure, led by the Contra Costa County Taxpayers Association, argued that the measure would have only been a temporary fix for a fire district that has long failed to reign in soaring pension costs.
Kris Hunt, the president of the taxpayers association, said the measure was asking too much of voters and too little of a fire district that spends a sizable chunk of its budget on pensions and health care costs for retirees. Retiree costs make up a quarter of the district's budget this fiscal year, Hunt said.