Thank You for Measure P!
It seems like the cost of essentials always goes up, never down.
We’ve all had expenses that come at bad times, like a washing machine that needs replacing right before your birthday, or an increase in the cost of gas when your new job requires travel. Sometimes it’s really hard to come up with enough money to buy presents for everyone on your Christmas list.
Spending our limited financial resources wisely is so important.
That’s why I am incredibly grateful to the people of Ukiah for passing Measure P; for putting safety first and renewing the investment we have all made in our community.
By continuing to pay an extra $0.50 cents for every $100.00 dollars we spend in Ukiah, we ensure that Ukiah can maintain quality police and fire services. We knew passing Measure P would mean a little less money in our pockets, but we made the choice anyway because we decided as a community that investing in public safety is worth it.
I can’t thank you enough for the trust and the support you have given us to provide these emergency services for you.
In case you didn’t know, Measure P was a ballot initiative to continue the one-half percent (0.5 percent) sales tax, originally approved by voters in 2005. This tax applies to all purchases in Ukiah except groceries, and the tax revenue supports Ukiah’s police and fire services.
Ukiah overwhelmingly passed this tax with 76 percent approval, and the ongoing revenue will amount to about $2.2 million for police and fire services each year.
To reassure you that the money will truly be used as promised, the Ukiah City Council passed a resolution that commits these funds for public safety personnel, equipment, and training. The resolution creates an expenditure plan to clearly account for the funds annually, so it is completely clear what is received and how it is spent.
The City Council also resolved to provide–at a minimum–the current level of police and fire services we have today. The resolution states that the City Council can add to these essential police and fire services, but that they will not reduce the emergency services being provided.
And to provide transparency to our community, the City Council resolved to establish an oversight committee. To form the committee, the City Council will appoint five residents, including one Ukiah police officer, one Ukiah firefighter, and three community members. The committee will meet at least every two years to examine budget and expenditure information and report their findings to the City Council in a public hearing.
Like with most political campaigns, opinions on continuing this tax measure varied.
Surprisingly, those who told me they disagreed with the tax usually weren’t against funding police and fire services. Rather, those who disagreed (and even those who supported this tax measure) were very concerned about the efficiency and effectiveness of our city government. People I spoke with voiced concern about whether these funds would be used as they were intended—strictly for police and fire services.
I want everyone to know we heard and recognize those concerns.
We understand the hard choice you made between providing essentials for your own family and providing funding for public safety services in Ukiah. I promise we will do our best to honor your choice. I promise we will strive to make wise decisions in how we spend the funds you have invested in our community.
On behalf of Ukiah police officers and firefighters, thank you. Thank you for the choice you made.
How we tax ourselves shows what we value, and it’s clear that Ukiah places a very high value on being safe. We are humbled to have received such overwhelming support to provide the police and fire services you deserve for our community.
As always, our mission at UPD is simple: to make Ukiah as safe as possible. If you have suggestions on how we can improve please feel free to call me. If you would like to know more about crime in your neighborhood, you can sign up for telephone, cell phone and email notifications by clicking the Nixle button on our website: www.ukiahpolice.com.