City of Los Banos Extension of an Expenditure Modification, Measure K (November 2013)
|Voting on Taxes|
|Not on ballot|
Measure K allowed the continued diversion of a half-cent sales tax, approved in 2004, to go towards public safety salaries and equipment. If Measure K had been rejected by voters in the fall, police and firefighter salaries would have been paid from the city's general fund. At the time of the approval of Measure K, the city paid salaries for 36 sworn officers and 14 paid firefighters. The city had a budget for 2013-14 of $10.2 million with an estimated revenue of $9.9 million. The difference was to be made up by withdrawals from the city reserve. The reserve had almost doubled since 2008 and had reached a sum of $6.5 million in 2013.
A 2/3rds supermajority vote was required for approval.
- These final, certified results are from the Merced County elections office.
Text of measure
The question on the ballot:
This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
| Measure K:
LOS BANOS NO-TAX INCREASE POLICE, FIRE, AND 9-1-1 MEASURE A EXTENSION. To maintain the number of local police officers/firefighters/E-M-Ts, anti-gang/crime units, and 9-1-1 emergency response times shall Los Banos voters extend Measure A for no more than 7 years to address local public safety needs and protect/maintain police officer and firefighter positions, with citizens oversight, independent annual audits, keeping all funds exclusively for Los Banos without raising taxes?
- Police Chief Gary Brizzee
- Fire Chief Chet Guintini
- City Manager Steve Carrigan
Arguments in favor
City officials argued that, without funds from the sales tax authorized for spending by Measure K, the city may not be able to afford the salaries of all 36 sworn officers and 14 paid firefighters.
Police Chief Gary Brizzee said, “There are over 600 documented gang members and associates in Los Banos, and there are over 18 active criminal gangs. Crime is increasing in the neighborhoods. We’ve heard through some of the major federal investigations where people are specifically coming to Los Banos so they can hide out. We know it to be true because we’ve heard it from the gang members’ mouths.”
Fire Chief Guintini said, “Keeping paid staff is getting that first and second company right now. We need to look at the whole picture. If we were to lose that funding, all that personnel would have to go back to the general fund.”
Baldo Salcido accused city officials of using scare tactics.
Salcido said, “It (Measure K) is not necessary. They want you to think that if it doesn’t pass, we’ll lose six police officers. The general fund pays those salaries, and there’s a $6 million surplus.”