Darcy McNaboe for Mayor

22421 Barton Rd. #260
Grand Terrace, CA 92313
909.824.1506 h
909.709.2612 m

A Leader Who Listens

Law Enforcement Tax

Poorly Thought out Ballot Measures

Let me begin by giving credit to the determined residents who wanted to find a way to continue funding for an additional 40 hr per week sheriff deputy when the temporary funding for this additional 40 hr deputy from the City was expended. These determined residents came together to make a difference, they put their time and energy behind an idea they believed in. They set about gathering signatures for a ballot measure for a property tax that would continue to fund this additional 40 hr deputy. When their efforts fell short of the required signatures for a ballot measure for the November 2018 ballot, what started as a grass roots effort transitioned into a City-sponsored effort when a single council member convinced two of his colleagues that the City council needed to put this measure on the ballot despite the demonstrated lack of support from the community.

This council effort was, in my opinion, ill timed, ill conceived and certainly rushed when it didn’t need to be. The deadline for a ballot measure to be placed on the ballot by the council was August 10. This allowed a comfortable time window for the council to consider the City budget for the coming fiscal year and to task staff with direction to find the additional funds needed to continue the additional sheriff coverage.

Instead of waiting for the budget process, the three council member voting bloc insisted that the tax decision needed to take place immediately and made assertions that the budget was too tight, money could not be found for this purpose, all of this without being informed by the budget process.

At both May 2018 meetings to consider a tax for increased law enforcement I carefully listed to the residents who showed up to speak. Some spoke specifically against a tax measure, some spoke in favor of more law enforcement, no resident spoke in favor of a tax measure. But the council voting bloc was resolute that there needed to be a tax on the ballot to fund an additional 40 hr deputy and proceeded to give examples of times when it would be warranted – each example offered described times that our sheriff lieutenant had mentioned would not typically be the time of day that the additional coverage would be provided.

The ballot measure would have need 2/3 super majority support of the voters to pass. I believe that if the measure had any chance of succeeding there would have been significantly more support for the signature gatherers and all of the signatures would have been gathered before the deadline; this logic has been called into question by my colleagues. Putting the measure on the ballot wasn't the victory that neither the signature gatherers nor the council bloc thought it was. The petition process was only the initial step in a process that then needed a compelling campaign to convince the residents to vote a tax on themselves for a 40 hr deputy that would not have measurable changed any of the conditions that residents are concerned with - mail theft, traffic control, automobile break-ins and businesses burglaries. The additional police protection would sometimes allow for reduced response times and would have provided flexibility for scheduling.
I am not against increasing law enforcement; rather, I am in support of increased law enforcement. What I am against is choosing to place an ill conceived tax measure on the ballot that had a slim chance of passing and would not have provided a noticeable increase in service in the areas that the residents desired.

Had the council voting bloc waited to review the budget there could have been an opportunity to make cuts to provide additional coverage for an interim period of time. The cuts I proposed were not cuts that a decade's long government employee would ever embrace since my proposition required agility of thought in how essential service would be provided in our small City.
For instance, instead of filling an open position that has been difficult to fill for at least four years, causing a cycle of new employees to retrain, I proposed an option to create an administrative pool of all current administrative personnel would learn to provide all administrative services to all departments, increasing cross-training and ideally communication across departments and remove the need to fund this hard to keep filled position right now.

Other cuts I proposed would have stopped the City from hiring for a newly created position before determining how essential it was to providing core services to the residents.

Still other cuts I proposed would have been an assertion that our city must provide core services, such as law enforcement, before spending on other nice-to-have programs; especially when these non-essential programs become a distraction for our staff from their vital focus on the crucial economic development essential to increase property and sales tax revenue to permanently fund enhanced law enforcement.
Finally, had the council voting bloc waited for the budget process to finish, the decision of the fire district board would have been known. The council has since removed the measure from the ballot finally believing the slim chance of passing has vanished. Yet, the rhetoric they offered was that leadership was putting that tax on the ballot for the people to decide. Now they have made the decision for the residents by removing it from the ballot.

I propose that leadership is following budget process. I propose that leadership is listening to ideas that do not align with your own. I propose that leadership is not coming to a meeting with your mind made up (three minds made up) about putting a rushed, ill-conceived tax measure on the ballot and calling it a victory. And finally, I propose that leadership is treating each other with respect on the dais and off.
I'm asking you for your vote.