Recently, our politicians stated that the public voted for Measure P in 2004 with 78 percent approval. Somehow, our City Council members do not understand that 82 percent voter approval is defined as a mandate.
It is understandable that in late 2008 and early 2009 our economic landscape changed dramatically, i.e. exodus of housing developers, loss of jobs in the trades, rapid decline in home prices, both market and assessed values, resulting in loss of revenue for our city, county and state government. Therefore, the introduction of Measure A was a reasonable request presented to the citizens of Los Banos in order to maintain a level of police service and protection.
The electorate chose to pass the measure by again a mandate of 82 percent.
Unfortunately, the citizens of Los Banos, the electorate, did not fare well on the passage of Measure A. Instead, crimes increased, gang membership is at an all-time high, resulting in more shootings, wounding of innocent citizens and the death of an innocent bystander. Vandalism by gangs is easily noted by all of the graffiti throughout our city of Los Banos. Drug activity is rampant.
Measure P was passed in 2004, Measure A, a redirection of the sales tax was passed in 2009. The latter should by design sunset in January 2014. Our City Council wants to redirect those tax dollars again for another seven years, against the mandate by the citizens of Los Banos in Measure P.
Our citizens are intelligent and understand the issues. Citizens of Los Banos also understand that we didn't receive the service and protection promised by our mayor, City Council, city manager and the Police Department.
They failed miserably in their promises to use the redirected funds to make a difference in the safety of our families. They need to be held accountable for those redirected funds.
A grassroots campaign should defeat Measure A in November. Measure P needs to remain intact as mandated by the voters of Los Banos.
Baldo Salcido Los Banos
Measure P was a ½-cent sales tax passed in 2004 to generate funds for a new police station and firefighter training tower and personnel. Measure A, passed in 2009, allows the city to use Measure P money to pay for police and firefighter salaries instead of facilities. It is set to sunset in 2014.