Feb. 7, 2013
Members and Supporters:
In his State
of the City address on Feb. 6, 2013, Mayor Garrad Marsh called for considering a
temporary half-cent sale tax increase, which would end after a set number of
years. He told the Modesto Bee such a tax could raise about $13 million annually
for public safety.
Here is what
we know so far about his proposal:
The tax would let the city hire
about 60 additional police officers, 12 community service officers and 21
The mayor said the city would
establish an oversight committee to track how the tax money was spent. He
emphasized that the tax would be for new public-safety hires and
The tax would fund new
initiatives such as installing surveillance cameras in city parks and hiring
private security to patrol neighborhoods that agree to establish
Neighborhood Watch programs.
envisions placing the tax on the November ballot. But first the seven-member
City Council would have to vote to place the tax on the ballot. A sales tax
dedicated to public safety would require two-thirds voter approval.
We agree with
Mayor Marsh when he says, “It is time to give Chief Galen Caroll enough tools to
make our city safer.” We will be hearing much more about this proposal in the
months ahead. There are many questions that need to be answered whenever Modesto
citizens are asked to pay more in taxes. MPOA will be fully engaged in this
process in the months ahead.
We owe it to
the citizens of Modesto have a full and healthy debate on this proposal. Mayor
Marsh put it well when he said, “It is time we as a community stopped being
spectators and become active participants in making a better Modesto.”
As always, I
invite your questions and comments about this important issue.
Modesto Police Officers Association