Measure D Supporters Launch Campaign For the ‘Safe Streets Now’ Tax Hike

A group of business leaders stepped forward Tuesday to voice their support for a tax hike they feel is desperately needed to bolster police forces and combat a growing crime problem that threatens the quality of life in Redding.

If Redding is to continue attracting investors, employers and the visitors who drive its increasingly important tourism industry, “we’ve got to feel safe,” said Jake Mangas, president and CEO of the Redding Chamber of Commerce.

Jake Mangas and April LaFrance. Photos by Jon Lewis.

Jake Mangas and April LaFrance. Photos by Jon Lewis.

“It’s imperative we come together as a community and act now,” said Ryan Denham, a third-generation car dealer.

The answer, both men said, is to convince a majority of Redding voters to approve Measures D and E in the Nov. 8 election.

Measure D would increase sales tax by a half-cent and generate an estimated $11 million a year during its 10-year lifespan. Measure E is a non-binding companion advisory stating that the money would be used to fund additional police officers and firefighters, more jail space, a mental health crisis stabilization unit and a sobering center.

Further signaling the business community’s support, Tuesday’s press conference was held at the Chamber of Commerce boardroom. Supporters in attendance included retired Redding Police Chief Bob Blankenship, Redding Mayor Missy McArthur, City Council members Brent Weaver and Francie Sullivan, April LaFrance (head of the Safe City Project), Shasta Regional Medical Center CEO Cyndy Gordon, Shasta Board of Realtors President Dennis Morgan, and Joe Chimenti, head of the Shasta Builders Exchange.

a 4

Jake Mangas, left, Ed Rullman, Brent Weaver, Ryan Denham and April LaFrance.

Ed Rullman, the managing general partner at Best Western Hilltop Inn and the co-founder of Redding Merchants Crime Watch, said the genesis of Measures D and E goes back to a morning five years ago when he arrived for work and discovered Redding police officers conducting a raid on a neighboring hotel.

From that point forward, Rullman said crime has just continued to mount. “Things have really changed a lot over the last five years,” Rullman said. He attributed a lot of the increases in property crime to the growing number of heroin addicts who steal to support their habit.

“I’m tired of it—really tired. This is the beginning of what is hopefully the end. This is the culmination of a lot of hard work,” Rullman said.

Ed Rullman, left, and campaign leader Rocky Slaughter.

Ed Rullman, left, and campaign leader Rocky Slaughter.

Weaver, who has made improved public safety a priority since he joined the council in 2014, said he brought his four children to the event so they could witness the start of what he believes will be a turnaround. “Six or seven years from now, when we’re going to places that we didn’t use to go, they’ll know it all started in this room,” Weaver said.

Referring to Measure E, the advisory measure, Weaver declared: “I’ll make this promise: Not one cent of this money will be spent without you knowing how it was spent and where it was going.”

Vice Mayor Brent Weaver and City Council candidate Lea Tate.

Vice Mayor Brent Weaver and City Council candidate Lea Tate.

Denham, the general manager of S.J. Denham and the incoming chair of the Chamber’s board of directors, said business owners are already paying a public safety tax in the form of vandalism, losses to theft, increased security expenses and the loss of peace of mind.

LaFrance said during her time organizing the Safe City Project, she has come across hundreds of residents who are willing to pitch in and help improve the quality of life in Redding. “Our future is something we have yet to create. This is our city and she is worth fighting for.”

A rally to introduce Measures D and E to the public will be held at noon on Sept. 9 in Library Park, Rullman said.

Jon Lewis
Jon Lewis is a freelance writer living in Redding. He has more than 30 years experience writing for newspapers and magazines. Contact him at jonpaullewis@gmail.com.
Comment Policy: We welcome your comments, with some caveats: Please keep your comments positive and civilized. If your comment is critical, please make it constructive. If your comment is rude, we will delete it. If you are constantly negative or a general pest, troll, or hater, we will ban you from the site forever. The definition of terms is left solely up to us. Comments are disabled on articles older than 90 days. Thank you. Carry on.

25 Responses

  1. Avatar EasternCounty says:

    You were up late last night!  Thank you for your excellent report on this kick-off and the Council meeting.  I regret that I can’t vote on Redding issues because I’d certainly support this minimal tax increase.

  2. AJ AJ says:

    Again, thank you Jon, for excellent (and readable, I might add) reporting. Give me a sign, a bumper sticker,a sandwich board,a megaphone…..we citizens of this erstwhile and otherwise FABULOUS town need to step up and do more than just wring our hands.

  3. Avatar Virginia says:

    Why even bother with Measure E, if it is non-binding!

  4. Avatar David M. Kerr says:

    It should have been a quarter percent tax for jail expansion.  The other provisions are much less popular and may lead to defeat.

    Sobering centers are a statewide issue.  Every  county should have one, funded by the State, based on population of the county.

  5. Avatar jobs says:

    If the courts will not keep them druggie criminals in jail, then why should we pay more taxes?

    The real reason is because the city pensions are underfunded.  To many 90%ers.

    The unions have almost destroyed America.

  6. Avatar JeffG says:

    I’m crossing my fingers these will pass; you know the situation is dire when business groups beg to raise taxes!

  7. Avatar jobs says:

    In some parts of America it’s almost impossible to get a jury/ trial to convict a vigilante type persons.

    It takes 12 to agree.

    Maybe the businesses could hire some group to keep their places safe….

  8. Avatar Toni C. Perkins says:

    I am in favor of a tax increase only if the use of the funds is specifec.  There is wording in the 5th paragraph of the resolution that leaves the use (in my opinion), open to interpretation.   The words are “and related public safety services that could be funded by the sales tax.”  Another concern is the non-binding decisions of the advisory board.

    I do not trust the City Council to adhere to the decisions of the hand picked board,  I also fear that the City Council in the future will decide to disband the board for reasons that will suit the Council’s objectives.  (I recall the REU Oversight Committee experience).  We do need a sobering center, local treatment for drug addiction, rehabilitation, and 24 hour mental health services.   The County is responsible for mental health services.  Why should the city take on this service?  The City continues to have unfunded liability because of increased contributions to PARS and  PERS.  We need to budget for these expenses now or our future may be a bankrupt city because of unfunded retirement programs.

  9. Avatar cheyenne says:

    Before Redding seeks a sobering center they better follow what is happening in Prescott, AZ.  The fraud committed by 2000 sobering centers in a town smaller than Redding which is leading to lawsuits and cancellation of payments by ACA providers for fraud is destroying the town.

  10. Avatar jobs says:

    Come on, there are no more than 150 druggie types causing most of the downtown problems.

    Way more are still living with their enabler Mothers in every parts of this town.

  11. Avatar Curtis Chipley says:

    While I do not live in the city of Redding I do work, shop here.   I am not in favor of another tax to fund more Police or Firemen.  I know you are going WHAT??  It does not matter how many Police you have on the streets if the laws that are written continue to tie their hands and they cannot do any enforcing.   I sat in a local coffee shop on Monday and listened to a former Redding Detective, now retired due to a medical issue, and another Redding Police Officer.   The now retired Detective was giving the soon to be retired Redding Police employee pointers on how to get more money out of the City of Redding,  telling him how he got the city to do a payout of 250,000.00 yes you read that right for his early retirement, he told the other officer which doctor to go to, which lawyer to use.  And the kicker??? he was not injured on the job, he developed heart disease,  and some how that was the cities fault????   So after listening to this conversation, I would NEVER vote for a tax increase until the city quits doing pay outs like this for things that are not even on the job injuries.   There is enough money to support the Police and Fire departments,  when ever they want to hire more employee’s they always pull out the safety of the city card,  how they do not have the money to hire more.   The funds that they are allocated need to be used wisely, and they need to be accountable to us the Public who pays their salaries through our already too high taxes.  Once you vote in a tax it never goes away, even though they say it will have a sunset clause in it, too many times before there have been sunset clauses in tax increases and when it comes time to end them they, the City Council  and others in charge find a way to keep it..   We do not need more tax money levied on the Public we need someone in office who can manage the millions of dollars that they already get for these services.  And they need to stop the glad handing each other as they line their personal pockets with OUR money.   The city needs to quit paying out money to those who have health issues that have nothing to do with the job that THEY chose to do.  So I say to the citizens of Redding…. just say NO to another tax,  that will not make any difference in the crime rate.

    • Avatar jobs says:

      Most go out on disability.   There is a big tax savings to do so.

      Only problem I see with this is when they go out and start / make a new job for them self that is a lot more labor intensive than their pass public service job like lawn services etc.  And most have disability plates on every car they own.

      Sure seems that most are willing to game the broken system today and have little care doing so.

       

  12. Avatar Scott S says:

    Why aren’t measures D and E combined in one measure? What if D passes and E dosen’t? More free money to the city to use anyway they want. I’m not in favor of this measure. Even though the extra tax collected won’t be that much more than what I’m paying now. I have always thought that we don’t have an apprehension problem, we have an incarceration problem. If the worst of the worst cannot be jailed to full term what’s the use? Oh well unfortunately I will be ineligible to vote this measure, so I leave it to you city dwellers to vote your conscious.

  13. Avatar David M. Kerr says:

    Sales tax is the most regressive, meaning it hits the poor hardest.  Sophisticated consumers can shop on Ebay  and many other online vendors who do not collect  CA sales tax.  My neighbor is a UPS driver.  He is amazed at the growth in online shopping.  Ways to beat the CA sales tax are spreading by word of mouth.  Those commercials to “shop local” remind consumers that they have another option.

    CA should be sending more of the income taxes, corporate taxes, cap and trade taxes, fuel taxes, to the counties.  CA should be sending more revenue to increase the number of section 8 housing vouchers.  CA should send more funds to the counties to mitigate the costs of AB 109.  CA should tax the pensions of CALPERS annuitants who move out of state (20% in one report).

    • Barbara Rice Barbara Rice says:

      Ebay and other online retailers operating in California are required to collect California sales tax and report it on a yearly basis, and pay any tax due to the state. It is a business like any other; California online sellers are not exempt from paying tax.

    • Avatar cheyenne says:

      The reason us CALPERS retirees move out of California, along with a lot of retirees, is California is the third most expense state, behind Alaska and Hawaii, to live in.  The Democrats have forced many companies to move out of state because of taxes and restrictions.  Even the high octane Silicon Valley is losing businesses to Denver and Omaha.  Don’t try to budget your own politicians mistakes on the backs of people those politicians forced out.  And Ebay retailers don’t have to collect sales tax unless they do more than $1 million dollars a year in business.  Which means those old yearbooks I sell on Ebay don’t count.

      • Barbara Rice Barbara Rice says:

        It may be different where you are, but in California I most certainly am required to report all internet sales to the Board of Equalization and collect and pay sales tax on sales made to California residents.

        • Avatar cheyenne says:

          California does collect sales tax on internet sales as do a few other states, eventually all will.  Wyoming’s own Senator Mike Enzi is pushing an internet sales tax, which I feel is fair because brick and mortar have to pay.  But written into the bill is a minimum sales amount sold to report, last I heard it was $1 million but it will probably be lower, so that small Ebay sellers like me that might sell two items a month don’t have to collect taxes, kinda like not having to collect sales tax on a garage sale.

        • Avatar David M. Kerr says:

          You report purchases from out of state vendors which do not collect CA sales tax on line 91 of CA 140.

           

  14. We’ve all heard this before and then what happens – the money goes for the city councils “pet projects” and not where it’s supposed to go -Count me out – I paid enough and see NO RESULTS!!! I agree with Curtis – with our police force it’s all about how to get more money for themselves!!

     

     

  15. Avatar Shannon Hicks says:

    The city council has already proven their willingness to disolve a citizen’s advisory group as evidenced with the REU commission. Also, more disoncerting, is the absolute lack of professionalism and petty  in-fighting evidenced in the council’s rebuttal to the opposition statement against measure D. Keep in mind this is a public document which will be part of the voter’s guide.

    Actual excerpt of letter of rebuttal signed by four council members!
    “The lone council member, Gary Cadd, who wrote the argument against is running for re-election on the usual anti-tax, don’t-trust-government, fear-generating rhetoric, and yet he was quoted as saying if re-elected he wants to put forth his OWN tax measure next Spring. Go figure.”
    By contrast, Gary’s rebuttals for supporting the measures does not resort to personal attacks or calling out a council member by name. Just an observation. In stark contrast, Gary cites facts quoting the findings of the City Attorney. Hmmmm….
    #CityofRedding  #politicsasusual

    http://www.cityofredding.org/home/showdocument?id=9407

    Can we trust such a group of ‘representatives’ who resort to such sophmoric tactics? Can we rest assured that we can trust this council and others for the next 10 years.

  16. Avatar jobs says:

    I’am starting to believe that the police are using these crazy druggie criminals against us to get more taxes

    Out of us.

  17. Avatar Russell K. Hunt says:

    $303,000,000 in unfunded retirement liability is where it is going. The unions donated money to every member of the council .Now it’s pay back time for you plebs. Four tax increases on the ballot this time. The majority will vote no. Enough is enough. This is an economic depression which we cannot tax our way out. More jobs equals less crime. But the city staff is regulating and feeing the development community to death.

  18. Avatar jobs says:

    Funny how they failed to tell the tax payers that alarming information you found Mr. Hunt.

     

    I ‘am sure the council must not know this!