Those who have lived in Redding for many years are acutely aware of some of the negative changes that have occurred in our town during the past decade. The combination of Prop. 47, AB 109, meth and heroin usage, declining tax revenues caused by the Great Recession, and decreases in state funding for vital programs have all severely impacted the agencies whose mission is to ensure public safety. The passage of Measures D and E this November will greatly contribute to restoring citizen safety and quality of life.
How much will Measure D cost? The extra 1/2 cent sales tax will add a mere nickel to a $10.00 taxable purchase, and because grocery food, prescription drugs, rent/mortgage payments, insurance payments, utilities and fuel, and medical devices and services are exempt from sales tax (https://www.salestaxhandbook.com/california/sales-tax-exemptions), the average Redding household will see a monthly cost increase of less than $4.25 per month. Single retirees will likely pay less than an additional $1.50 per month.
What do Redding citizens receive in return? The projected $11,000,000 in annual revenue will provide:
1. Seed money for a much-needed sobering center which will decrease the burden on the jail and the E.R.s of our two hospitals which have long struggled in treating individuals with problems of drug and alcohol intoxication.
2. $1,000,000 to match Shasta County’s $1,000,000 for a mental health crisis stabilization unit.
3. Funding through 2019 for additional out-of-county jail space to house the repeat offenders who are now subject to the infamous “catch and release” because of our woefully inadequate number of jail beds.
4. Funding for the Redding Fire Department to provide increased staffing and conversion of all City of Redding fire stations from 2-person engine companies to the national standard of 3-person engine companies.
5. Funding for the Sheriff’s Department to create and staff additional jail space to house offenders who now are booked and released through the jail’s “revolving door.” Ensuring that those arrested for criminal acts are held accountable will compel many offenders to take advantage of rehab programs which will improve their lives and assist them in becoming productive members of society.
6. Funding to restore a portion of the 26% reduction in sworn Police Officers and Community Service Officers that has occurred since 2008. APD Chief Michael Johnson attributes his city’s significant reduction in crime to an increase in staffing and pro-active policing made possible by Anderson’s passage of its own 1/2 cent sales tax measure in 2014. Here in Redding, with over 600 arrests since its inception at the beginning of this year, RPD’s Neighborhood Policing Unit demonstrates what pro-active policing can accomplish, but without revenue from Measure D, it will be disbanded next July. And with increased RPD staffing from Measure D, officer response times which have nearly doubled since 2008 will be reduced considerably.
Measure D will provide the funds to address Redding’s public safety problems, and Measure E will ensure that the funds are spent as intended by the voters. The Citizens’ Advisory Committee and the annual audit of revenues and expenditures by the Pun Group C.P.A.s will provide the transparency voters require. These measures will provide a great benefit to Redding residents at a very minimal cost. On November 8, please vote “YES” on Measures D and E.
Richard Christoph and Theresa Moravec,
Neighborhood Watch Block Captains