Winter, McElvain Earn Redding City Council Seats While Voters Give a Loud ‘No’ to the ‘Safe Streets Now’ Tax Hike

The wave of voter anger that swept brash-talking Donald Trump into the White House on Tuesday apparently splashed into Redding as well as voters issued a resounding “no” to a proposed half-cent sales tax that was intended to improve public safety.

In the Redding City Council race, Julie Winter and Adam McElvain captured the two available seats, besting Lea Tate and incumbent Gary Cadd.

Councilwoman-elect Julie Winter poses with a campaign poster.

Councilwoman-elect Julie Winter poses with a campaign poster.

A larger-than-expected voter turnout had Shasta County elections officials and volunteers working late into the night. Updated results should be available here.

With all 56 precincts reporting in, Winter was the top vote-getter with 12,637 (30.7 percent), followed by McElvain at 10,751 (25.7 percent). Lea Tate was in third with 9,431 votes (23 percent) and incumbent Gary Cadd trailed with 8,379 votes (20.4 percent).

Councilman-elect Adam McElvain with his daughter, Pepper, at an earlier rally.

Councilman-elect Adam McElvain with his daughter, Pepper, at an earlier rally.

Measure D, the “Safe Streets Now” sales tax hike, went down to a 63-37 defeat with 16,052 no votes and 9,536 yes. Measure E, the companion nonbinding advisory measure calling for all Measure D proceeds to be spent on police, firefighter, more jail space and mental health services, was approved with a 65-35 margin.

Measure D would have generated an estimated $11 million a year during its 10-year lifespan, with the money earmarked for additional police officers, firefighters, jail space and mental health services.

Opponents cited the nonbinding nature of the advisory Measure E and noted the City Council would be free to spend the extra revenue on unfunded pensions and other programs.

“I’m disappointed,” said Rocky Slaughter, a Redding-based marketing consultant who led the campaign for Measures D and E. He noted half-cent sales tax increase was backed by the Redding Chamber of Commerce yet appeared to suffer from a lack of awareness.

“It’s a wakeup call for the community,” Slaughter said. “Everybody wants to do something about public safety, but people didn’t make the connection” about the need for more law enforcement and Measure D’s ability to fund more positions.

McElvain said the measure’s failure amounted to a referendum on the council’s leadership and a sign from the community that it “expected a different style of management at City Hall. Leadership is going to have to work hard to regain that trust.”

Vice Mayor Brent Weaver, who has made improved public safety the focal point of his tenure on the council, said he was disappointed at the measure’s failure, “but at the end of the day, we live in a democracy and we have to stand back and let the voters decide. We’ll wake up tomorrow, roll up our sleeves and go to work.”

Brent Weaver and Lea Tate at a Measure D rally.

Brent Weaver and Lea Tate at a Measure D rally.

Winter said improving public safety—now a bigger challenge without the money Measure D would have generated—will be a priority when she takes a seat on the council. Safer streets, parks and trails go hand-in-hand with making Redding more attractive to job-creating investors and entrepreneurs, she said.

Both Winter and McElvain said job creation and economic development were at the top of their respective to-do lists. “I’m hopeful for the future of the city,” said Winter, adding that she wanted to forge a connection between the government, business and the workforce.

“Ultimately we need to make a bigger pie and we can do that by increasing jobs and capitalizing on our natural resources,” Winter said. McElvain said he’ll focus on programs and initiatives that will lead to the kind of high-paying jobs that attract young professionals.

In other races, McArthur resident Mary Rickert will represent District 3 on the Shasta County Board of Supervisors after defeating incumbent Pam Giacomini in a runoff. Rickert received 6,313 votes (62 percent) to Giacomini’s 3,821 votes.

In the District 4 supervisorial race, Steve Morgan edged out incumbent Bill Schappell, 5,142 votes to 4,609.

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
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11 Responses

  1. Karen C says:

    I don’t think the tax increase suffered from a lack of awareness.  Everyone I spoke to knew a lot about it and given the City of Redding’s past history did not feel comfortable with the tax not being dedicated to what is said it was intended to do.  Folks seemed very aware and knowledgeable this time around.  I had nothing against the tax, and most people I knew did not either.  We wanted to be sure it was well spent and not put into the general fund to pay for administrative raises.

    Next time around make sure  it is put into a special fund with a budget manager (remember Peggy Linville) who makes sure it goes to where it is supposed to go.  If you do, it will fly!

  2. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    I was surprised, talking to people prior to the election, how many were going to vote against Measure D.  I didn’t detect any confusion about what D and E said.  What was clear is that people don’t trust that the money wouldn’t be spent on pensions, and there is intense resentment in this town regarding City of Redding pensions.

  3. Grammy says:

    Think how Redding is going to be hurting if Redding looses Costco (and the surrounding business that will go with a re-location).  Redding needs to change their attitude about helping one of the highest wage earners in Shasta County expedite this venture.

    Went to one of the largest Costco I have ever been in close to the Auto Mall in Rocklin yesterday.  The parking lot was full.  The gas station was full.  The lines were longish and there were employees all over the place making it run smoothly.  This could be us.  Redding has needed a larger Costco since the week it opened.

    All those sales tax dollars could disappear if Redding looses Costco to Riverside Drive or Somewhere besides Redding City limits.

    Sure will change how I shop.  Right now go to all the stores around Costco.  Then end the shopping with Costco.  Will then avoid Redding to go to the new stores where ever it is built.

    We as voters just have to little faith on politicians keeping to the “intent” of a tax.  Just to easy to change the intent when it is there ripe for the raping.

  4. Karen C says:

    Costco has a sign on a large piece of property on the corner of Bechelli and Churn Creek Rd.  As far as I know they are going ahead with the plans to build.  I heard this from a Costco employee who seems to know what is going on with the project.  I see where several vehicles have gone in and out of there and created a dirt road going back into the center of the property.

    If Redding looses Costco, I will have lost all faith in in the currant administration to take us into the future safely and strongly.

  5. Don Kirk says:

    Having been involved in city politics (ran for a seat on the city council in 2010) I studied many things that had been done in the past; and NOT spending voted tax money where it was designated to be spent, I felt that if “D” was passed, it’d end up somewhere else.  For that reason, I created posts on Facebook, warning people that they should not vote for it.

    As to who won.  I also warned about Winter being a Bethel person and that Bethel wants control of the city.  While Adam will probably be OK, Gary Cadd should have been re-elected as Adam and him agree on what needs done.

  6. trek says:

    Lets see, sheriff and police chief make a combined $530,620.53 and yet they want more tax money. The people have spoken…..again!


  7. Lewis Chamberlain says:

    The brilliant failure of measure D may be due in part to the continuous insinuation that you weren’t and advocate for public safety if you didn’t support the measure.   I didn’t like how the campaign seemed to attack those who insisted on proper fiscal controls.  Shaming opponents distracts from the message… especially in this election cycle.

    Whereas the failure of measure D may indicate distrust in leadership and distaste for workarounds, I think the resounding support for measure E is a clear indication we value public safety but perceive stagnation in its management.  Maybe a change in management needs to come first?

  8. Karen C says:

    Don, may I respectfully ask, where you get your information that Bethel wants control of the city of  Redding?  Control of what;   City staff, council, city manager, people…enlighten me, please.

    • A Brady says:

      Please google: Seven Mountain of Domionism and read about Bethel’s goals in all aspects of our community. Julie Winter’s own blog from a year ago outlines it as well:

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