Letter to the Editor: What’s Your Choice Regarding 3 Questions About a Potential 1-Cent Sales Tax Increase?

It was a Monday night (5-6-19) at the Patriots meeting, 6 p.m. at 2570 South Bonnyview Road in Redding.  I did a survey consisting of three questions:

1. Would you support a county 1-cent sales tax, estimated to raise $30 million or more per year, that was earmarked solely for building a jail, its staffing and maintenance?

2. Would you support a 1-cent sales tax earmarked for public safety?

3. Would you support a sales tax for the general fund?

A 1-cent sales tax earmarked for a jail would need a 2/3 majority to pass, but the funds could only be used for what is specified in the tax on the ballot, in this case a jail. A new 500 inmate jail would allow us to lock up offenders upon arrest and for the duration of their sentence. A misdemeanor in California is punishable by up to 364 days in the county jail. This way we could hold offenders accountable for every offense at the time of their arrest, instead of the current revolving door. Presently when a person is arrested and booked, another inmate has to be released because of overcrowding.

Criminals are not concerned about spending too much time in the slammer, but if we could lock them up for six months or a year it might make them think a little harder about their lifestyle and it would probably convince our out-of-the area criminals to return home. If we limited the new 500-bed jail to misdemeanor offenders and use the old jail for felons we could arraign them on site as Chief Mike Johnson has suggested for “The Life Center” and save court space.

Maybe after being locked up for six months they might want to have a conversation about their lifestyle and how to change it to fit in with society a little better. Perhaps some programs from the proposed “Life Center” could be incorporated in the new jail to help the inmates rejoin society, but if not, that’s their choice; we have room to keep locking them up and not being a threat to our safety.

A 1-cent-sales tax for safety, again, would need a 2/3 majority to pass and could be used for anything safety-related; sheriff, fire or anything else our county supervisors decided was safety- related. And there’s the rub; how our supervisors interpret safety-related. Certainly the sheriff’s department and fire is safety-related, but is a Navigation Center, The Place, safety-related? How about five new sheriff’s jet boats for Shasta Lake? How about some new snowmobiles for search and rescue? Is rehab or educational trade schools or educational programs that teach inmates to read and write safety-related? Maybe if we sent our offenders on a vacation to Hawaii or Las Vegas every six months they would feel better about themselves and not commit as many crimes. That could be safety-related, maybe, in our some people’s opinion. Do you trust our local elected leaders to make wise decisions for us? Does recent history tell us they will?

A sales tax for the general fund would only need a majority to pass, 50% plus one vote, and could be used for anything our supervisors or city council — if it was a city tax — deemed fit. By the way, a city tax will not pay for jail funding, a navigation center or help support the district attorney’s office as Julie Winters claimed, those are county responsibilities. The county will pay $465 million over the next 25 years (2017 figures, Ca. Actuary Report-CALPERS) and the City of Redding $597 million (2017) over the next 30 years to clear their unfunded pension liabilities. This gets paid before anything else, so if there’s a downturn in the market these payments can only go up, and there goes our money from the sales tax increase. You’ve only got to think back to decisions made over past years to decide if that’s the avenue we want to take.

Back to that informal survey:  ¾ of the room — 125 people or so — raised their hand in support of a 1-cent sales tax earmarked for a jail only. One hand was raised in support of a safety tax, and NO hands were raised in support of a 1-cent tax for the general fund.

Please note, This survey is geared toward controlling lawbreakers, not the homeless nor the mentally ill, although for the criminally mentally ill lawbreakers, maybe they should have their own floor at the new jail that will be tailored to put them in the safest environment possible. Possessing a shopping cart from a store is against the law, as is using our greenbelts as a latrine or leaving an environmental wasteland at one’s campsite. These crimes need to be enforced along with property and physical assault crimes. I would be happy to address any “Rotaries, soccer moms or business leaders” to explain my/our position. Call 221-2433

Contact our County Supervisors at “shastacountybos@co.shasta.org” to let them know you support a 1-cent “jail only” tax or call them at 225-5550.

Sometimes I get the feeling that the people in power don’t want to solve the homeless/vagrant/criminal problems that infest our neighborhoods, that must be so frustrating to our law enforcement professionals.

Nick Gardner of Redding

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44 Responses

  1. Avatar Patricia Barrett says:

    I have a problem with some of the claims and proposals in this letter. For example, that “using our greenbelts for a latrine” should be considered a crime punishable by incarceration for up to 364 days, and that mentally ill homeless people could be effectively accommodated by simply giving them their own floor in detention facilities. This smacks of punishing people for behaviors and situations over which they may have no control.

    Per an outstanding piece of investigative journalism in ANC by R.V. Scheide, Shasta County’s only homeless shelter (the hellfire-and-brimstone Rescue Mission) has nowhere near enough space to accommodate all of the area’s unsheltered homeless people. Also, the fact that the only local emergency shelter is heavily religious violates a recent court decision that there needs to be a secular alternative to the streets, and that no one can be compelled to stay in a facility where religious indoctrination and observance is a requirement. The proposed “Life Center” may be secular. However, it appears to focus on punishment and detention for activities simply related to being homeless, which is counter-productive and (in my opinion) inhumane.

    Something like 68 percent of the local homeless population (the vast majority of whom actually are local) is comprised of people over 50, who have chronic health conditions like heart disease and diabetes. Another large segment of that population is aged-out foster youth, according to a representaive of the local Housing and Human Service agency. Also, according to the CEO of the United Way and representatives of other local aid organizations, the area’s extreme lack of affordable housing and living-wage jobs are primary contrituting factors to local homelessness.

    While there’s no question that jail space needs to be expanded to house what seems to be a relatively small number of repeat offenders who are actual criminals (rather than just forcing inconvenient and unsighltly homeless people into detention facilities under the pretext that they have committed “misdemeanors” by engaging in life-sustaining activities), some portion of any tax increase should also go toward creating the supportive housing – however minimal – that has worked so well in other cities to radically reduce their homeless populations. And as more than one expert has pointed out, those housing alternatives save participating cities millions of dollars a year in emergency services and other costs.

    • Avatar Tim says:

      The ceo of United Way is FOS. There are numerous apartments available in Redding for $625 (~30% of full time minimum wage) so a lack of affordable housing is not the problem.

      • Avatar Patricia Barrett says:

        Tim,

        It wasn’t long ago that I read there were a vast number of applicants for a $550.00-a-month studio, because that is now considered a lower-than-average rent for studios in the Redding area.

        Even if your claim is true it doesn’t actually matter whether there are 20 apartments available in that price range, if there are hundreds of applicants for every vacancy.

        • Avatar Doug Cook says:

          Then change the stifling regulations in this state that hampers the building of new homes and apartments. The housing crisis is just not in Redding, but encompasses the entire state. So what does the state do to mitigate the high cost of housing? The make a law making solar energy mandatory for all new constructions. All that does is increase the cost of homes.

          • Avatar Tim says:

            The regulations (and uncertainty with new regulations) are crippling. I know of a guy who was set to build three 15-unit apartment complexes in Paradise. He finally got clean water flowing at the sites when the Assembly passed a rent control bill (despite voters overwhelmingly rejecting prop 10 last year). At the same time, Butte County is looking to make it so you have to give tenants 120 days notice if you do not wish to renew their lease.

            The final versions haven’t been passed and the rent control bill doesn’t look like it will apply to new construction – but that’s also how New York rent control started.

            Anyway, he’s trying to divine the 20-30 year outlook on a life-changing investment and what he’s seeing is that the public increasingly thinks it has a right to his private property. For 7%, why go through the headaches of building and managing — why not just invest in the stock market, sit on his rear, and try not to cut himself opening monthly statements?

          • Avatar Patricia Barrett says:

            Tim,

            If it “doesn’t look like it will apply to new construction”, is there any legitimate reason to believe it will?

            I left the San Jose area in the early 70’s. At the time I was renting a modest 20-year-old apartment for $100 a month. When I came back in the early 80’s (11 years later) that same apartment was renting for $1,100.00 a month – the same owner, with the same mortgage payment, was charging more than 10 times the rent for what was by then an older, more run-down building. California needs rent controls on older housing.

          • Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

            The upside to solar power in buildings makes sense for the schools and businesses that have carports with solar panels, the manager at the FRYS on Bell Road told me the solar panels would save FRYS $10,000 a month. In Arizona heat I don’t doubt that figure.
            Solar panels on homes is another story. What is happening is if the roof leaks the solar panels have to be removed and reinstalled. While every roofing company says, and probably can, they will remove and replace the solar panels. But the solar panel warranty is void if anyone but the company that installed the solar panels does the work. This results in no bidding as there is only one company that can keep the warranty intact. It really gets complicated when the company that installed the panels is bought by another company. The sales people for these solar companies are very aggressive and have had complaints lodged against them. Check the BBB ratings.

        • Avatar Tim says:

          If every landlord was getting 20 qualified applicants per unit, we’d obviously all raise our rents to match the market. Trust me, we’re not. Only a small fraction of the applicants I get can even prove they’re grossing $2080/month. And of the few with steady income, about half will fail a background check for violent criminal history & civil judgements.

          There are certainly segments of Redding’s housing market that are impacted. For instance, dog-friendly houses with 3+ bedrooms are going for a premium since the Carr Fire. But your entry level “get off the streets” housing hasn’t really changed because that’s not what burned.

          • Avatar Patricia Barrett says:

            Tim,

            I was a property manager for many years, and I’ve never run across a property owner who was interested in gross income – they all wanted net income at least three times the amount of the rent, because that’s what the tenant actually has to work with.

            And I have no idea how much “entry level” housing burned. However, the area’s more affordable housing is exactly what has been monopolized by the thousands of Bethel’s “supernatural” students and other of its adherents who have been flooding the area. In my Bethel watchdog group I’ve heard account after account of local families and individuals who have been forced out of their housing so the landlord can pack in crowds of Bethel students etc. at much higher rents.

          • Avatar Tim says:

            For low end housing I use 3x gross w2 earnings because every employee can find a recent pay stub and, at the bottom income scale, these tenants generally aren’t itemizing deductions and are not net payers of income tax (they usually get about as much back in tax credits as they pay in FICA/income tax).

            If they are self employed or if we’re talking higher end housing, then yes, I’d absolutely look more closely at net. But a large percentage of my tenants are young adults looking to move out of Mom’s house who haven’t yet filed a tax return and only have a few pay stubs from their first “real” job.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            There is a state wide rent control bill working it’s way through the legislature. Of course it will pass. The one guarantee of rent control is fewer housing units available.

  2. Avatar Amanda Smith says:

    Nick a county public safety tax could be written appropriately. First you would have to make it “in addition to” already budgeted funds or they could replace those funds leaving us in the same crisis. If the current funds dropped it would need to go back to the people for a vote.

    You are right about consequences. Even with the jail more deputies are needed in the mountain areas especially.

    California Boating and Waterways pays for the Sheriffs boats I believe.

    Those officers would need vehicles and equipment so yes there are “must” have expenses.

    District 2 supervisor is coming up for election. You all know Dale Ball is my choice. He has already proven he is solution oriented by being part of the solution. We keep hearing “trust” as the reason people will not invest. So lets add to Les Baugh and Joe Chimenti with another candidate we trust.

    As for more shelters…
    If we do not address the drugs in this town, the collateral damages of street drugs wiill just keep adding people to this population. There will never be enough beds if manufacturing, transport/import, and sales are not addressed firmly. We need money to focus on stopping a major root cause of homelessness and crime.

    The example that our criminal population is setting for young people is lethal. The romanticized message it sends of fun, freedom, and a life of no consequences has influenced young people with bright intelligent futures and destroyed lives.

    Prevention is always better than recovery. However, prevention takes money. The ease of finding drugs in Shasta County leads to addiction and criminal behavior. Some of our most violent threatening crimes are rooted in aquiring, selling, and using illegal drugs. A multiagency task force with financial backing and jail beds dedicated to “the business of illegal drugs” would affect the flow of drugs and give some of these people time to clear their heads in jail enough to “make a healthy choice”

    Shasta County Health could write grants for rehabilitation services after or instead of jail. I am sure they already do. However, no one chooses change until change looks better than staying the same.

    There is a whole picture approach needed but, focus on prevention is the best approach… Otherwise the crisis continues.

    Those chronic offenders that have mass amounts of criminal charges… Those are only what they have been caught doing so you know there are more! Imagine if those 400 people were in jail instead of back out on the streets! Law enforcement could then focus on preventing crime also by patrolling.

    I am willing to invest in our are because it will pay for itself in quality of life and prosperity as people once again shop, eat out, and experience Shasta County in person rather than online. We invest in security systems why not invest in prevention of needing such elaborate security systems?

    • Avatar Patricia Barrett says:

      Amanda,

      And yet the various agencies, organizations, medical providers, etc. who work with the entire spectrum of the homeless on a daily basis all seem to agree that drugs are responsible for a much smaller percentage of the problem than most people realize. As I mentioned above, the area’s extreme lack of affordable housing and living-wage jobs are cited as the main reasons more often than not.

      Following the City of Redding’s massive gentrification binge in the last decade (during which vast amounts of lower-end housing were destroyed to increase the local tax base), local homelessness surged by a whopping four hundred percent. We’ve had a similar situation for the last several years, due largely (I believe) to the thousands of Bethel Church’s “supernatural” students and other adherents who have flooded the area, aggravated by loss of housing in the fires.

      Not that drugs aren’t a huge problem. However, there is considerable evidence that some number of people fall into alcohol and drug use as a response to being forced to live on the streets, and not before. In cities that have provided supportive housing for the homeless (in any form), property crime drops.

      Being homeless is no picnic. The homeless typically suffer from extreme sleep deprivation, malnutrition, a whole array of illnesses due to constant exposure to the elements, are frequent victims of violence, and live in constant fear for their safety. Providing the safety and stability of a roof over their heads and a lock on the door – coupled with supportive services – has done an amazing amount in other cities to turn these people around. In my opinion we need to stop criminalizing homelessness, and actually address it in a provably effective manner. Having some portion of any tax increase go toward creating supportive housing would pay off greatly in the long run, as it has in other places.

  3. Avatar Amanda says:

    Pardon the type O’s people! In a hurry to get to work.

  4. Avatar Randy says:

    60 years ago anyone could find work in our region regardless of skill level. There were usually places available to camp near jobs and I don’t remember anyone looking down on people who just chose to sleep in the brush or who roamed from region to region. Something like a free world. I believe the driving force of dysfunction in our society is the fact that our society has grown into such a complexity that a good part of our population are just being excluded from participation. If our county had a real plan to provide basic accommodations along with basic work for basic skill levels for people at that level I would be in favor of contributing to that. I am not in favor of paying to build more jail space and the salaries, benefits and pensions for more people to operate a greater incarceration complex.

  5. A powerful political group is forming in Redding California,

    Its no secret, residents feel strongly about the lack of transparency in Redding and Shasta County government. Resident veterans have nearly died in our present jail facility not receiving the proper medical care.

    More people homeless sleep on Redding streets and sidewalks all over town, growing mental health issues are not being properly addressed. Its an emergency, a low barrier homeless shelter is desperately needed.

    And somebody again please remind me how Red Bluff police can afford officer body cameras and Redding police department cannot ?

    And it seems like with an expanding coffer of ever growing Redding and Shasta County cannabis tax revenues and marijuana sold one must ask no jail funding there ? We of course need more police and fire staff.

    Perhaps you are concerned with other local problems. Folks who feel their are far more pressing issues in our community… Join Us

    https://www.facebook.com/No-Tax-For-New-Jail-510209833050311/

  6. Avatar Tim says:

    No more taxes until the city addresses its bloated compensation packages (a portion of which are catch up-contributions for underfunded CalPers). $160,000 compensation per entry level police officer is ridiculous and unsustainable.

    Existing employees and retirees need to share in the pain – their unsustainable union contracts caused this mess.

    • Avatar Anita Brady says:

      No– management approved those contracts. The employees signed on to the job under certain terms and conditions. You can’t change the terms NOW.

      Do not blame the employee unions for the City Council, County Supervisors, and state administration decisions. And on that note, why don’t you look into the effect on those pension funds after the George W Bush economic meltdown of 2008!

      • Avatar Tim says:

        Except management wasn’t the one paying for those contracts, so what reason did they have to tell their employees no? The employees voted for their union representatives and the union reps took it upon themselves to take the city to the brink of insolvency. If we bail out union parasites every time they kill their host, what motivation do they have to keep their employers healthy?

        The city simply cannot afford to continue to pay these exorbitant rates. The longer we pretend otherwise, the worse it gets. Sure, tax payers voted in the city leadership who approved management’s plans so tax payers deserve some pain too. But that pain needs to be shared by those who enriched themselves in “service” to the city.

      • Avatar Doug Cook says:

        I agree with Anita in that you shouldn’t go after current and past contracts. But you can certainly change the contracts of future pensions. I might add, Anita…your pension fund is looking pretty damn good now under the Trump economic boom. The stock market continues to set records.

        • Avatar Tim says:

          Doug, it just isn’t realistic. The city already owes ~$600 million for past obligations and that figure assumes rosy Calpers investment returns — return rates Calpers has consistently failed to achieve. Worse, rather than accept the reality that a $375 billion pension is simply too large a percentage of the market to have market-beating returns, Calpers has increasingly been turning to risky private equity.

          But even accepting the rosy outlook of just a $600 million liability for the city, you need to understand that Redding’s discretionary budget is just ~80 million with ~30 of that already going to police. Worse, liabilities continue to grow by $20 million every year!

          If the city made 30% cuts straight across the board it would still take 60 years to get out from under these pension obligations. That just isn’t realistic.

          How about a tax increase? An extra $30 million/year would get us out of debt in 60 years — that’s about $700 per Redding household. Think people will pay that rather than move across the city limit?

          The reality is fantastic promises were made, but those promises simply cannot be kept. The longer we put it off, the worse it will get.

  7. Avatar Joshua Brown says:

    1. Would you support a county 1-cent sales tax, estimated to raise $30 million or more per year, that was earmarked solely for building a jail, its staffing and maintenance?
    My Answer: No, it’s a stupid regressive tax and I don’t support building a new jail.

    2. Would you support a 1-cent sales tax earmarked for public safety?
    My Answer: No.

    3. Would you support a sales tax for the general fund?
    My Answer: No.

    NOOOOOOOOOO!!!! The Redding media clearly wants it though. They keep printing this guy’s letters supporting it.

    • Just because I publish a letter to the editor doesn’t mean I’m agreeing with the writer, or that we’re pushing a particular cause. This is an important question to pose to voters for debate and conversation.

      Joshua, I’d love an expanded letter from you about the cons to a 1-cent sales tax increase. 🙂

      Thanks for being here and participating in these lively discussions.

      • Avatar Joshua Brown says:

        I’m talking about the Record Searchlight too, not just you. You have better judgement than them, Doni, so it’s ok. So, how do I write an opinion piece? I’d love to rebuttal this letter.

  8. Avatar Dan says:

    If you or I needed a business loan for a hot dog stand we would have to provide a business plan. Why is the government not expected to do the same? How do I know a penny extra is overpaying or underpaying? How do I know a medium security jail is an answer versus a locked psychiatric facility? WHAT type of crime are you trying to reduce, or is it life safety? (I believe more people were victims of the CARR fire than murder last year). So should a fews guys, a couple of brush mulchers and goat herd be wrapped into the plan? I would like to see a few business proposals with line item costs before I decided on anything.

  9. Joanne Snyder Joanne Snyder says:

    What a great discussion! I came to Shasta county in the 70s with $300 in my bank account. I got a job as a waitress the first week to pay the bills until I could put my teacher credential to good use. This was before the internet so it was a challenge who find out what jobs were available. What I learned in the 16 years before I was hired as a teacher is that a huge number of people in Redding work one or two jobs to provide the basics for their families, but the idea of a retirement is not in the picture. Wages and job security at the city, state and federal level keep going up and building codes and requirements more closely match what people in the government can afford than what the workers of this community can afford. New homes in Redding reflect what retired people from San Francisco and Los Angeles can affort when they sell a modest home in the city and move to Redding. I remember the city bragging about a new “low income” housing development going in off of Churn Creek. Houses started at $250K. This is not “low-income” in Redding. I remember when the new jail was built. I remember when the Taj Mahal City Center was built. Great article and great discussion.

    • Avatar Tim says:

      250k is cheap. Rough cost to build a brand new home in Redding:

      Item……………3bd/2ba 1200sq ft………3bd/3ba 3300sq ft
      Lot………………$20,000……………………….$20,000
      utility………….$10,000……………………….$10,000
      Permits……….$27,000……………………….$37,000
      Kitchen……….$30,000……………………….$40,000
      baths……………$50,000……………………….$80,000
      garage………….$25,000……………………….$35,000
      bedrooms…….$60,000………………………$70,000
      living areas….$30,000………………………$90,000
      ———————————————————————-
      Total…………..$252,000……………………….$382,000
      Sale price…..$275,000……………………….$500,000
      Commission..$16,000………………………..$30,000
      ———————————————————————-
      Profit…………….$7,000…………………………$88,000
      ROI………………… 2.8%…………………………. 23%

      Want to make housing more affordable in Redding? Dramatically lower the building permit & impact fees on small homes. Stop requiring garages be built with new homes (people probably won’t be driving cars in 30 years). Give incentives to build duplexes & inlaw units.

  10. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    I would like to believe that a vote held at a “Patriots” meeting—coming down strongly in favor of a punishment-only solution set—isn’t representative of Shasta County. Sadly, I think it more or less is. Retribution theology tends to bleed into public policy in these parts…never mind that incarceration rates in the USA are the highest on the planet, and the strategy been an abject failure—else we wouldn’t be wringing our hands about crime rates. Fact is, cycling people in and out of the criminal justice system with zero attempt to rehabilitate makes the problem worse in the long term.

    For the record, I don’t think any of these 1% tax increases has a snowball’s chance in Hell. The 50% general fund option already failed miserably.

    Both of the 2/3 options are doomed by the “no new taxes ever” crowd. I don’t believe for a second that 3/4’s of the attendees at a “Patriots” meeting would vote for a jail-earmarked tax increase once alone in their booths, or hunched over their absentee ballots.

    • Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

      Incarceration rates are higher in the US because we don’t relieve our prison crowding like some other nations, with mass executions, we release them back into the community. And in some countries, aka the fleeing migrants, are executed before they even go to court.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        Bull$#!+, Bruce.

        The majority of countries (106) have abolished the death penalty, including all western countries except the USA. Those that retain it are mostly Muslim, but include China and India. Only six countries exceed the USA in numbers of yearly executions: China and six Muslim countries. Good company.

        Some countries that retain the death penalty but are considered abolitionist in practice (no executions in >10 years) include Russia, Laos, Ceylon, and the majority of Africa.

        It wasn’t until 1988 that the S

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          …SCOTUS abolished execution of minors under the age of 16. Barbaric that took an actual case of a kid sentenced to death (for killing his wife-beating brother-in-law) to get to that point.

        • Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

          Steve, how many executions were preformed in the USA last year? You can count them on one hand, there is no comparison to other nations. And those incarcerations in the US are being dropped because of racial disparity. Comparing the 1st district Bethel controlled state to the rest of the country can’t be done.
          And don’t they teach proper English in College anymore? Saying not true instead of swearing is much more appropriate, Trump is wearing off on you.

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            Bruce — You can count the number of executions in the US last year (25) on one hand if you’re counting in fives. Same with 2017 (23).

            The thing about numbers: They make it pretty easy to compare. That’s in fact the very reason for descriptive and inferential statistics.

            So yeah, we *are* currently 6th in the world in total executions, behind totalitarian China and a handful of repressive, ass-backward, shitty Medieval theocracies.

            Excuse my French.

      • Avatar Patricia Barrett says:

        Bruce,

        Nearly half of all crimes people are incarcerated for in this country are drug offenses. A number of European and Scandinavian countries have decriminalized drug use, opting instead to put money into much less expensive treatment programs. Of course there is also the fact that billions of dollar in products and services are produced in U.S. prisons each year by corporations exploiting cheap (basically slave) labor, which is apparently an incentive for our government to incarcerate more people, and for longer periods.

        https://www.bop.gov/about/statistics/statistics_inmate_offenses.jsp

        • Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

          Patricia, most of those in jail due to drugs are there because they pleaded down from more serious crimes to drug crimes so the other crimes would be dropped. Colorado found this out when they legalized MJ and were going to release all prisoners convicted of MJ possession only.

          • Avatar Patricia Barrett says:

            If you mean that some people were allowed to plead guilty to marijuana possession when they may have also been in possession of harder drugs – maybe. However, I very much doubt that any number of people charged with more serious crimes (like armed robbery) have been allowed to plead guilty ONLY to marijuana possession.

          • Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

            Patricia, drug advocates always point to drug charges even when there are multiple charges. It is called only pointing out their own views and not all views. Most of those listed as drug convictions had other convictions as well. Colorado detailed this when they legalized MJ.

  11. Barbara Rice Barbara Rice says:

    Keep it civil, people. I’ll take down any posts with personal attacks.
    Also, hiding behind a pseudonym doesn’t help your case.

  12. Avatar Chris Solberg says:

    It amazes me that a very inaccurate picture of Redding homeless is attempted to be portrayed by Shasta County District Attorney Stephanie Bridgett , several retired law enforcement agents, and others as they host a “Seattle is Dying” video documentary trying to sell the criminalization of our local homeless residents and the development of a forced treatment facility not far from Anderson police chief Johnsons ideas.

    Forcing addicts to take an addictive substitute “Suboxone” is not the answer. Redding has double the alcohol problem as other cities, the dynamics are just not the same. In fact “There are double the amount of people dying of alcohol abuse than opioids in Shasta County”

    https://krcrtv.com/news/addicted-northstate/there-are-double-the-amount-of-people-dying-of-alcohol-abuse-than-opioids-in-shasta-county

    Lets clear up some misconceptions about this film and how its preposterous to compare Seattle’s homeless problem with Reddings…

    The Seattle movie states their homeless problem is 100 percent drug generated, Redding is not a port town , there is not a huge heroin problem here.

    And only ONE homeless shelter in all of Shasta, Trinity, Tehama, Lassen, Modoc, and Siskiyou county leaves Redding wide open to a civil rights law suit that 4 Federal Judges would be happy to enforce.

    And when homeless possessions are confiscated by California law they must be held for 90 days and every attempt should be made to return those possessions to their rightful owners.

    Indeed jail space is needed to lock up misguided police, city officials, and folks who want to incarcerate people whos only crime is not having a roof over their head.

    • Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

      Seattle’s homeless are congregated in an area under a freeway called “The Jungle” Seattle has proposed spending $1 million to build a fence around “The Jungle”. This has been news on the Seattle Times for years. Homelessness has been increasing all over the nation. Here in Phoenix the homeless, unsheltered, population increased 27% just last year. But in Seattle and Phoenix there are a number of homeless shelters, both religious and secular. Redding doesn’t have that and can’t be compared to Seattle.

  13. More jail space, more officers, more
    donations to monopoly missions,
    more local, state or federal give-a-ways
    or more so called “Safety Taxes” will
    do anything positive unless they would
    include funding for construction and
    operating One Safe Place To Camp.

    Anything else given will be money to
    feed a beast that is accountable to no
    one, including our broken Just-Us System.

    No Accountability Equals No New So Called
    “Safety Tax” Nothing Not One Red Cent!

  14. Frank Treadway Frank Treadway says:

    Tax-on-the-ballot folks need to acquire a ballot polling firm to see if a tax measure will even pass before they get all drummed up and spend unnecessary money on something that just might not pass. Getting the required signatures is a real effort and one not many locals can handle. Check out: Price School of Public Policy in Sacramento, a non-partisan firm. Might be money well spent.

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