Shasta County’s Measure A – Hard Questions To Ask

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County residents should be asking hard questions about Measure A, which proposes a countywide sales tax of 1%, mostly to fund the county jail and law enforcement, and which will be on voters’ ballots for the March 3 primary.

Although it’s frequently referred to as a “public safety tax”, from my perspective that isn’t entirely accurate. “Public safety” is a term that refers to the welfare and protection of the general public. This means you, me, the rich people who live up on the hill, and the unsheltered men and women sleeping outside. A more accurate description would be to say that Measure A is focused on something related, but different: enhancing the criminal justice system in Shasta County.

According to the Safe Shasta website, Measure A will provide $31 million dollars, 51% of which will be designated for the Shasta County Jail, including capital expenditures for new facilities, as well as funding for operations, programs and services.

Here are some questions I think both government officials and residents should be asking about Measure A.

What data have officials gathered to show the cause of the real or perceived lack of public safety in Shasta County?

Judging by the planned use of these “public safety” tax funds, public officials view the root cause of the real or perceived lack of public safety as stemming from a lack of jail space, operations, programs and services.

What data has been shared with residents that reasonably proves this conclusion?

Keep in mind that oft-repeated statements aren’t the same as data.

If the public is less safe due to a lack of jail capacity, how many jail beds are needed?

Many people in Shasta County feel that the County needs more jail beds, as anecdotally evidenced by daily capacity releases at the Shasta County Jail. But how many more jail beds are needed?

I was a member of the 2018 Shasta County Grand Jury when we wrote a report on this very subject, titled Jail Capacity and Funding. The Jury pointed out that while it seems clear that Shasta County does need more jail beds, the Board of Supervisors (BOS) has never determined how many jail beds are actually needed. A search of minutes from BOS meetings since that Grand Jury report was published shows no evidence of any data-driven review or analysis of how many jail beds are needed in Shasta County.

What data has been shared with County residents documenting the number of jail beds needed? Why would we designate a percentage of funding to continue to build more jail beds without determining the number needed?

The public has been promised “up to 500” additional jail beds with Measure A money. If data shows that this is the needed number of jail beds, what would the costs be to build these beds and to operate and maintain a jail facility of this capacity?

We all know that 51% of $31 million is a lot of money. But it’s not an infinite amount of money. Before building a bigger jail we need to be very clear on not only what it would cost to construct additional jail space but more critically, what the on-going costs would be to operate the facility we think we need. Don’t forget that the County gave back money for a jail before, when officials had not thoroughly counted the cost ahead of time. It’s fair to ask them to provide us the data that proves they’re not about to make a similar mistake.

Is the cost of new jail facilities for up to 500 inmates known? Have these figures been shared transparently with the public?

How soon will these jail beds become available? What will happen in the meantime?

Common sense tells us that building this many new jail beds will take time.

According to the Safe Shasta website, while jail facilities are being built, Measure A tax money will be used to send a greater number of Shasta County inmates out of County for incarceration. The County is currently funded to send 19 inmates out-of-county for incarceration and the Safe Shasta site states that Measure A funding will allow for 60 out-of-county jail beds. This means the 1% sales tax is guaranteed to increase our jail capacity by only up to 41 beds in the mid-term . . . and this mid-term could likely last several years.

What’s the timeline for new jail facilities? Has this been transparently shared?

Will so-called “quality of life” crimes and homelessness be solved by increasing jail space?

From those most vociferously concerned about Shasta County’s lack of safety I usually hear complaints about “quality of life” crimes and an excessive number of homeless people in Redding. Will either of these be solved by a larger jail? Quality of life crimes are often misdemeanors. Homelessness is not illegal. The Safe Shasta website states, “With these funds we will aggressively address the quality of life crimes, addiction, mental health and homelessness challenges facing our community.” More needs to be said on how these kinds of behaviors would be addressed under the additional funding provided by Measure A.

Specifically, how would Measure A funds be used to combat homelessness and quality of life crimes?

The Shasta County Board of Supervisors paid $97,000 for a jail study that they received in September of 2019. This study indicated, among other findings, that the jail should implement an evidence-based risk assessment to help determine the risk of individual offenders prior to choosing inmates for capacity releases. It also suggested the use of pre-booking assessments to help reduce costs and failures to appear.

During this BOS meeting, a supervisor responded to the report by saying that the County has received multiple previous reports on the jail and they’re not being told anything new this time. (Leading one to wonder why the BOS didn’t originally implement those findings or prove them wrong.) The Sheriff promised at the meeting to respond to these findings in September 2019. There is no further public response documented in 2019.

Why are the BOS spending public funds for jail reports they don’t act on? Could there be cost efficiencies in running the Jail that the County has been informed of but has not implemented?

These questions aren’t comprehensive, but here’s my bottom line: The County would significantly benefit from a sales tax. Such funds could be used to address problems related to expanding homelessness and related low-level crimes, among other perceived public safety issues. Many of us would be happy to pay a 1% sales tax if it serves to benefit our community. But without the County publicly discussing and sharing real data and analysis showing the cause of the public safety issues and how planned spending will address those causes, many concerns arise.

Additionally, I wonder if the suggested uses of Measure A funds prepare our County well for the future. Governor Newsom has suggested there may be a way to penalize counties that have not responded sufficiently to the needs of the homeless (and I don’t think he meant incarcerating them). And a short way down the road, it’s highly likely that California will move to a no-bail jail system where pretrial incarceration is based on safety rather than raising bail. What will we do with our 1,000 jail beds then?

Tonight, February 13th, a Measure A town hall will be held at First United Methodist at 6:30. Attend and bring your questions!

Annelise Pierce
Annelise Pierce is fascinated by the intersection of people and policy. She has a special interest in criminal justice, poverty, mental health and education. Her long and storied writing career began at age 11 when she won the Louisa May Alcott Foundation's Gothic Romance short story competition. (Spoiler alert - both hero and heroine die.) Annelise welcomes your (civil) interactions at AnnelisePierce@anewscafe.com
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57 Responses

  1. R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

    Great questions, Annelise. My favorite is the last one: Why are the BOS spending public funds for jail reports they don’t act on? This is a running theme of the totally politicized BOS, which frequently ignores reports from staff to foster their own narrow-minded views upon the entire county. They voted unanimously against the county’s participation in the recreational marijuana industry, against the new proposed casino, etc. Now they want to scare us into voting for a regressive sales tax to build what amounts to a new prison in downtown Redding. Vote no on Measure A.

  2. Avatar Michael Kuker says:

    All it took to switch from me from a probable “yes” to a definite “no” was that flyer pictured here. Measure A offers no solutions, just more wallpaper over the rot and cruelty to the poor.

  3. Avatar Larry Winter says:

    Boy, a 2/3 vote for a special tax is a high bar for Shasta County can overcome.

  4. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    “Quality of life” crimes include offenses such as vehicle break-ins, public intoxication, drug dealing, petty theft and graffiti. I had an office at Pine Street School for about a decade. I moved my office to an out-building on my Palo Cedro property after repeated vehicle break-ins and other problems.

    If I lived in Redding, I’d vote “yes” on Measure A. But I have some of the same qualms as Michael up above. There’s a strong emphasis on more jail beds. I’d sure like to see more emphasis on addressing root causes of petty crime with “housing first” and rehab programs. Instead, the emphasis seems to be on hazing.

    But I’m more forgiving than Michael regarding that flier. The proponents of Measure A are in the selling phase, and need to get that elusive two-thirds super-majority. And what sells in conservative Shasta County? Helping the down-and-out? LOL. No, Biblical retribution is what sells. Punishment. Vengeance. An eye for an eye. F*** you, druggies and freeloaders.

    You gotta promise the majority Trumpsters what they want. You gotta dip into the demagoguery handbook. You gotta appeal to the ignoble base of their nature, or you’re wasting your time and efforts.

    • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

      I believe the term “quality of life crimes” is applied almost exclusively to life-sustaining activities associated with living on the streets (or what I call “Existing While Homeless”), which are only “crimes” because local governing bodies have unconstitutionally designated them so, in this area of nearly non-existent facilities, services, and affordable housing. The same activities would not be considered “crimes” if they were engaged in by housed people in the privacy of their own homes. Actual crimes like theft, vandalism, etc. fall into their own categories.

      The focus on that term in this Measure is immediately suspect, given that recent Redding Mayor and Bethel Church Elder Julie Winter made the claim that crime in general can be largely addressed by forcibly incarcerating homeless people in concentration camp-style facilities until they somehow magically become “self-sufficient”. The implication that all – or even most – homeless people are drug-addicted criminals is a self-serving falsehood.

      Ridding the streets of its world-wide base of operations of unsightly homeless people has been high-priority for the phenomenally wealthy and influential mega-church in our midst. I personally would not vote for a Measure that didn’t attempt to address the critical, substantially Bethel invasion-generated lack of local housing (which is itself a crime against local citizens, in my opinion).

  5. Avatar Maureen says:

    These are very good questions. I have done research on this measure and the 230+ other ‘voluntary’ tax measures on the upcoming state ballots and the common theme is these are factually PENSION TAXES. They are needed, but only because no one is addressing the root cause which is our State’s extremely high public sector wages and benefits. The Measure A proponents are quick to ask anyone who is a No vote ‘what is your solution then?’ So here is mine: Electeds need to go back to bargaining with Unions to resolve this huge problem. There are many articles to be found. Dan Walters has a good one, Bait and Switch. Check it out. I am a No vote, but if you are a Yes vote just be educated on what you are really voluntarily funding.

  6. Avatar Annelise says:

    Steve: they’re not only selling it that way, they’re budgeting the money that way. Petty theft, vehicle break ins, intoxication and graffiti are not the kinds of crimes that are easily solved by more jail beds. A drug high is much more compelling than the threat of several nights in jail. And has the jail Proven that they can successfully implement rehab and MAT pre and post release before being given more money to do so? A cursory review indicates no but I would need to do more research. I could write several more articles on this and maybe I will. I have no problem with being taxed to help solve problems. Unfortunately the people selling the tax haven’t shown data that indicates they understand the problems, know how to solve them, and are going to direct the money in directions that will solve them. I took a particular approach with this article Intended to appeal to those who want more jail beds. Because even if you believe that jail beds will solve the problem there is still so much the BOS have not explained. Or maybe I missed it?

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      You could build an auxiliary jail with 1,000 new beds, and you’re not going to catch the vast majority of criminals who engage in petty crimes like vehicle break-ins, especially the way RPD does nearly all of its policing—cruising around in black-and-whites. I do believe that longer periods spent in jail for drug and alcohol intoxication might be something of a deterrent, in the form of hazing. An addict who has to periodically get sober cold-turkey in jail might be motivated to move on to another city…maybe that’s the intent. But 200 people in jail on that wager, and so that we don’t have to see them on the streets, doesn’t seem like money well spent.

      As for graffiti, it’s not going anywhere—it’s prominent in European cities that have the best of the best social safety nets. I remember an old bit by Steve Martin: “Boy, those French…they have a different word for EVERYTHING!” The bit culminates with a visit to see the Mona Lisa, and how impressed he was with its beauty, and the beauty and rich history of Paris in general, “…as I was spray-painting my name on The Louvre.” The bit was supposed to be about “Ugly American” tourists, but the truth is that Europeans love tagging—a tradition that dates back to the ancient Romans.

  7. Avatar Doug Cook says:

    Annelise, One thing left out is that over a third of the inmates in county jails should be in state prisons. As a result of Realignment, county jails now house prisoners sentenced to more than a year of incarceration… offenders who previously would have been sent to state prisons. As a result of Realignment, hundreds of offenders are serving lengthy sentences in jails instead of state prisons.California’s jail population is likely to continue to expand as prisoners with longer sentences accumulate in county jails due to Realignment. Longer sentences translate to lengthier stays, which in turn result in larger jail populations; in the short term this has generated a number of early releases due to lack of available bed space. There are county prisoners with over 10 year sentences, county jails were not built for that purpose.

    California has done nothing to address the prison overcrowding. There are no plans to build more prisons, instead they push the problem onto the counties.

    I’m also torn on this tax increase, as I am normally against raising taxes. I was also a member of the Shast County Grand Jury for two years…by the way, something I highly recommend participating in…and saw first hand the inadequacies of the county jail. It was a design that was popular in the 70’s but is incredibly inefficient.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Doug — Given that the United States has by far the highest per-capita incarceration rates on the planet, does it give you any pause to consider that maybe the lock-’em-all-up approach is fundamentally flawed? That it doesn’t work? That it might even be a primary cause of persistent high crime rates? That maybe we should look around at what other countries are doing that’s more effective?

      Or does political orthodoxy outweigh consideration of other options?

      • Avatar Doug Cook says:

        What has happened in California when we released thousands of prisoners? or passed Prop 47 that lowered criminal penalties for various property and drug offenses? Property crimes have surged in our state. Look at SF, San Francisco has by far the highest property crime rate in California, with more than twice the number of reported thefts per capita than Los Angeles County while having the lowest arrest rate in the state.

        There hasn’t been a new state prison built in California since, I believe 2006. We don’t throw people in prison for no reason, they committed a crime. If we don’t arrest them, or sentence them to prison, the most likely outcome is that they will continue to commit crimes.

        My point above is that it is the state that put the burden on the county sheriffs to solve the states problem. As usual, the inept Ca legislators refuse to deal with the needs of the state. They ignore our water storage crisis, our prison crisis, our housing crisis…but hey, they can fund a choo choo train to nowhere to take care of their rich cronies.

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          Doug — You 100% skirted my question. But that’s fine—in a roundabout way, you answered it.

          You once again insult our intelligence with your use of county data to show that the County of San Francisco has the highest whatever rate of all counties in California. San Francisco County is a city. You’ve been corrected on this before and it doesn’t seem to take, so I assume you’re either not a quick study, or more likely, you’re being cynically dishonest in your efforts to demonize liberalism.

          Property crime rates per 1,000 citizens—select Northern California CITIES (FBI statistics):

          Eureka: 81.6
          Lakeport: 70.33
          Red Bluff: 64.6
          Oroville: 61.73
          Anderson: 60.63
          SAN FRANCISCO: 53.03
          Grass Valley: 52.91
          Redding: 42.92
          Corning: 40.82
          Chico: 36.28
          Mt. Shasta: 18.98

          Liberal bastions Davis and Winters are even lower than hippy-dippy Mt. Shasta, BTW.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            I didn’t skirt your question, my answer was that not jailing criminals just causes more crime. What we need is a repeal of AB109, and have our state responsible for the incarceration of criminals, not county jails.

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            Nah, you skirted my point entirely. We have the highest incarceration rates on Earth. If that works, why aren’t our crime rates much lower? And why are crime rates so much lower in countries like Netherlands and Norway that are “soft on crime” according to your standards?

            Your answer: Because we need more people in prison.

            You couldn’t come up with a better example of begging the question—arguing in a circle—if you tried.

          • Avatar Maureen says:

            Those are REPORTED property crimes. Many, like me, stopped reporting stolen bikes etc long ago. Waste of everyone’s time.

    • Avatar Annelise says:

      Doug thanks for your service to the County as a Grand Juror, I know it’s a fascinating but thankless task. And thank you for your comments which I would love to respond to.

      The Shasta County Grand Jury stated in 2018 that the Shasta County Board of Supervisors used AB 109 funds for Jail costs previously paid for by the County. If the County pays for inflationary costs of running the Jail using funds from AB 109 without increasing the number of inmates they provide incarceration for, have they misused those funds? Maybe technically no. Maybe functionally yes. Read the report summary and responses and decide what you think for yourself. Look for whether the BOS statements fully and accurately respond to the Jury’s finding.

      Additionally, AB 109 funds, some of which are used for the jail, may not be a reliable ongoing funding source. The Community Corrections Partnership Committee (CCPC), a group of County officials who manages AB 109 State funds distribution for the County, has been aware for several years that available AB 109 funds will not support current local spending levels for much longer. Notes from the most recent meeting of the CCP indicate that current spending levels will likely only be maintained for 1-2 years. The Shasta County Grand Jury also reported on this in 2018. Will the Jail budget provided by AB 109 take cuts at that time? Has the BOS been transparent about this?

      CCPC notes, see page 7: https://www.co.shasta.ca.us/docs/libraries/probation-docs/ccpec-handouts/2020-ccpec-handouts/ccpec-handouts-1-15-2020.pdf?sfvrsn=c60df189_2

      Grand Jury AB 109 report: https://www.co.shasta.ca.us/docs/libraries/grand-jury-docs/1718-documents/2017-2018-full-report-(without-responses).pdf?sfvrsn=e44ff889_0

      And responses to the report here, read carefully to notice whether BOS officials actually answer the statements made by the Jury. https://www.co.shasta.ca.us/docs/libraries/grand-jury-docs/1718-documents/response—ab-109—shasta-county.pdf?sfvrsn=b2c7fa89_2

    • Avatar Rob Belgeri says:

      Mr. Cook, realignment gets the blame, but a real student of history would see that realignment was a required response by the State of California to a mandate imposed by the United States Supreme Court in a series of cases variously entitled Coleman v. Brown (originally, Wilson vs. Brown) and Plata v. Brown. (Note that, in tracing the case captions, the appellant’s/respondent’s name keeps changing because California’s governors change every four to eight years). In its 2011 ruling, SCOTUS affirmed a lower court finding that given the resources at its disposal, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation was required to reduce its inmate population from in excess of 170% of capacity to no more than 137.5% of capacity. Now, what else could the State have done? Well, it already runs 41 state prisons and countless other facilities like inmate fire camps. Such facilities are expensive as hell to site and build, and the SCOTUS decision was handed down while the State was in the midst of a multi-year recession necessitating draconian budget cutbacks, so where would new building money have come from? There was none to be had, and there were no California communities beating down Sacramento’s doors to site new prisons therein. If you can’t expand capacity, you have to cut back demand/population. Those who criticize AB109/realignment either don ‘t remember the SCOTUS order or its connection to the legislation, or they never heard of it in the first place. Could California have thumbed its nose at SCOTUS? I suppose, but there was a model for that already. One of the federal judiciary’s responses to the Coleman case earlier on was to take oversight of the CDCR medical care system out of the State’s hands and give it to a federal receiver. This happened because a medical care system that was neglecting or causing the death of in excess of one inmate per day was deemed an affront to the Constitution’s Eighth Amendment. (Whether you disagree or not with that proposition, the finding had the force of law, and I think we’re all in agreement here that the USA is a nation of laws.) The problem there? That Federal receiver was empowered to spend your and my money on inmate medical care, but the State department tasked with coming up with the money had no say in how it was spent. Costs predictably ballooned. It’s logical to conclude that had the State thumbed its nose at SCOTUS, the entire prison system could have been placed under Federal oversight, which could have easily broken the State budget and delayed its recovery along with that of the remainder of the California economy.

      Now, all that said, did the cities and counties get hosed under AB109? It’s not difficult to arrive at a “yes.” However, Brown got elected with the promise that he’d build the rainy day reserve back up from zero, and he’s done that. It currently sits at $22B. Doesn’t that please fiscal conservatives? It should because it represents a hedge against having to raise taxes should the recession monster bite into State revenues in the future. A decent case could be made, though, that given the disproportionate burden that’s fallen on local law enforcement since SCOTUS’s 2011 decision, that reserve should be shaved down a bit to provide subventions to local probation, mental health, and law enforcement folks who have to deal with the aftermath.

      Unless everybody’s ready to raise taxes and build a bunch more prisons, that is.

  8. Avatar Randy says:

    Great questions Annelise. I believe the fundamental causes from homelessness to crime is misguided societal priorities and lack of creative vision. Building public policy that continually rewards the most wealthy, successful and greedy people among us, even if they are blatant crooks, while ignoring the fact that the bottom rungs of our society are being excluded, ignored and vilified simple because there is no where they can fit in is a huge contributor to crime and homelessness. The, ‘modern world’, in all it’s wealth, convenience and glory, has been built on the pillage of the finite natural resources of our one and only planet and as we burn through millions of years of stored resources in mere decades the well connected get even fatter and the masses are left with debt. If people have a place to fit in, feel like they are part of the whole and have a valid role to play that feeds and houses them most people are generally satisfied with very little.

  9. Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

    Instead of guessing go to Transparent California and see wages and pensions of all public employees. Just type in a name and public district. The results may surprise you. I am there at $12,000 a year.

  10. Avatar Candace says:

    Annelise, thank you for this. The questions you asked addressed the things I have concerns about. I initially was a YES vote on this prop because a fire captain in my neighborhood had told me a while back that if it passed it would make resources more available to him and others towards fire prevention. For me, that was a no brainer YES vote. Later on I started feeling uneasy about the Prop’s main intent. I’m still struggling with the part about not supporting monies going towards fire prevention, albeit a small portion, but like Michael K. the poster shown at the beginning of your column represents something much different than my idea of the broader meaning of public safety. Why no graphic included of a setting of an addicted/homeless/mentally ill person being helped in one of the rehab programs this prop claims to also support? I’m not advocating not holding those accountable for actual crimes they’ve committed but that poster smacks of the furthering of demonizing all homeless with a broad brush of painting them all as criminals. I’d love to be wrong but I fear I’m not. An emphasis on more police, bigger jails, more punishment meted out with rehab, housing-first programs seeming to take a distant back seat isn’t something I’m personally interested in and I’m the person who’s in the past supported our local tax increase proposals. If the promoters of Prop A wanted my yes vote that poster is the exact opposite way to get it.

  11. Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

    Jails and prisons are not the answer to solving the revolving door of criminal behavior.
    The 1 cent tax will not touch the problem.
    Vote NO on Measure A

  12. Avatar Richard Christoph says:

    Interesting article and comments. I am hopeful that readers of ANC have taken the time to attend one of the several presentations given by the proponents of Measure A which have been interesting, informative, and fact-based. There was another last evening at the First Methodist church on East St. which unfortunately was not well attended. Please consider at least listening to and questioning Supervisor Chimenti, RPD Chief Schuler, DA Bridgett, APD Chief Johnson, Sheriff Eric Magrini, Probation Director Tracy Neal, and RFD Chief Kreider before making a decision to vote either yes or no on Measure A.

    • Avatar Annelise Pierce says:

      Richard, unfortunately I was unable to attend but I did encourage readers to do so in the article! Did they address questions like the ones above at the meeting? Did they share data on how a jail will solve the problems we have? We have so many talented people in local government but it’s also a very political environment. I truly believe hard questions asked and answered will be one of the keys to health in our community.

    • Avatar Candace says:

      Richard Christoph, it sounds like you attended the Town Hall at the Methodist Church. If so, did anyone on the panel or in the audience address the subject of LE wearing working body cams? Seems to me that if an increase in LE personnel is one of the main goals of the tax, body cams (for the protection and accountability for all involved) should be part of that equation. Just wondering if you heard that come up?

      • Avatar Richard Christoph says:

        Candace,

        Although the subject of body cams did not come up during the presentation, the entire panel was available for individual questions after the meeting was adjourned and someone may have asked about body cams at that time.

        A few years a go on a warm August Saturday night under a full moon, I did a ride-along with a very candid and informative RPD officer who stated that his previous police dept. had body cams and that he actually preferred having one for his own protection. I know I would.

  13. Avatar jmd says:

    This tax is only to meet the shortfalls in retirement funds for the County!
    Any conservative formerly in County or City government can attest to that.

    • Avatar Richard Christoph says:

      jmd,

      Every dollar will be accounted for with an annual audit to ensure that the funds are spent precisely as the law requires. If you have credible evidence from a reliable source that proves otherwise, please share it.

      • Avatar Candace says:

        Thank you Richard. I’d already checked out the FAQS on the website. I’d have liked to have gone to the Town Hall last night but was unable to attend. I can’t seem to get the images from the mailed “vigilante-like appeal to outrage” flier out of my head. Like a few others have mentioned here it turned my initial very probable yes vote into a probable no vote. I will say that when I saw an endorsements by both One Safe Place and Hill Country it’s given me pause before I cast my final vote.

  14. Avatar Catherine Camp says:

    I believe in taxes to support services that result in safer, healthier communities. Measure A absolutely does not convince me that it takes even small steps in that direction. If more jail beds resulted in less crime, we would be the most crime-free society in the developed world. If locking up the homeless reduced the incidence of homelessness, we would see better results. I appreciate the questions in this article and the thoughtful responses. I am a definite no on this measure.

    • Avatar Richard Christoph says:

      Catherine,

      I can appreciate your skepticism and as previously mentioned, would have preferred Measure D which was soundly rejected in 2016.

      But considering that Measure A will hold the 1% committing over 50% of the crime accountable, provide the choice of treatment options or incarceration for those repeat perpetrators with addiction issues, bolster the very inadequate staffing for the Redding Fire Department, bring an end to the jail’s revolving door, and provide more probation officers to supervise those at risk to re-offend, I believe those are very significant steps toward a safer and healthier community.

  15. Avatar Richard Roy Christoph says:

    Annelise, Candace, jmd, & Catherine,

    Before I respond to your questions/comments, here is the link that may address many of your concerns:

    https://safeshasta.com/faq/

  16. Avatar Richard Roy Christoph says:

    Annelise, Candace, jmd, & Catherine,

    Before I respond to your questions/comments, here is the link that may address many of your concerns:

    https://safeshasta.com/faq/

  17. Avatar Richard Christoph says:

    Annelise,

    Thank you for your article and your thoughtful and appropriate questions. Although after having attended two presentations and studied the available information, I support and have voted for Measure A, I very much regret that Measure D did not pass in 2016. Our community would have been 3 1/2 years ahead of where we are now, with a broader spectrum of staffing and services. That was a mere half-cent and required only 50% +1 but was soundly defeated due to voter concerns over trusting our elected leaders.

    So, Measure A is what is before us now, and likely our last chance for at least a decade to effect positive change for minimal cost. Details/FAQs here: https://safeshasta.com/faq/

    Supervisor Chimenti has opened each presentation with “No one wants to pay more in taxes” and “More jail space will not solve all our problems.” He and others do make a strong case for holding repeat offenders accountable, stopping the revolving door of perpetrators being booked and released, and encouraging those with addiction and/or mental health issues to choose treatment rather than incarceration.

    A great amount of data show draconian staffing cuts since 2008 to the RPD,RFD, SCSO, DA, and Probation Dept., and the workload of each has increased markedly with AB109, Prop 47, and Prop 57.
    The jail capacity is woefully inadequate for our city and county population and incidentally, 1% of our population is responsible for over 50% of crime committed. Much more data, but time and space are short.

    • Avatar Annelise Pierce says:

      Richard: Would love to see the data you refer to added to the Safe Shasta Site or otherwise collated in a space which is readily available to the public.

  18. Avatar Michael Kuker says:

    Wage theft is a larger problem than robbery (https://www.epi.org/publication/wage-theft-bigger-problem-forms-theft-workers/)… Will Measure A address this problem?

  19. Avatar Jist Cuz says:

    Insistance on following the corrupt policies of an impeached President 50 plus years later isn’t working out so great Nixon +!+

  20. Avatar Russell K. Hunt says:

    Despite being banned from the comments here, read the ballot arguments. The county was offered a 1,200 bed prison by the state. . It was turned down . And the county has a 55 bed facility given by the state in Burney, that Boeko shut down.

  21. Avatar Alice Bell says:

    Likely rejected (state money for jail) or shut down (facility in Burney) because of a lack of local revenues to pay for OPERATIONAL costs (this is a local obligation) which are substantial. The Sheriff gets his money from a share of mostly County general revenues to provide his services which include patrol officers and deputies and correctional officers at the jail along with other programs under his jurisdiction. Because the amount he receives is not adequate even today to pay for full county patrol services and full current operational expenses at the jail, money from other sources (such as AB109 funding) have been requested (and approved) to fill in the vacuum. Some of that money will be diminishing within the next two years and that could even possibly result in floors of the jail being closed due to lack of local funding to provide operational costs. It’s certainly happened in the past. Shasta County’s revenues for local services are mostly based on property taxes and some sales taxes (there’s not a lot of taxable retail sales in Shasta County). Since our properties tend to have somewhat lower values than most other counties in California, along with less revenue from current sales taxes, there simply isn’t enough revenue generated to provide for what the local revenues must cover. A vast majority of those revenues already are dedicated to “public safety” and the small amount left over must cover other county services such as elections (that includes the 4 special (and unexpected) elections last year), the county assessor-recorder, the county auditor-controller, and treasurer/tax collector along with other required services.

    I’m ambivalent about Measure A as I don’t see how they plan for any evidence-based evaluations of projects/services/jail beds funded with Measure A, which would enable decision-makers to determine (using solid data, not just numbers of offenders served, but showing results of their treatment) whether the programs being funded are actually helping the offenders to change their behavior. which should be the goal of Measure A.

  22. Avatar Candace says:

    Alice, your last paragraph is what concerns me as well. This Measure feels more like funding to increase support of “round ‘em up, lock ‘em up, detox ‘em, dump ‘em out (here or somewhere else), repeat. And on and on and on…”
    500 jail beds, 1000 jail beds, a prison? Here in Redding? No thanks.

  23. Avatar Jist Cuz says:

    Bingo ladies! Its a failed ponzi scheme that funds job security for the industry while it is the primary perpetuating mechanism of the issues it promises to address…Welcome to the Way Out West locally refered to as Shasta County Peace Officers Association, the steering committee for Measure A +!+

  24. Avatar Russell K. Hunt says:

    Measure “A” is unconstitutional. It states that only the Board of Supervisors can rescind the tax by a 4/5 vote. But the California Constitution grants the people the right to approve a special tax and the right to rescind it Article XIII C Section 3 not the Board.

  25. Avatar David venable says:

    If it were free would you vote for it ? If quality of life hinges on the change in ones laundry basket. You don’t deserve it…

  26. Avatar David venable says:

    The community has overthought a basic remedy to getting something for nothing,,,a country bunpkinville mentality the sky is falling,. Get out you’re guns, theirs only so much room at shooting range, till you start shooting each other in the ass.

  27. Avatar David venable says:

    Get out you’re guns, theirs only so much room at the range, before an over think, and shoot each other in the ass. The sky is falling in Country bunpkinville .

  28. Avatar David venable says:

    Their is no recourse for ab109, … you’ve made monumental mistake country bumpkins.

  29. Avatar David venable says:

    Rarely seen so much discourse in buyers remorse…even torn, the repub can’t even error on the side of humanity. Comparisons with the rest of Calif, as Redding a class by itself, opportunity lost to take the lead and attention of federal govt grants. Shortsightedness is astounding country bumkin.

  30. Avatar Karin W. says:

    Why should those in Platina, Fall River Mills, Hat Creek, Lakehead, Burney, Shingletown, McArthur, or Round Mountain tax themselves to help Redding pay for a bigger jail? Measure A won majorities within most Redding & the North Cow Creek districts, but was soundly defeated in rural Shasta County.

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