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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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Local

City of Oakley
Measure G Advisory Question - Majority Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results

Passed

9,181 votes yes (73.71%)

3,274 votes no (26.29%)

100% of precincts reporting (18/18).

14,516 ballots counted.

If Measure E passes, should the revenues raised be used to restore and enhance fire and emergency medical response services in the City of Oakley? If Measure E passes, should the revenues raised be used to restore and enhance fire and emergency medical response services in the City of Oakley?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Contra Costa Registrar of Voters

Measure G is an advisory measure that would ask Oakley voters how utility user tax revenue should be spent if Measure E, also on this ballot, is approved. Like Measure E, Measure G was placed on the ballot by the unanimous vote of the Oakley City Council. Measure G asks Oakley voters whether they prefer that revenue from the new utility users tax (if approved) be spent to enhance fire and emergency medical response.

 

     Presently, fire service within the City limits of Oakley is provided by the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District (ECCFPD), which also provides service to the City of Brentwood and unincorporated portions of eastern Contra Costa County. The area ECCFPD serves is broad, covering 249 square miles. About 110,000 people live within this service area.

     As a result of staffing and funding shortages—made worse during the recent recession—ECCFPD was forced to close all but three fire stations, creating concerns about its ability to effectively provide fire response. To address this public-safety concern, a group of agencies, including the Cities of Oakley and Brentwood and Contra Costa County, formed a task force to explore how ECCFPD could enhance fire-response service. After studying the issue, task-force members entered into a memorandum of understanding in which they agreed to take a variety of measures, including re-opening one fire station in July of this year and preparing a master plan to govern fire service over the next 25-30 years.

     Consistent with this agreement, a master plan was prepared, and identified the long-term need for nine new fire stations—three within Oakley—to provide a basic level of fire service. To fund ECCFPD’s current and long-term needs, the task force recommended that its members enact utility user taxes and use the revenues from such taxes to fund fire service. The City of Oakley is proposing such a tax through Measure E on this ballot. The City of Brentwood is also proposing such a tax in this election.

     Voters who vote “Yes” on Measure G will advise the Oakley City Council that, if Measure E is enacted, they desire that the revenues from the new utility user tax be spent to enhance fire and emergency medical response services.

     Voters who vote “No” on Measure G will advise the City Council that, if Measure E is approved, they prefer that utility user tax revenue be spent for public services other than fire or emergency medical response.

     Regardless of how voters vote, voters are advised that under the California Elections Code, advisory measures such as this one are not binding, and thus shall not control how the Oakley City Council will expend any future tax revenues that are authorized.

Derek P. Cole
City Attorney

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

Vote YES on Advisory Measure “G” to ensure that all new revenues from Measure “E” will go toward restoring critical fire and emergency medical services to Oakley.

 

The life and safety of our community is at stake and fire and emergency medical services are the priority for these new revenues. Voice your opinion in support of the much-needed funding for your Fire District by voting YES on Measure “G.”

Meghan L. Bell, Oakley resident, mother, special-needs advocate, and community volunteer.

— Contra Costa Registrar of Voters

Arguments AGAINST

The Contra Costa Taxpayers Association strongly recommends a NO vote on this advisory measure because:

 

  • The measure does not bind or legally require the city of Oakley to fund the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District (ECCFPD).
  • The UUT will have an average household tax between $200 and $400 and business tax up to or exceeding $1,000 annually.
  • The revenues from this tax must, by law, go to the City of Oakley’s general fundfor use on any of the city’s perceived needs.
  • The fire district will, therefore, have to depend on the judgement, financial condition, and needs of the City of Oakley to annually transfer funds to the Fire district.
  • A city utility tax will muddy the fiscal governance of the District, which has its own Board.
  • ECCFPD is perpetually underfunded due to outdated property tax allocation rates which were established in 1978, when the area was primarily rural. A more fair and equitable solution to the funding problem of the fire district has been proposed by a local community group (www.facebook.com/EastCountyVoters/). This reallocation should be completed before asking residents and businesses to pay any additional tax. If, once reallocation is implemented, ECCFPD funding is still inadequate, CoCoTax will support any rational and affordable proposition that restores effective emergency response.

The Contra Costa Taxpayers Association urges a no vote on this advisory measure, Measure G.

Contra Costa County Taxpayers Association, Harold E. Bray, East County Chairperson
Contra Costa County Taxpayers Association, Jack Weir, President

— Contra Costa Registrar of Voters

Replies to Arguments FOR

This measure accompanies the Oakley utility user tax (UUT) proposal. Not only is that UUT a bad approach, but this advisory cannot bind the city council to direct funds to the East County fire district, as promised. Under state law, revenues from any UUT must go to the city’s general fund. The city council could, at any time, change its funding direction, depending on current needs and priorities.

 

The fire district needs a more reliable and predictable funding source. The East County Voters for Equal Protection (https://www.facebook.com/EastCountyVoters/) group has developed a much better solution, which will significantly increase fire district funding without forcing other area agencies to cut budgets or reduce services.

The Contra Costa Taxpayers Association urges a NO vote on this advisory measure.

Contra Costa County Taxpayers Association, Jack Weir, President

— Contra Costa Registrar of Voters

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

  • Advisory Measure G and a citizen review committee would guide the use of these funds. Measure G specifically calls for the funds to be used for fire protection and emergency medical services.
  • The East Contra Costa Fire Protection District needs these revenues to expand in order to provide the emergency services the community is lacking.
  • A property tax reallocation is simply unrealistic. The concept of taking property tax revenues from schools, the city and other public entities is irresponsible and illegal. Though highly unlikely that any property tax reallocation will occur, if it does the utility user tax measure will sunset.

Please vote YES on Measure “G” to ensure funds go to fire protection and emergency medical services.

Meghan L. Bell, Oakley resident, mother, special-needs advocate, and community volunteer.

— Contra Costa Registrar of Voters

Who supports or opposes this measure?

Yes on Measure G

Organizations (1)

Elected & Appointed Officials (0)
No on Measure G
Organizations (0)
Elected & Appointed Officials (0)

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