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Tuesday November 7, 2017 — Local Elections
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City of Desert Hot Springs
Measure C - 2/3 Approval Required

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Election Results


1,692 votes yes (75.98%)

535 votes no (24.02%)

100% of precincts reporting (5/5).

2,227 ballots counted.

Shall the Ordinance to increase police training, recruitment/retention and crime investigation/prevention; maintain rapid police, fire and 9-1-1 emergency response times; and to hire additional police officers to patrol streets, extending its existing, voter-approved utility users' tax, producing approximately $2,831,543 annually, until ended by voters, with independent citizens' oversight, annual audits, and requiring all funds for local public safety services be adopted?

What is this proposal?

Details — Official information

Impartial analysis / Proposal

The City Council of the City of Desert Hot Springs has placed Measure C on the November 7, 2017, ballot to ask voters to consider extending the existing Utility Users Tax ("UUT") at the current tax rate, specifically for public safety services. Measure C would only become effective if approved by two-thirds of the voters casting a vote on the Measure.

A "Yes" vote is to extend the existing UUT, with no increase or decrease in rates. A "No" vote is to allow the UUT to expire on June 30, 2020.

In May 2009, Desert Hot Springs voters approved a modernization and expansion of the City's UUT, which is codified in Chapter 3.28 (Utility Users Tax) of the Desert Hot Springs Municipal Code. The tax was set at 7% of the cost of telecommunications, water, sewer, electric, gas, and cable utilities services. Utility service providers collect the tax as part of the monthly service bill and remit the proceeds to the City. As a special tax, the revenue from the UUT will be for public safety services.

If passed, Measure C would extend the existing, voter-approved UUT, without an increase or decrease in the tax rate, until repealed by voters, producing approximately $2,831,534 annually. All proceeds generated by Measure C would specifically fund public safety, including increasing police training, police recruitment and retention, crime investigation, crime prevention, maintenance of rapid police, fire and 911 emergency response times. If passed, all funds generated by Measure C would be subject to independent audits and public oversight.

If Measure C does not pass, the loss annually in public safety funding for police officers and emergency dispatch operators would likely have a significant impact on the levels of services for investigating and preventing crime, anti-gang/anti-drug enforcement operations including drug house investigations, rapid emergency response times, graffiti removal, animal control, code enforcement, and other support services.

By placing Measure C on the ballot, the City of Desert Hot Springs complies with Article XIIIC of the California Constitution, which requires the voters to approve an amended ordinance extending a special tax. The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure C. If you desire a copy of the measure, call the City Clerk's office at 760-329­6411 and a copy will be mailed to you at no cost.

Dated: August 21, 2017

Jennifer Mizrahi
City Attorney

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against

Arguments FOR

Protect Public Safety — without raising taxes — Vote YES on C!

YES on C extends existing, voter-approved funding critical to the safety and survival of our city — without raising taxes.

YES on C will maintain and prevent cuts to:

·         Police/Fire emergency response times

·         Police training, recruitment/retention

·         Neighborhood police patrols

Without Measure C Desert Hot Springs faces increased emergency response times, cuts to neighborhood patrols, and one of our of fire houses could even close — Desert Hot Springs' main fire station is the third-busiest in the county! Closing a fire station would risk lives and property.

YES on C helps train, recruit/retain skilled police officers. Our officers are some of the lowest paid in ALL of California! They have taken a 22% pay cut and still protect our community. The violent crime rate has DECREASED. Vote YES on C to keep these dedicated officers protecting us.

Without Measure C, we will not be able to recruit/retain experienced police officers. Desert Hot Springs is already short officers, with one-third too few police officers for a city of our size according to national standards.

YES on C protects us from state policies that continue to put more criminals back on our streets. The state has shifted more and more public safety responsibilities to cities, with no funding to help. Measure C ensures that we can continue to monitor criminals in our neighborhoods.

We need Measure C! Measure C does not increase taxes. It simply extends voter-approved funding to protect public safety. Measure C continues to require strict accountability, including oversight and independent financial audits.

By law, all Measure C funds must stay local, for public safety ONLY.

Join a unanimous City Council, Police Officers, Firefighters, Community Leaders, and Neighbors—Vote YES  on C—protect our safety!

For more factual information visit:

Larry Gaines, Desert Hot Springs Police Officer's Association, President
Barbara Eastman, Neighborhood Watch Advocate
Magdelena "Nina" Duarte, Desert Hot Springs Public Safety Commissioner
John Crater, Desert Hot Springs Fire Battalion Chief, International Association of Fire Fighters
Kephyan Sheppard, 25 year Resident/Tax Payer


— Desert Hot Springs City Clerk

Arguments AGAINST


Reject the Liars! This is a special tax, which means we agreed it would end now. DHS residents are in dire straits... will this 100% tax increase help? Many DHS residents have barely enough to live, disabled veterans among them. This tax increase breaks the agreement and takes the food and medicine away from people in immediate need. They know better how to spend your money.

DHS Taxpayers — Residents & Businesses Didn't Cause the Problem. Punishing Them Won't Fix It!

Our problem is not that the taxes are not high enough!

Just transfers a public debt into many private debts. A government Bail-In!

Private individuals are less able to get help or make adjustments. They're just stuck. Destroys the "safe harbor" people have struggled to find from the economic storms. People are already in peril. Where did your money go? "The Vortex Plan", millions on "facades"- Truth is stranger than fiction! The whole plan was an attempted facade of success. But it didn't work at all. Who knew a city that just went bankrupt, immediately borrowing $35,835,000, plus over $32 Million interest would cause problems... me!

Another $50 Million "is set aside" for a golf cart path to Indio. (!!!???) Our City Council is nonstop drama, breathtaking cliffhangers, heart pounding terror. Our opportunities disappear as they squabble about nonsense.

Lacking Vision - Loosing Opportunities - Drifting aimless from crisis to crisis.

Reject the Politics of Fear - Don't Follow Chicken Little Scare Tactics The sky is not falling. The sun will come up

tomorrow. They cried wolf before. "Panic... it's the end!" But the world goes on. Scammers often use fear. Don't fall for it.

Thank You,

Robert M. Bentley

Former Police Commissioner

— Desert Hot Springs City Clerk

Replies to Arguments FOR

The fact is crime is down in DHS.

I can only give you the facts. You've been lied to again and again.

We're overflowing with medical marijuana tax money. Before the City Council election there was no talk of problems. Everyone claims they didnt know of any deficit. Is this innocent dishonesty or just gross negligence? Neither, it is a trick. When I hear the first few notes of a song I know its playing again...

We just did this. The song is the same. More taxes are urgently required.

The deficit is not in Public Safety. (Currently 68% of our budget.) Unsustainable imbalance; it's a deficit in everything else. But by threatening Public Safety the City Council can get you to raise your own taxes with no reforms whatsoever.

City Council and previous City Manager have thrown the problem they created in your laps offering only one solution... more taxes with no accountability. And they will use it, as they just did, in their election campaigns, claiming they saved the DHS Police... Shocking! Make no mistake threatening our Public Safety is not saving it. If you vote to raise our taxes, please understand you are letting them off the hook completely. No explanation why they did this.

Remember, I was the only one who told you the truth.

Thank You,

Robert M. Bentley

Former Police Commissioner

— Desert Hot Springs City Clerk

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

Don't fall for fake information and false accusations!

Vote YES on C for no new taxes and to keep our neighborhoods safe. Here are the facts:

FACT: Measure C is NOT a new tax. Measure C is NOT an increase. Measure C simply extends previously voter-approved local funding that can ONLY be spent on public safety in Desert Hot Springs, and will not cost a penny more.

FACT: If we lose locally-controlled Measure C funding, our crime rate will increase. We will no longer have voter-approved funding to keep our streets safe. We will lose more police officers and the financial stability of our city will be in peril.

FACT: Violent crime has DECREASED 18% in the past year. Our community is safer thanks to locally-controlled, voter-approved funding that we cannot afford to lose in these uncertain times.

FACT: As public safety increases, the local economy gets stronger! No one will want to do business here if it's simply unsafe.

FACT: Measure C has only been spent on public safety — there is no wasted funds.

YES on C keeps our fire stations open and prevents cuts to fire/police response times, neighborhood police patrols, and helps train and retain officers to keep up safe.

YES on C maintains local funding for local public safety needs. Not a dime can be spent for any other purpose.

Remember, Measure C needs 2/3rds. Vote YES on C for NO NEW TAXES and to keep our neighborhoods safe! 

More information:
Jeff Horton, Resident, Veteran
Lee Eastman, Public Safety Comm.
Michael D. Platt, Taxpayer & 25 year Plus Resident
Greta Carter, Local Business Owner
Jan M. Pye, Revenue Advisal Committee

— Desert Hot Springs City Clerk
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