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November 3, 2020 — California General Election
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County

Sonoma County
Measure P Ordinance - 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

166,483 votes yes (64.74%)

90,689 votes no (35.26%)

100% of precincts reporting (668/668).

272,244 ballots counted.

In order to increase law enforcement transparency and accountability and to build the public trust in County government and the Sheriff's Office, shall Article XXVII of Title 2 of the Sonoma County Code be repealed and replaced by this measure to expand the oversight authority and independence of the Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach (IOLERO) to investigate Sheriff-related issues, revise and expand the duties and powers of the Community Advisory Council, compel production of records and witnesses, and review IOLERO's performance of its duties?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

YES vote means

A “yes” vote on Measure P will replace the existing code provisions governing IOLERO.

NO vote means

A “no” vote on Measure P will keep the existing code provisions governing IOLERO.

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Source: Office of the Sonoma County Counsel

County Counsel’s Impartial Analysis of Measure P

Measure P asks voters whether to repeal and replace Sonoma County Code, Title 2, Article XXVII to strengthen the Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach (IOLERO). Measure P would enhance the oversight authority and independence of IOLERO to review and analyze complaints against the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office (Sheriff-Coroner), expand the role and independence of the Community Advisory Council (CAC), compel production of records and witnesses, and require a triennial review of IOLERO’s performance of its duties. The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors (Board) unanimously placed Measure P on the ballot. The full text of Measure P is published in this County Voter Information Guide.

In 2015, the Board enacted Article XXVII establishing IOLERO to: provide independent review and audit of law enforcement administrative investigations, including allegations of misconduct by Sheriff-Coroner personnel; provide an alternative avenue for members of the public to file complaints against law enforcement agencies’ personnel, including the Sheriff-Coroner; increase transparency; conduct public outreach and community engagement; and propose policy recommendations to the Sheriff-Coroner.

Measure P prescribes new qualifications and protections for the IOLERO Director. If adopted, Measure P would require the Director be qualified as a Certified Practitioner of Oversight by the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE) and prohibit removal of the Director during her appointed term except for cause.

Measure P would add more specificity to the complaints that IOLERO reviews to include review of all complaints: filed with IOLERO regardless of the allegations; involving issues of excessive force; alleging violation of individual constitutional rights; alleging bias in policing or corrections; alleging sexual harassment or sexual assault by law enforcement personnel; involving issues of dishonesty; where a civil lawsuit is filed; and that become a matter of media interest. Additionally, Measure P would authorize IOLERO to receive whistleblower complaints and audit racial profiling data. Further, it would vest IOLERO with, among other things, the authority to: directly access and independently review any and all sources of investigative evidence; directly contact complainants and witnesses; contact custodians of evidence; and independently subpoena records or testimony.

Measure P would also set the annual budget for IOLERO at 1% of the total annual budget for the Sheriff-Coroner.

Measure P would transfer primary appointing authority for a CAC from the IOLERO Director to the Board and would expand the requirements for membership on the CAC. The proposed regulations require that the CAC continue to include 11 members. Members of the CAC would serve two-year terms and be required to adhere to the NACOLE Code of Ethics. The ordinance also mandates that the 11 members represent the diversity and demographics of Sonoma County and community stakeholders, including, but not limited to, racial, ethnic, cultural, gender, socio-economic, and geographic diversity. Mandatory qualifications would, among other requirements, require that CAC members have not been employed by a law enforcement agency for three years prior to appointment. The CAC would continue to participate in the review and establishment of Sheriff-Coroner policies, procedures, practices, trainings, and initiatives.

The amendments proposed by Measure P will become effective only if approved by a majority of those voting on the measure.

A “yes” vote on Measure P will replace the existing code provisions governing IOLERO.

A “no” vote on Measure P will keep the existing code provisions governing IOLERO.

BRUCE D. GOLDSTEIN
County Counsel

By: s/ Robert Pittman
Assistant County Counsel

Financial effect

Source: Office of the Sonoma County Auditor - Controller - Treasurer - Tax Collector

County Auditor’s Fiscal Impact Statement — Measure P

This measure would set the annual budget of the Sonoma County Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach (“IOLERO”) at a minimum of 1% of the total annual budget of the Sonoma County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office (“Sheriff”) to effectively perform all functions proposed in the ordinance.

According to the 2019-20 adopted budget, the County’s most recent adopted budget, the annual budgets for the Sheriff and IOLERO were $184,091,167 and $589,793, respectively, and IOLERO was 100% supported by a County General Fund contribution. Using the 2019-20 adopted budget as the basis of estimating, passage of this measure would set the IOLERO annual budget at a minimum of $1,840,912 or a minimum increase of $1,251,119.

This measure would repeal and replace Article XXVII of Title 2 of the Sonoma County Code to expand the oversight authority and independence of IOLERO to investigate Sheriff-related issues, revise and expand the duties and powers of the Community Advisory Council, and compel production of records and witnesses. Additionally, IOLERO would be subject to a periodic performance audit at least every three years.

In accordance with the Elections Code, the scope of this fiscal impact statement has been limited to the measure’s effect on revenues and expenditures. It does not address larger countywide fiscal issues such as the measure’s effect on the overall County economy.

s/ Erick Roeser
Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

Arguments and rebuttals are the opinions of the authors. They are printed exactly as submitted, including errors.

Argument in Favor of Measure P

Both our communities and deputies deserve the most effective and responsive Sheriff’s Office possible. Modern law enforcement best practices emphasize collaboration with communities and with independent, effective civilian oversight. Independent, effective civilian oversight supports the democratic principles of accountability and transparency, and thereby increases trust between law enforcement and all communities.

Measure P will bring IOLERO into alignment with the Principles of Effective Oversight established by the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE). These principles emphasize independence from political interference; adequate funding; unfettered access to records and staff of the law enforcement agency; clear and ample authority of IOLERO; policy analysis; community engagement; mutual cooperation and collaboration, and public reporting and transparency.

Our Sheriff campaigned for office promising the public collaboration with civilian oversight, transparency and accountability. Yet, IOLERO doesn’t have the tools it needs to be a strong partner in that collaboration. Measure P will guarantee IOLERO the resources and authority necessary to eliminate a persistent backlog in audits of deputy misconduct investigations; provide community input to the Sheriff on best policies and practices; and help bridge gaps between the Sheriff’s Office and multicultural county communities.

Measure P is supported by the Sonoma County Democratic Party, NAACP, Sonoma County Black Coalition, Sonoma County Latino Democratic Club, National Organization for Women, North Bay Labor Council, Community Action Partnership of Sonoma County, NACOLE, Redwood Psychological Association, North Bay Organizing Project, Green Party and ACLU, and many other organizations and leaders of our diverse communities across the county.

Measure P will ensure that IOLERO meets NACOLE’s principles for effective oversight, providing independent, transparent, effective civilian oversight, which can better assist the Sheriff’s Office in improving its operations. We all want the Sheriff’s Office to be the best that it can be. This measure helps us reach this worthy goal.

s/ James Gore
4th District County Supervisor

NAACP SANTA ROSA/SONOMA
s/ Rubin Scott, President

s/ Alicia Sanchez
Community Leader 

s/ Jerry Threet
Former Director, IOLERO

s/ Herman G. Hernandez
Board Member, County Board of Education

 

— Source: Sonoma County Registrar of Voters

Arguments AGAINST

Arguments and rebuttals are the opinions of the authors. They are printed exactly as submitted, including errors.

Argument Against Measure P

Vote No on Measure P

Measure P cuts safety and emergency services. It shifts money from public safety programs and the general fund to an organization that is not accountable to voters.

The Sonoma County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association and Sonoma County Law Enforcement Association both oppose Measure P because it: Increases response times to emergency calls, fires and disasters; Cuts training and community policing programs; Allows for secret investigations robbing victims and police of their rights and privacy; Wastes limited resources and taxpayers’ money.

Law enforcement fully supports efforts to increase the public’s confidence in public safety. Measure P isn’t the way to do it. Instead of increasing oversight, Measure P generates more bureaucracy for citizens and law enforcement.

Vote No on Measure P because it: Violates state law; Reduces protection of citizens from robberies, burglaries, assaults, sex crimes, and disasters; Diverts the Sheriff and police oversight commission (IOLERO) from its core functions; Permanently divests a portion of the County budget from the Board of Supervisors’ authority in violation of the California Constitution.

Measure P was placed on the ballot without input from law enforcement. Twice it failed to get enough signatures to be placed on the ballot. Instead of rejecting it, our Board of Supervisors failed Sonoma County citizens by rushing to place it on the ballot without proper vetting. Even Measure P’s supporters have publicly questioned its legality!

We urge you to vote No on Measure P. Let’s work together to improve law enforcement oversight with citizen outreach where all parties participate to create a real plan that doesn’t endanger residents, law enforcement personnel and waste money. This work is important and must be done right!

SONOMA COUNTY LAW ENFORCEMENT ASSN.
s/ Damien Evans, President

SONOMA COUNTY DEPUTY SHERIFF’S ASSOCIATION
s/ Michael Vail, President

 

— Source: Sonoma County Registrar of Voters

Replies to Arguments FOR

Arguments and rebuttals are the opinions of the authors. They are printed exactly as submitted, including errors.

Rebuttal to Argument in Favor of Measure P

We support independent oversight of the Sheriff’s Office that is broad-based, community-wide and legally compliant. Measure P doesn’t meet those objectives. Measure P won’t accomplish what it claims.

We urge you to vote No on Measure P.

Measure P doesn’t improve civilian oversight; it just creates unnecessary red tape. It takes deputies off the streets, away from helping residents and from helping us in disasters. It forces fewer deputies to do more with less training and lower funding.

Measure P has twice failed to gather community support to be placed on the ballot. Even the County’s Chief Legal Advisor publicly acknowledged that it’s legally questionable as written. Measure P is only on the ballot because the Board of Supervisors failed to take the time to do it right – to build something that has the input, support and cooperation of communities throughout Sonoma County.

Facing fires, natural disaster and increased crime, we need help from law enforcement. Now is not the time to rush something to the ballot that makes it harder for them when we need them most, with a poor proposal that will be immediately challenged in court.

Let’s take the time to do it right. Let’s put in the effort to create a civilian oversight program that builds real cooperation between law enforcement and the entire community. Let’s create oversight that is efficient, legal and focused on training. Not a flawed plan that takes deputies off the street and wastes your tax dollars. Vote No on Measure P.

s/ Mark Essick
Sonoma County Sheriff

SONOMA COUNTY FARM BUREAU
s/ Jeff Carlton, President

s/ Ron Collier
Retired Windsor Fire Chief

s/ Marina Luna
Concerned Sonoma County Resident

s/ Ken Lafranchi
Architect/Grape Grower

— Source: Sonoma County Registrar of Voters

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

Arguments and rebuttals are the opinions of the authors. They are printed exactly as submitted, including errors.

Rebuttal to Argument Against Measure P

Measure P does not cut programs. Period. It simply guarantees minimum funding for IOLERO to be effective. County Supervisors will decide where that money comes from. Measure P will not hurt public safety programs. It makes them better by recommending critical improvements. More importantly, it improves public safety by reducing unnecessary deadly force and related lawsuit payouts of millions in taxpayer money.

The provisions of Measure P align with existing law. They are based on Principles of Effective Oversight developed from over two decades of experience with civilian oversight of law enforcement across the country. It is based on over four years of IOLERO experience working closely with law enforcement and the recommendations of two IOLERO Directors. It includes input from years of engagement with many minority and disadvantaged community members. COVID halted signature gathering for this measure.

Law enforcement unions had years to suggest improvements to police oversight but did absolutely nothing. Now, they come out swinging against efforts to strengthen civilian oversight when they should be helping to find solutions. Measure P dramatically increases transparency and accountability of the Sheriff’s Office; something police unions should embrace, not fear. Unfortunately, their alarmist opposition arguments are designed to scare voters and our residents.

Our Supervisors listened to our community and overwhelming public demand at their public meetings to put this important measure on the ballot.

Independent, effective civilian oversight has been a long time coming to our county. It’s time to improve law enforcement by voting yes on Measure P.

s/ Susan E. Jones
Police Chief, Retired 

s/ Ernesto Oliveras
Lieutenant SRPD, retired

s/ Teresa E Barrett
Mayor, City of Petaluma 

s/ Osvaldo Jimenez
Small business owner

s/ Joanne M Brown
Superior Court Commissioner, retired

— Source: Sonoma County Registrar of Voters

More information

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