Concord City Council votes to extend Measure Q sales tax

Last night, the Concord City Council approved placing the City of Concord Essential Services Measure, also known as the Measure Q Continuation Measure, on the Nov. 4, 2014 ballot to protect and maintain local city services.

Concord City Council

Measure Q was adopted by Concord voters in 2010 to protect and maintain vital services. Funding from Measure Q has helped the City stay solvent, maintain services and begin rebuilding its urgent reserve funds during one of the worst economic times of our day. Measure Q is scheduled to expire soon.

If enacted, the Measure Q Continuation Measure could generate funds to maintain city services that residents have identified as important, including 9-1-1 emergency response, neighborhood police patrols, gang prevention programs, street and pothole repair efforts, and youth and senior programs.

valerie_barone_concord_unfunded_liabilities“Sacramento has taken more than $78 million from the City of Concord over the past 20 years. The slow economic recovery has forced the City to cut its workforce by 25 percent, defer road maintenance, reduce programs and outsource services,” said City Manager Valerie Barone. “Our City needs locally-controlled funds for local projects and services, with money that can’t be taken by the State.”

As with Measure Q, a Continuation Measure will require independent citizen oversight, mandatory financial audits, and yearly reports to the community to ensure the funds are spent as promised. Additionally, there would be no increase in the sales tax rate residents currently pay.

For more information, visit www.ci.concord.ca.us/fiscalhealth.

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Comments

  1. says

    Full Disclosure

    – I opposed Measure Q in 2010, in fact authored with others the ballot statement opposing the sales tax measure

    – I have served since its inception, at the will of Concord City Council, on the Measure Q Citizen Oversight Committee (COC) required by the legislation. I believe the COC served a valuable and needed service, in collaboration with city staff and council to help maintain focus Measure Q on spending for core services and rebuilding a depleted budget reserve.

    – My statement below is my own and should not be considered to represent the opinions of the Measure Q Citizen Oversight Committee nor the City of Concord and City Council whom, assuredly, all have their own views.

    That said, I believe that the continuation of Measure Q is simply a response to a new reality in California and our nation and not worth arguing about.

    At the local and state levels the primacy of public employee pensions, especially for public safety employees, has become an intractable institutional entitlement that—withstanding some extreme display of voter intelligence and determination and stalwart and cogent judicial review—now drives the budget (deficits) of every city in California.

    At the same time, hiding behind environmental platitudes as a means for government regulation, in addition to its own addiction for spending other peoples’ money and penchant for meddling in other peoples’ lives, the State of California has relieved over $25M annually from the budgets of cities like Concord in order to fund its ill-advised regional planning and carbon mitigation schemes that will reduce so-called global warming by less than 0.0018 centigrade.

    To say nothing of 6 years of economic non-recovery and increased burdens on communities by out of control illegal immigration, unemployment, rising crime and health risks, not to mention $17T (and growing) national debt and budget deficits in the tens of billions of dollars.

    With these and other critical issues including the U.S. dollar increasingly hovering on the verge of losing its status as the world reserve currency, any debate about opposing the extension of Measure Q is pointless. It is what it is.

    So I don’t care one way or the other. I do care that the City of Concord continue to employ collaboration with its Citizen Oversight Committee for Measure Q revenue spending in the context of maintaining some rational 10 year budgeting process that serves the City of Concord and its residents as best it can with the dwindling resources available to it.

    It’s not going to get better until after it gets a lot worse. So buckle up.