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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
Ballot and voting information for Alameda County.
This is an archive of a past election.

MAINTAINING LOCAL PUBLIC SAFETY SERVICES

Local
November 8, 2016California General Election

City of Union City
Measure QQ - 2/3 Approval Required

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Election Results

Passed

18,741 votes yes (78.16%)

5,236 votes no (21.84%)

  • 100% of precincts reporting (39/39).

To maintain essential police/ fire services, including maintaining 911 emergency response times, paramedic services /neighborhood police patrols; keeping fire stations open /maintaining fire prevention services; enhancing public school safety; and maintaining youth violence prevention/gang intervention programs; shall Union City extend its existing voter approved public safety services measure, with an average rate of $123 per residential parcel, providing $4,100,000 annually for 4 years, without increasing taxes, requiring citizen's oversight, and no funds for Sacramento?

Summary

On July 26th, the Union City City Council unanimously placed Measure QQ on the November 2016 ballot. Measure QQ is a local measure that, if enacted, will extend existing, voter-approved local funding to maintain public safety services – without raising tax rates. 

— Union City web site

Impartial analysis / Proposal

CITY ATTORNEY’S IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS

The City Council of the City of Union City is submitting to the voters the question of whether to approve an ordinance that would temporarily extend an existing special tax for “public-safety services” within the City.  If approved, Measure __ would continue an existing tax approved by the voters in 2004 and extended and enhanced by the voters in 2009.   

 

The City operates a police department that serves the City and contracts with the Alameda County Fire District to provide fire response and emergency services for the City.  Both departments employ a significant number of full-time employees.  The City provides equipment and stations for both departments.  The City also operates other departments that provide youth violence prevention and intervention services that contribute to the maintenance of public safety in the community.  The proceeds from the Measure will be used to purchase, operate and maintain equipment for public-safety services, to pay salaries of police and fire personnel, and to provide funding for youth violence prevention and intervention services and other public-safety services expenses.   

 

The Measure will automatically expire after four (4) years unless extended by the voters.  Measure __  will be imposed on the occupants of residential and non-residential property within the City.  For fiscal year 2016-17, the most common rate for single-family parcels is for parcels between 5,000 - 9,999 square feet and is $143.02 annually and the most common rate for non-residential parcels is for parcels between 100,000 - 249,999 square feet and is $4,869.02 annually with varying rates for other property types and sizes.  The amount of the tax will be based on the use of the property and parcel size and will be adjusted annually in accordance with the Consumer Price Index.  Any annual adjustment is limited to two percent (2%).   

 

As with the previously approved public-safety services taxes, the Measure will not be imposed on unimproved parcels, a partial refund will be available for unoccupied improved non-residential parcels, and a low income exemption from the tax will apply for the duration of the tax.   

 

If approved, one hundred percent (100%) of the proceeds of this local tax would be placed into a special account and designated for public safety services within the City. 

 

A “Yes” vote is a vote to approve the extension of the voter-approved public-safety services excise tax for four (4) years.  A “No” vote is a vote to not extend the existing tax and the existing tax would no longer be collected.  If Measure __ does not receive at least two-thirds (2/3) approval of those voting, the measure will fail and the 2008-approved public-safety tax will expire in June, 2017, resulting in the loss of approximately $4.1 million annually to the police, fire and youth violence and prevention budgets. 

 

The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure ____.  If you desire a copy of the proposed ordinance, please call the City Clerk’s office at 510-675-5448 and a copy will be mailed at no cost to you. 

Benjamin T. Reyes II, City Attorney Kristopher J. Kokotaylo, Deputy City Attorney City of Union City 

 

YES vote means

A “Yes” vote is a vote to approve the extension of the voter-approved public-safety services excise tax for four (4) years. 

NO vote means

A “No” vote is a vote to not extend the existing tax and the existing tax would no longer be collected.

Arguments FOR

 

 

Arguments FOR

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE X 

 

Keep our youth and neighborhoods safe – without raising tax rates – Vote YES on X! 

YES on X extends existing Union City Public Safety Funding that you – our voters—first approved in 2004. Thanks to your ongoing support, YES on X will continue to address your public safety priorities for the next four years: 

  •  Maintain 911 dispatch/paramedic services  
  • Ensure rapid emergency/fire response times  
  • Maintain youth violence prevention/gang intervention programs  
  • Keep all Union City fire stations open full time
  • Maintain fire protection services 

 ncidents of youth violence have decreased by 30% over the past several years.  YES on X keeps the momentum up by maintaining youth prevention/safety programs. 

Union City prides itself on its strong fiscal stewardship and quality of life.  Many people don’t know that Sacramento continues to take $5,000,000 from Union City annually.  These state money grabs reduce the funding we have available for our local public safety services.  That’s why we need Measure X to continue to maintain and prevent cuts to the safety services you expect and deserve. 

 Again, Measure X does not increase tax rates –it extends funding Union City voters have already approved for another four years. Measure X continues to require strict fiscal accountability and requires independent financial audits.  Union City prides itself on its regular budget reports to the community to ensure that all public/taxpayer funds are spent as promised. Low-income property owners are still exempt from Measure X.    

 Active involvement in public safety is the duty of everyone in Union City.  YES on X is the right decision for you, your neighborhood, and Union City.  Union City is a great place to live and your support will continue to keep our city safe.  Please join a unanimous Mayor and City Council, Police Officers, Firefighters, Business, Community Leaders, and Neighbors—Vote YES on X. VOTE LOCAL! 

Mayor Carol Dutra-Vernaci      

Stan Rodrigues  Union City Police Officer’s Association, Vice President 

Jaime Jaramillo Executive Director, Centro De Servicios 

Jeanelle Singh Old Alvarado Merchants Association, Treasurer 

 

Gertrude Gregorio  Former New Haven Unified School District Trustee 

— Alameda County Registrar of Voters

Arguments AGAINST

ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE _______ 

 City Hall wrote this tax to “sunset” in four years so they can claim it’s “temporary”, but it doesn’t provide any spending reforms for now or later.  This tax does not do anything to correct the fact that Union City is 75 acres short in providing parkland for residents. The City has a structural fiscal deficit in a booming economy, meaning our City leaders are spending more than they are taking in.  

 Vote No.  Imposing a Union City property tax rate results in a higher rate than all our neighboring cities.  The City is failing to fund a desperately needed teen center requested 20 years ago. It fails to fund 75 acres of parkland and it fails to fund separate bike lanes for our youth, adults and the elderly. Our quality of life is not improving, and the status quo of relying on taxpayers to make up structural deficits without reform continues. This tax will continue to make our City less competitive, less business friendly, less consumer friendly, and we still don’t have recreational and transportation improvements to improve our quality of life. Union City will continue to have one of the highest property tax rates in California. Union City is not attracting new business investment because our tax rate is much higher than neighboring cities.  

 We can have a better Union City, but this tax measure is a “blank check” that lets politicians make promises now without delivering later. We can’t afford more wasteful spending without reforms and overdue changes to ensure our City is better run. We shouldn’t reward City Hall for poor financial decisions by handing them more taxpayer money without funding improvements to provide a higher quality of life for our community.  Vote NO to tell City Hall we need positive change! 

Cathy Keesee  Union City Cert Member 

Elizabeth Ames  Former Union City Planning Commissioner 

Katherine Lesher  Neighborhood Watch Captain 

 

Sarabjit K. Cheema Former Union City Human Relations Commissioner 

— Alameda County Registrar of Voters

Replies to Arguments FOR

Rebuttal to Argument in Favor of Measure QQ  

NO on QQ sends a clear message to city leaders and Council.  They are not managing our scarce taxes dollars effectively.  They continue to approve city budgets that spend more money than they take in.  Yes, your city is deficit spending.  Now they are coming to you again for more of your taxes dollars that they can mismanage. 

 Union City needs more sports fields, has a 75-acre parkland deficit, and has failed to come through with their promise to build a teen center.  City leaders are not investing in the quality of life of the residents. 

 The City is also not attracting new businesses, which are important for economic growth.  An increase in property taxes is just another deterrent to potential new businesses. The proponents place the blame on Sacramento for the City’s fiscal woes when they should be looking at themselves. The City is accountable to voters, not Sacramento. Why trust the City to spend your dollars wisely in the future when then they are not spending them wisely now? 

 Enough is Enough! 

 Vote NO on Measure QQ 

Catherine Keesee  Union City CERT Member 

Elizabeth Ames  Former Union City Planning Commissioner 

Sarabijit Kaur Cheema Former Union City Human Relations Commissioner 

Ramon Ramirez  Ramirez Farms, Owner

— Alameda County Registrar of Voters

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE QQ  

Measure QQ was placed on the ballot so you can decide if continuing to maintain public safety with NO increase in the tax rate is a priority.  If public safety is your priority, vote YES on QQ. 

 FACT: Union City has been fiscally responsible and accountable. Measure QQ was placed on the ballot after 18 community meetings and feedback from literally thousands of residents.   Measure QQ does NOT increase your taxes. It simply extends funding Union City voters have previously approved. 

FACT: By law,every penny of Measure QQ funding can only be spent on public safety services that keep our youth and neighborhoods safe. Measure QQ requires independent financial audits and annual reports to the community to ensure that all funds are spent as promised. No money can be taken by the State. 

 FACT: Without continuing existing Measure QQ funding, Union City will need to reduce public safety services, including: 

  •  Youth violence prevention and gang intervention programs
  • Fire station hours, affecting 911response times and risking lives and property
  • Community policing programs like Neighborhood Watch • Crime prevention and investigation services 

Measure QQ maintains vital police/fire services, including gang intervention, fire protection, neighborhood patrols, and rapid emergency response times. Vote YES on QQ to prevent cuts to vital public safety services that keep our youth and neighborhoods safe. 

 

For more information about Measure QQ, visit www.unioncity.org 

Carol Dutra-Vernaci         Mayor Union City 

Stan Rodriques    Union City Police Officers Association, Vice-President 

 Glenn Nate          Alameda County Transportation Commission, Independent Watchdog Committee 

 Gary Chu            Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Board Member 

 David Acosta       Union City Park and Recreation Commissioner 

— Alameda County Registrar of Voters
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