In the weekly feature called "e-views," we invite readers to answer a question via email or through Facebook.
Last week's question:
Do you think Antioch's Measure C, a temporary one-half cent sales tax, deserves support? According to supporters, it would allow the city to immediately hire 22 police officers; opponents say the money will go into the general fund and the City Council majority can decide to spend it wherever it wants. What do you think?
ANTIOCH IS SPENDING over $200,000 in an effort to get voters to approve Measure C, a seven-year half-cent sales tax. Fliers from both the Antioch Police Officers' Association and Citizens for a Safe Antioch state that passage of the general tax measure, which requires only 50 percent approval plus one vote, will result in the hiring of 22 new police officers.
This is untrue. Read the ballot measure carefully and note the city attorney's impartial analysis of Measure C. She explicitly states "the revenue would be deposited in the city's general fund. It could be used for any legal municipal purpose, including police and emergency response; code enforcement, local economic development and job creation; street repair and any other city program and service."
Vote no on Measure C.
PUTTING THESE funds into the General Fund is not wise. No guarantee that this money will be used only to hire police and code enforcement officers.
ONLY IF EVERY cent goes to police and cleaning blight. I'm voting yes to support. Does need to be managed though. Take back Antioch.
I THINK IT'S our only hope of saving our city. That is, if it is used to hire the 22 officers. Antioch is getting to be the laughing stock of East County. Crime is rampant around here. We need cops and we need them now!
IF THEY REALLY want it to go through, they will put it in its own fund that is earmarked "only" for police and public safety. It would pass with flying colors then. By putting it in the "general fund" is why people, including myself, are hesitant about voting yes.
THE CITY can't manage the funds it has now. I'm not going to give them more money to mismanage.
ONLY if every cent is for police!
THAT'S BEEN ANTIOCH'S MO. The city has misused funds in the past. Don't see a reason why it would be different now. So, we need to know exactly where these funds are going and not leave up to some incompetent jackass. Spend it on widening a road that's already wide enough.
I THINK we pay new taxes every election period, and rarely does the money go where it is supposed to.
IF IT WENT just for more officers, yes. But general fund, nope! Maybe the higher-ups should take a pay cut like all of us who have taken cuts. They definitely could spare it.
Leslie D. Clymens Russo
I LOVE THE fact that it will go in the general fund. So they hire a couple of cops and the rest gets spent on roads and festivals like Vallejo is doing.
IN A WORD, NO! Cities have plenty of money. The problem is that they are following the time-honored political tradition of scaring voters.
They spend the money on new office furniture, absurd pensions, more government clerks and employees than they need, and then they try to pay the important things like police and fire with what is left. That way they can say that the tax hike if for police.
Here's a suggestion, hire the police, fund the fire stations, then put a measure on the ballot to raise taxes to pay for new cars for city councilmen and see how far that gets you.
I'M voting yes.
I SUPPORT MEASURE C because our city needs a revenue increase. Changes cannot be made without financial backing, and we all know some serious changes need to happen. Even if it ends up in the general fund, the increased revenues cannot be a bad thing.
IT NEEDS to go to officers, not muddled in the general fund.
Yvette White Haas
SPECIAL TAXES for "measures" regarding safety personnel should never go into the general fund! I don't care what city it's for! General fund is just that; not specified and can be spent on anything!
I AGREE with Jake. Write it saying specifically what the money will be used for more police and I will vote for it. Don't write it that way and it will be a no vote for me! Plain and simple.
I'M GOING to vote yes. We need help. They will have an oversight citizen committee. This city needs help.
NO, no, and no!
UNLESS IT SAYS specifically they are going to use the money "only" to hire police officers and community service officers, it doesn't deserve support. The City Council claims it didn't write it that way because it would require a two-thirds' vote to pass, which they don't think it would get. I believe it would, try it and find out!
NO, no, and no!
YES, tax is OK with me, as long as it has only one use -- more police officers are needed!
I WOULD be happy if they raised it 10 more cents and hired a ton more police officers.
Veronica Jimenez Garcia
WE NEED MORE officers. I go to other cities and see at the very least four cops out and about. In Antioch, if I'm lucky (or unlucky) enough, I to see just one.
CAN WE REALLY trust the City Council to spend the money only on more police and neighborhood cleanup for the next seven years. I don't think so. How do we pay for these 22 police officers after the seven-year tax expires?
ANTIOCH'S MEASURE C is not a dedicated for police tax. It is a general fund tax increase to 9 cents for every taxable $1 purchases. Myself and many others in the know, will not vote for it. It is deceptive, and they're trying to fool the voters with scare tactics also! Even their signs, newspaper stick-ons, and claims are misleading the public. We don't trust them and neither should the voters. All one has to do is read the measure's analysis. It clearly states that it's for the city's general fund, therefore can be used for anything -- even more continued raises and benefits increases! This misleading and deceptive measure deserves placement into the hall of shame. I stand by my no vote on this, as should everyone who will figure it out (see the "argument against" that I participated in).
Ralph A. Hernandez
AS WRITTEN, MEASURE C will only enrich the Antioch general fund. More cops does not mean less crime. The "elephant in the parlor" has been too long ignored. Antioch's crime rate is directly proportional to the Section 8 influx of second and third generation welfare recipients, who's mind set seems to be, "if the government don't give it to me, I'll take it from someone." I dare you to publish this.
This week's question:
Pittsburg has banned plastic bags, Brentwood and Oakley are now considering it. What do you think about it?
Email your response to firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.facebook.com/BrentwoodNews. Please limit responses to a few sentences, and be sure to include your full name and city of residence. Not all responses will be published.
Note: Please respond before Monday, Oct. 28.