Oakdale’s Measure Y committee commenced its campaign with a meeting to discuss the approach for promoting the Nov. 4 ballot measure to continue the half-cent sales tax for the city’s general fund.
Hosted at Medlen’s House of Beef on Friday, June 27, Co-Chairman Frank Clark told the group that in April, 2015, when the current Measure O half-cent sales tax measure ends, the city would be at risk of losing $1.5 million from its general fund annual budget.
City Manager Bryan Whitemyer has already presented a budget with dire consequences without the $1.5 million from the measure O revenue.
“If we don’t get Measure Y approved, police and fire are going to be in real trouble,” warned Clark. “We will really suffer our current quality of life.”
Clark laid out the group’s plans to register with the California Fair Political Practices Commission since they will be doing fundraising to promote the measure to voters. The group also named Clark as treasurer to manage the funds.
When the committee campaigned for Measure O in 2011, it raised over $8,000, receiving large contributions from the employee bargaining groups.
Clark relayed that the Oakdale Firefighters Association contributed $3,000, the Oakdale Police Officers Association gave $2,000, and Operating Engineers Local 3 donated $1,000 in 2011.
“Eight-thousand was on a shoestring budget,” Clark said. “It would be nice to have a goal of raising $10,000.”
Clark asked the committee to attempt soliciting donations from city vendors and real estate agents to add to the war chest.
“Who’s going to want to move to Oakdale if it’s in bankruptcy,” Clark said. “When you think of bankrupt cities, you think of Stockton, San Bernardino, and Detroit. I don’t want Oakdale to be anything like them.”
According to the committee, money raised for the campaign will go to signs and mailers in support of Measure Y. Campaign materials should start appearing in August.
Clark emphasized that the measure was more than fire and police staffing in the city of 20,000, but that having well-staffed public safety departments was a community asset. He also pointed out that the funds received from Measure O were managed well.
“If we present our case, I’m confident this will pass,” Clark stated.
The next meeting of the campaign committee will be Friday, July 18 at 8:30 a.m. at Medlen’s House of Beef. Key topics will be the budget and establishing a calendar for campaign activity. The meeting is open to anyone who wishes to attend.
Clark said that those who want to contribute to the campaign can make checks out to the Measure Y Committee and mail them to 2304 Belsera Drive, Oakdale, CA 95361.