The citizens of Oakdale, in November 2011, voted to pass Measure “O” to increase the local sales tax by a half-cent. That ballot measure expires in April of 2015 and the city will see its income reduced by $1.5 million annually, or 17 percent of the general fund.
Since the passage of Measure “O” the city has worked diligently to get back on a firm financial footing. Staffing has been reduced by 56 percent, department budgets have been slashed to the core. And we finally have a very competent and motivated city manager. Despite these very aggressive and positive steps the city still faces a large deficit in future budgets without the income from Measure “O”.
It will take years for property tax income to get back to pre-recession levels and we can only hope that sales tax revenues increase as the economy improves.
Measure “Y” is a new ballot measure for this November’s general election. This measure if passed will extend the half-cent sales tax passed in 2011. It is NOT a new or additional tax, merely an extension of the sales tax in place today.
There are few options available to avoid this financial crisis. More than likely we can expect many city services to be discontinued, such as closing the senior center, community center, swimming pool, dimming city street lights, and by far the worst measure, further reducing our police and fire staffing.
Without the measure stream provided by Measure “Y” the city will almost certainly become insolvent and potentially have to file bankruptcy. We cannot allow our city to become another Stockton, Vallejo or San Bernardino.
Please, I urge you to vote YES on measure Y.
Frank B. Clark