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CHULA VISTA VOTERS APPROVE MEASURE A
New funding to support public safety staffing and services
On June 5, Chula Vista voters passed Measure A, the half-cent sales tax measure to fund public safety staffing and services. The new tax will allow the Chula Vista Fire and Police Departments to provide faster responses to 9-1-1 emergency calls, increase neighborhood police patrols, reduce gang and drug-related crimes, address homelessness, and improve firefighter, paramedic and emergency medical response times.
Public safety, which includes police and fire services, is a top priority in the City of Chula Vista, San Diego County’s second largest city. Chula Vista features quality local schools, safe neighborhoods, a growing economy and beautiful surroundings with strong community pride. But, like many other cities in the country, Chula Vista is struggling to properly fund and maintain public safety staffing. The City allocates 67 percent of discretionary revenues to Police and Fire services combined. However, staffing levels for the Police and Fire Departments are below regional, state, and national average. This low level of staffing affects response times and service levels.
Following community presentations, a public opinion survey and input from a Public Safety Advisory Committee, the City Council approved placing a half-cent sales tax on the June 2018 ballot to fund public safety staffing and services. For the Chula Vista Police Department, this will allow 43 police department positions to be filled: 29 officers, agents and sergeants and 14 civilian positions such as dispatchers, community service officers and background investigators. For the Chula Vista Fire Department, it will bring 36 fire department positions including a deputy chief, fire captains, firefighter/paramedics, firefighters and a public education specialist.
Measure A is estimated to generate $17 million annually for public safety funding. In February, the Chula Vista City Council adopted the Intended Public Safety Expenditure Plan, which outlines the intended use of the funding. A citizen oversight committee will be appointed and independent audits will be conducted. The tax will take effect October 1, 2018, and will bring Chula Vista’s tax rate to 8.75 percent. More information can be found at www.chulavistaca.gov/publicsafety.