Redding – The Public Employee Union that represents over 3,000 public employees in 12 northern California Counties announced today it supports Ballot Measure F for the City of Redding.
The United Public Employees of California Local 792 said it supports the ¼ cent sales tax on the November 4th ballot. The measure, if passed, is estimated to raise 5 million dollars annually for six years.
UPEC Business Manager Chris Darker spoke in favor of the measure today saying the current crime rate will not be reduced without a temporary measure that increases the number of officers on the street and keeps repeat offenders accountable for their actions. “Personally, I think we have been taxed to death, but we can get behind this specific plan that targets the crime problem in Redding. It will provide additional law enforcement jobs in the City and County, restore the Police Community Service Officer Program, and begin to restore justice and public safety that we lost over the past 5 years during the downturn in the economy”, said Darker.
UPEC represents employees who work in the City of Redding, and has a working knowledge of City finances and the personal impact on city workers. “The City has been accountable to the community in their budgeting and has a balanced budget. The City Council, Administration and the public employee unions have made significant strides in making cuts to departmental budgets, and have negotiated reductions in employee benefits, such as CalPERS Retirement where employees pay their share of the costs and reduced employee health benefit costs, not filled vacant positions, and reduced the workweek for many non-emergency personnel,” said Darker.
“I am convinced that if there were money in City reserves to fund public safety, the City Council would have already funded the Police Chief’s plan to address the increasing crime problem in Redding. The fact is that any plan to improve public safety will cost money, and we can choose to wait until the economy improves or we can take a temporary step to stop the problem now”, said Darker.
Should the measure pass on November 4th, the newly elected City Council will work together and decide how each new tax dollar gets appropriated to address crime and improve public safety.