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El Cerrito Preservation of Citywide Services Funding Measure
Although the City Council recently passed a balanced budget, the City of El Cerrito is still facing tough fiscal and service delivery challenges. In order to balance the budget, the City held many vacant positions open, increased the amount employees must pay into their retirement and delayed replenishing the City’s reserves. The City is still feeling the effects of the recent economic recession and the continued effects of Sacramento takeaways, in which the state seized over $10 million of local funds to address California’s budget deficits over the last decade. Without additional funding, the City will likely have to make further reductions to services and programs.

Measure R was previously approved by local voters four years ago to give El Cerrito a guaranteed local funding source that could not be taken away by the State. Measure R has been essential in maintaining city services such as 911 emergency response, police patrols, and fire protection, among other programs. Measure R is scheduled to expire and we are carefully evaluating how best to continue to provide the quality of life services our residents rely on.

In a recent survey of El Cerrito voters, more than 73% of respondents would support extending Measure R at the one cent rate to protect and address local priorities including public safety and programs that enhance our quality of life such as library programs, afterschool programs for children and teens, and maintaining parks, playfields and open space.

Based on this input from the community, at the July 15, 2014 City Council meeting, the El Cerrito City Council unanimously voted to put the El Cerrito Preservation of Citywide Services Funding Measure on the November 4, 2014 ballot to ask voters if they want to extend existing Measure R funding at the one-cent (1.0%) sales tax rate for twelve years in order to maintain and/or increase the current level of services provided by the City.

The El Cerrito Preservation of Citywide Services Funding Measure will be submitted to the voters as follows: 

CITY OF EL CERRITO

 To continue to protect/ maintain City services, including fire
prevention/ emergency services; emergency response times;
neighborhood police patrols; firefighter/ police staffing; crime
prevention/ investigation resources; after-school programs;
library hours/ programs; senior services; open space, parks,
paths/ playfields; other general City services, shall El Cerrito
extend the existing voter-approved sales tax and set the future
 rate at one cent for 12 years, with citizens' oversight, annual
audits, and all funds staying local, none to Sacramento?
 YES  /  NO  

It is expected that the Contra Costa County Elections’ Department will assign a letter to the measure in early or mid-August. This page will be updated with that information as soon as it is available.


Resources
Download an FAQ sheet about the Measure R extension.
July 15, 2014 City Council meeting agenda bill
July 15, 2014 City Council meeting video - will be posted soon to the Streaming Media Archive
Learn more about the City’s Biennial Budget for Fiscal Years 2014-15 and FY 2015-16

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