City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

November 7, 2012
Sacramento sales tax approval likely means beefed up public safety

City Hall is suddenly entering unfamiliar territory: posting a help wanted sign.

With the passage of Measure U on Tuesday, city officials have begun assessing what they plan to do with the estimated $28 million in revenue an increase in the sales tax will provide the city.

City Manager John Shirey and two council members told me today the immediate focus would be on replenishing the ranks of the public safety agencies. There's talk of hiring more than 100 cops, bringing back specialty investigative units and ending rotating closures of fire department rigs.

Youth programs will also likely benefit from the tax increase. Pool hours and parks maintenance are also expected to receive funding.

"I think the vote by the people said the pendulum had swung too far (with years of cuts) and that we need to bring back some balance," Shirey told me. "I think they got the word that the city really is in a serious financial situation and this money was needed to restore services."

With nearly 100,000 votes counted, the measure was passing by a margin of 63 percent to 37 percent.

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About City Beat

Ryan Lillis has covered the city of Sacramento, its 108 neighborhoods and its politicians since 2008. Prior to that, he covered crime at The Bee. A native of upstate New York, Lillis has a journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Contact reporter Ryan Lillis at rlillis@sacbee.com

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