Crimewave? Where’s the Measure O $$$

Measure O was passed by voters in 2010, the Supplemental Transaction and Use Tax has generated just under $4 million annually for the city of Eureka, and is expected to provide over $4 million in 2014— a critical lifeline for the city’s public safety and other programs.

So where has all that money gone? It was supposed to support the Police and Fire departments so they could keep up with the ever increasing demands for service. It’s hard to easily compare Eureka Fire Department 2010 with Humboldt Bay Fire 2014. A much easier comparison is EPD in 2010 and now. Fewer boots on the ground and pay cuts across the board. What? That’s right; EPD under Murl Harpham, shed officers and cut pay checks. In fact, EPD has only used 43% of their allotted budget for the fiscal year 2013-2014 due to the staffing shortages. The City Council will say that they raised EPD’s budget, but that was by adding additional police positions that couldn’t possibly be filled given the current shortages (Traffic Officer, POP Officer, etc.). But wait! We though Measure O had performed better than promised and brought nearly 4 million dollars! A closer look shows a great deal of the money promised to public safety has been siphoned off to feed the general fund and such none essential items like the Sequoia Zoo. Sounds like the old familiar ”Eureka shell game” we’ve seen before.

Jager, Brady and Newman all said in their 2010 campaigns the Use Tax was bad for business and was going to send business out of the city. Now they love it because it buffers them from having to make any really tough decisions with the budget.

Certainly the current Crime Wave effecting Eureka and its surrounding area wouldn’t be spinning out of control if the money had gone at the levels promised to the Police Department. Things wouldn’t have gotten this bad, even with Murl as the Chief, with a department up to force and competitively compensated.

Now they want you to renew it, after they promised to sunset it? We think that promise is as good as the “elect us and the Marina Center will be built without delay”.

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3 thoughts on “Crimewave? Where’s the Measure O $$$

  1. The police department has been used as campaign rallying cry for many local tax drives over the years. Somehow the money never gets to them and the city continues to have enforcement problems. The public knows the crime issues in their neighborhoods and keeps votingto get more money for the police but council ALWAYS SPENDS IT IN OTHER PLACES.

    The last election gave Eureka one of the most unremarkable councils I have seen in 25 years. They certainly don’t fight for the best interests of the community. I doubt they read their pre-council information packets, relying more on what the city manager wants rather than thinking.

    The city will continue to wallow in the doldrums of high crime, stagnate business climate, and poorly functioning government as long as the electorate puts people like the current council in power. It is sad to see when a city like Eureka has so much potential.

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  2. That’s why the old Chief got in so much trouble, he went public and fought hard for everybody in his department, even his detractors.

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  3. Why do you think Murl Harpham did what he did? You answered it yourself: “Jager, Brady and Newman all said in their 2010 campaigns the Use Tax was bad for business and was going to send business out of the city. Now they love it because it buffers them from having to make any really tough decisions with the budget.” Why do you think he’s still in on the force? Wake up!

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