Measure K, the proposed public safety tax, suffered a tough loss during the June 7 primary while both incumbents retained their Kings County Supervisor seats.
Measure K needed two-thirds of the vote to pass but just missed the mark by receiving 66.35%. The measure came within 40 or 50 votes of its goal. A few provisional and mail-in ballots remain to be counted before the election is certified, but Kings County registrar of voters does not expect it to catch up. Called the public safety tax, all county law enforcement, council members, and supervisors rallied behind Measure K. Kings County Sheriff Dave Robinson said that there was no organized opposition to the measure.
Measure K would have preserved the quarter cent sales tax imposed by a statewide tax initiative Proposition 30 passed in 2012. When Proposition 30 expires in 2017, King’s County sales tax will now go down from 7.5% to 7.25%.
Had Measure K passed it was estimated to bring in $4 million annually. The revenues generated would have been allotted to public safety agencies in the county and then proportionately according to the population to the four cities.
The original sample ballot mailed out to voters mistakenly left out a pro-Measure K argument signed off on by Hanford Police Chief Parker Sever, Kings County Sheriff Dave Robinson, Kings County Fire Chief Bill Lynch, Lemoore Fire Chief John Gibson and Kings County Supervisor Doug Verboon. It is speculated that may have made a difference in the outcome.
The company that printed the sample ballots made an error and pro-Measure K argument was mailed out separately to all voters.
Even with the community support, tax hikes are historically very difficult to pass in Kings County.
In 2014, Hanford tried to pass Measure S to create revenue for a new fire station. Not only did the ballot proposal increase Hanford’s sales tax rate from 7.5 percent to 8.5 percent, it did not ensure that the additional revenue would go to public safety agencies. Measure S only received 44% of the vote.
Fagundes and Valle Retain Seats
Kings County Supervisors Richard Fagundes and Richard Valle successfully defended their seats in primary election. Both were first elected in 2008 and this will be their third term, which will start in January of 2017.
For district 5, Fagundes beat former Kings County District Attorney Greg Stickland 61.40% to 37.8%.
“We did pretty well,” said Fagundes. He wanted to thank all of his supporters in general and all those who live in the district and voted for him. “This board from Kings County is wonderful and I have learned a lot from them. For the benefit of the county, that’s what we work for.”
When asked about his goals for the next term he said he would like to get rid of High-Speed Rail (HSR), “but I can’t do it by myself.” Fagundes dispelled a rumor that all the suits against HSR have been settled. “When HSR starts using Proposition A money, the Kings County suit will be reinstated.”
“When our governor wakes up, someone will see that is not beneficial to California. What we need is for Amtrak to go to the coast.”
For District 2, Richard Valle beat out Corcoran business owner Debbie Kwast 65% to 34.4%