On Tuesday, Measure N announced key endorsements from the local business community including the Visalia Economic Development Corporation, the Visalia Chamber of Commerce, the Visalia Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Downtown Property Owners Association. Measure N, on the ballot in November, is a ½ cent sales tax proposed by the City of Visalia as a way to maintain safety and essential services such as police, fire, and roads.
“To attract new businesses and allow them to thrive we must support first responders. Measure N will support both hiring new police personnel and maintaining our Insurance Service Office Rating (ISO) through the support of our fire department. The Visalia Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors is urging Visalia citizens to vote ‘Yes on Measure N’. Providing a locally controlled investment in Visalia’s first responders, roads and parks will pay dividends for years to come,” said Visalia Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Stacy Morris.
If approved by voters, Measure N revenues would address public safety services, repairs and maintenance for streets and roads, and maintenance of parks and trails. Measure N would provide the City of Visalia with a reliable, ongoing, local source of funding that is not controlled by Sacramento, but would be locally controlled with citizen oversight for transparency and accountability protections.
According to an initial plan that has been adopted by the Visalia City Council, priorities for Measure N funding are:
- Maintaining 911 emergency, police patrols and fire response times
- Maintaining gang prevention efforts
- Maintaining local streets and infrastructure
Before City Council unanimously agreed to place Measure N before the voters, a citizen’s committee spent six months reviewing essential services. They found that:
- Last decade, 911 calls in Visalia have risen dramatically, with police responding to 145,000 calls last year alone.
- Firefighter equipment has aged, and both police and fire staffing levels have stayed the same despite increased demands from a growing population. City streets and roads are deteriorating due to lack of funding for ongoing maintenance, while Sacramento continues to reduce funding and takes larger shares of Visalia’s tax dollars to balance the State’s budget.
In response to these needs, the City of Visalia is seeking a stable source of funding for essential services such as police and fire, as well as maintenance of our parks and roads. Essential services are the backbone of any community. In November 2016, Visalia voters will be asked to decide on Measure N / Protecting Visalia’s Safety & Services thereby determining the status of future services.
“Measure N is the right thing to do to protect the quality of life for the people of Visalia. Measure N will help us attract new employers by keeping Visalia a safe community and by preserving our strong fire service rating,” said Board President Richard Feder, Visalia Economic Development Corporation.
Local voters who are interested in learning more about Measure N or helping with the campaign may go to www.VisaliaYesOnN.com.