The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors today voted unanimously to place the Public Safety and Essential Services Renewal Measure on the November ballot. If enacted, the measure would renew existing, voter-approved locally controlled funding for essential county services, with no increase in tax rates.
First enacted as Measure Z, the renewal measure would continue to maintain public safety services such as emergency response times, services for victims of child abuse and children’s mental health services, rural ambulance and fire protection services, and 24-hour sheriff’s patrols. In addition, as multiple fires continue to threaten our neighboring counties, Measure Z-funded staff are helping evacuees entering our community.
“Measure Z has played a critical role in our ability to provide public safety and law enforcement services to the citizens of our county,” said Sheriff William Honsal. “Hard drugs and narcotics like meth and heroin are plaguing our community. Renewing these funds will help continue the fight to prevent drug-related violent crime, eliminate meth labs and the flow of heroin into Humboldt, and provide drug and rehabilitation services.”
Measure Z has been vital to the ability of the District Attorney's Office to prosecute crime by allowing recovery of frozen Deputy D.A. positions. In addition, this funding has allowed the D.A.’s Office to improve the assistance it provides to victims of crime which helps victims remain willing to participate in the justice process.
“For victims of sexual abuse or domestic violence, particularly children, receiving assistance can make a big difference in their ability to face the future,” said District Attorney Maggie Fleming.
The state continues to take millions each year in local revenue – $368 million in the last 25 years from Humboldt County alone – and renewing the Public Safety and Essential Services Measure would continue a guaranteed source of local funding that cannot be taken by the state, and requires all funds be spent locally.
“We know how important public safety and other county services are to local residents,” said County Administrative Officer Amy Nilsen. “Renewing the measure will allow the county to maintain the services our entire community relies on as we continue to fix deteriorating roads, maintain public safety and support our fire districts that rely heavily on volunteers due to limited funding.”
If renewed by voters, the measure would extend the existing half-cent sales tax in Humboldt County with no increase in the tax rate. All funding would continue to require independent citizen oversight. The renewal measure will be on the November 6th ballot for voter consideration.