Mayor Steinberg: Measure U can support both economic equity and public safety
Throughout 23 years of elected service, I have often been required to vote for deep cuts to services that people both want and need. The Measure U debate is different, and a much better debate for our city. It is about opportunity and how best to sustain what our people want — not just for one year, but for the many years ahead.
I’ve seen the pattern repeat itself many times over the years: Important constituencies tell their supporters that if a leader is pushing hard for a long-term vision there is no immediate commitment to restoring core services. Not so.
Let me be clear. The second half of Measure U generates $50 million a year. I am pushing hard for a $200-million commitment over five years to job creation, workforce development, youth, affordable housing and neighborhoods. That amounts to $40 million per year.
At the same time, I strongly support the $10 million investment in the City Manager’s budget to improve police and fire services.
The total combined public safety and economic equity fund investments I support total $50 million a year. We can afford to do both in the coming years by growing our jobs and tax base, and by finding smart efficiencies in every area of our city government operations.
Public safety is always the first priority for our city. The only way to make our budget for those services more sustainable over time is to build a broader tax base through economic development.
The City Manager’s public safety plan has a number of important elements.
I support the additional $4 million proposed for the Fire Department, which will bring the department’s total budget to $122.7 million. Thirty new positions are authorized in the budget, 24 of them funded by Measure U.
I support about $3.5 million in capital spending to rebuild or replace fire stations. A new Station 15 was opened in the past year, and Station 16 was renovated.
The list of specific expenditures I support includes:
About $3.5 million in capital spending to rebuild or replace fire stations. A new Station 15 was opened in the past year, and Station 16 was renovated..
$2.5 million for trucks, engines and other vehicles
$1.2 million to fund 25 recruits and four captains at the Recruit Academy
$796,361 for three additional battalion chiefs
$134,879 for a public information officer
I support the Police Department’s proposed budget increase of $6.5 million — $5.9 million of it from Measure U — which includes funding for an additional 37 police officers and community service officers. Another $3.53 million in capital improvement funding will go to pay for such items as body worn cameras, mobile computers, in-car camera systems and ballistic door panels.
In total, the Police Department has a proposed budget of $146.7 million for 2019/20.
$1.9 million for 22 new community service officers to expand the department’s hiring pipeline
$2.3 million to provide funding and staff for the 2017 COPS Hiring Program Grant. This will fund 15 police officers and vehicles to address gun violence in Sacramento
$1 million to support information technology service contracts and software licensing increases; network security enhancements; and evolving technologies
I want our city to sustain and grow these public safety investments over the long haul. I will follow through on what I promised the voters. Invest strategically in core services now. Commit to investing long term in jobs, housing and neighborhoods to sustain those services and create real opportunity for all our people. That is the winning formula for Sacramento.