On 5/11/16 the Enterprise published a letter from Selma Police Officers President Andrew Guzman. While I am pleased to know that the SPOA are not opposed to a new Police Emergency Center, I am disappointed to have to correct information that Mr. Guzman knows is not correct in his letter.
Measure “S” has been funding Police and Fire since the day the first revenues have been collected and the expenditure of those funds have been reviewed by an over sight committee, the city council, and passed review of an independent auditor each and every year.
During the review of Measure “S” at this year’s City Council on 2/1/2016 Mr. Guzman was present during the full presentation and even inquired if the full report would be posted on the city’s finance web site, this was confirmed and the full Measure “S” report has been posted on the web ever since that meeting date. So if he is still scratching his head then I would suggest that he have a meeting with Chief Garner and city finance to help relate the facts that are contained in the report that he and all citizens have access to.
The fact is these reports indicate that Police and Fire safety spend 70.42% of the city’s money. Of that Police by itself spends 43.9% of the city’s money and Fire spends 26.52%. By comparison Public Works/Parks/Recreation spends 6.13%, Accounting spends 5.50%, Administration spends 4.47% and so there is 13.48% that is split up by utility services, building & planning services, transit service, etc. No other source comes close to what the police are paid out of the city’s funds including Measure “S”.
If you want to argue that the Police Emergency Center should be funded by Measure “S” then the funds currently expended on Police salaries from those funds would have to be cut and the jobs terminated. So far the City Council has not thought that this suggestion would be a good idea.
A Police Emergency Center that is integrated with the complete capabilities of our expanding electronic patrolling program along with the ability to share services within a civic center will improve the overall safety of the community and extend the value of the money expended on police services in Selma.
Major capital assets for the city are always best funded by the issuance of bonds to fund the specific asset being developed. Measure “S” is not a bond, it is a rate charged on our sales tax for the purpose of funding safety activities for the city of Selma. In addition to funding police salaries it has paid for police cars and fire engines. All of these expenses are either salaries or short term equipment costs funded to help improve emergency services for the city of Selma, there are no long term capital assets that have been paid for and developed out of Measure “S” funding.
I hope this clears up the misinformation that is being promoted and again I offer that any person who wants to set an appointment to have the city finance department review Measure “S” is welcome to do so.
Selma City Manager