The Eureka City Council tonight unanimously approved a budget for the upcoming fiscal year that includes budget cuts throughout all city departments. Despite last-minute pleas from some members of the public in attendance, the most recent draft budget was passed unchanged.
Citizens at the meeting were especially outspoken about roughly $644,000 to be cut from the Eureka Police Department and the pending closure of Fire Station 4 at Myrtle and West.
In 2010 more than 54 percent of Eureka voters marked yes on Measure O, a one half of a percent sales tax that would fund a variety of services including public safety, environmental programs, street maintenance, parks and recreation and the Sequoia Park Zoo. In 2014, more than 66 percent of the city’s voters elected to extend the sales tax in the form of Measure Q.
However, many voters were under the impression that approval of the measure would prevent cuts to public safety. Eureka citizen Sylvia Scott said she feels like she’s fallen for a bait and switch.
“O and Q were proposed for public safety, but they were worried they weren’t going to get the two-thirds vote needed for it to pass so they so they attached all these other things to it,” Scott said. “Nothing in this city is going to work until we get our crime rate under control.”
Councilmember Marian Brady addressed the concerned citizens by suggesting they read over what was actually written for the measures on the Internet.
“A budget is like a floating document. It’s an estimate, not concrete,” Brady said. “If you look back at the ballot, public safety was a little more broad of a category than police and fire.”
- Facing Yet Another Budget Shortfall, Eureka Looks For Places to Cut
- Eureka’s Police Services Officers Look to the Public and City Council to Save Their Jobs
- Measure Q Backers Urge Eurekans to Protest Planned Cuts to Police, Fire Services
- Op-Ed: Voters Passed Measure Q, So Eureka’s Fire Station 4 Should Stay Open
- Op-Ed: Wanna Save Your Fire Station? How ‘Bout Less Sleep Pay?
- Op-Ed: DOLLISON’S DOCKET: When You’re Talking About Eureka’s Budget Problems, You’re Talking About Pensions
- Eureka City Manager on Budget Cut Debate: Don’t Say We Aren’t Spending Measure Q Money on Police, Fire
- Eureka’s Final Draft Budget Returns Some Money to Police, Cuts Public Contributions to Booster Organizations