League of Women Voters of California
Police/Fire Minimum Staffing
City of Stockton
Charter Ammendment - Majority Approval Required
8,287 / 49.5% Yes votes ...... 8,441 / 50.5% No votes
Index of all Measures
|Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments ||
AMENDMENT TO THE STOCKTON CITY CHARTER TO ESTABLISH MINIMUM STAFFING LEVELS FOR THE POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS
The Stockton City Council, upon receipt of a certified initiative petition, has placed this Measure on the March 4, 2003, ballot, to amend the Stockton City Charter ("Charter") to establish minimum staffing levels for the police and fire departments and to reduce Council salaries if those levels are not met.
This Measure would amend Article IV of the Charter by adding Section 411 that provides that following July 1, 2003, if the mandatory minimum staffing levels are not met, the monthly compensation of the City Council and Mayor shall be reduced to zero until the staffing levels are achieved.
Additionally, this Measure would amend Article XVI of the Charter to add Section 1609 requiring the Council to annually budget for an adequate number of full-time sworn firefighters necessary to maintain a Class-1 rating in the Insurance Service Office (ISO) Fire Suppression Rating Schedule. Section 1610 would be added to require the Council to maintain adequate compensation, hiring, and training of new firefighters to ensure that the firefighter positions budgeted are actually employed. Further, the vacancy rate for firefighters shall not exceed 5%.
This Measure would additionally amend Article XVII of the Charter by adding Section 1705 to require the Council to annually budget for at least 1.7 full-time police officers for every 1000 people residing in the City. A new Section 1706 would be added to require the Council to maintain adequate compensation, hiring, and training of new police officers to ensure that the police officer positions budgeted are actually employed. The vacancy rate for police officers could not exceed 5%.
Currently, there is no Charter or other legislative requirement that mandates a minimum level of staffing for police officers and/or firefighters. Staffing levels are determined and budgeted by the City Council upon recommendation by the Police/Fire Chiefs and City Manager. If adopted, this Measure would require the Council to budget an appropriate level of funding, which could exceed current levels, to meet these staffing requirements. In addition, the City would be required to ensure that the vacancy rate for police officers and firefighters not exceed 5%, thus requiring additional recruitment and hiring processes to meet that goal.
With respect to firefighters, the Council must budget for an adequate number of full-time firefighters to maintain a Class-1 ISO rating. Staffing level is only one of the factors used to determine an ISO rating. Other factors include adopted codes, enforcement and plan check procedures, water systems, dispatch systems, training and response times.
A majority vote of the electorate is required for the adoption of a Charter amendment. Upon approval of the election results by the Council and upon filing of the Charter amendment and election results with the Secretary of State, this Measure would become effective July 1, 2003.
If you desire a copy of Measure E, please call the Stockton City Clerk's Office at (209) 937-8459, and a copy will be mailed to you at no cost.
|Arguments For Measure E||Arguments Against Measure E|
|ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE E
Vote YES on Measure E!
The FBI lists Stockton as having one of the worst crime rates in the nation. Everyday more of our relatives and neighbors are victimized by out of control criminals who feel safe walking our streets while we lock ourselves in our homes. The police are doing the best that they can but are very understaffed compared to other cities of our size. Meanwhile, every time the city fears a revenue loss, the first they threaten to cut is our desperately needed police and fire services. Measure E will do something about that.
Measure E will require the City to keep a standard level of police and fire personnel based upon our population.
Measure E will require the City to pay a competitive salary in order to attract qualified police and fire staff.
Measure E will help keep our insurance rates down because we will continue to have the highest rated fire service.
Measure E will require the City to make police and fire services our first priority.
Measure E will require the City to be accountable if they don't.
A vote for measure E will stop the City from continuing its historic practice of budgeting for more police officers but not filling those positions and using the money for pet projects. A vote for Measure E is a vote to support our police officers and fire fighters. A vote for measure E is a vote to support the victims of crime.
Win back our streets and send the criminals running by voting YES on Measure E. The Stockton Public Safety Charter Amendment.
/s/ Dale C. Fritchen, School Board Trustee /s/ Dean Andal, Businessman /s/ Don Stabler, Senior Fire Dispatcher /s/ Lisa Stabler, Fire Dispatcher
Vote NO on Measure E to ensure sound financial practices in your city government.
The crime rate in Stockton is lower than many large cities. The Stockton Police Department uses modern methods of deploying officers based upon crime analysis, not outdated population ratios such as the proponents of Measure E are advocating. How and where officers are deployed is more important than the ratio of officers per thousand.
Stockton's PD is not understaffed compared to other cities-Stockton has more officers per thousand than both Modesto and Bakersfield.
Quality police personnel are difficult to recruit because standards are high. Stockton continues to hire excellent new officers with present competitive salary and benefit package.
Our highly trained and well-equipped Fire Department has maintained Class 1 status and low insurance rates. This will continue.
Police and fire are the City Council's highest priority now and have been for many years. The Council has supported police and fire services by opposing revenue cutting initiatives such as Measures I and Z which were defeated by the voters.
The City is accountable. They cannot deficit spend and must have the flexibility to balance the budget when revenues are threatened. Leaving police and fire budgets intact would require elimination of all other General Fund services, including Parks, Recreation and Library Services.
Vote NO on E! (Note: The two signers of the Argument in Favor of Measure E identified as fire dispatchers are employed by Contra Costa and San Jose agencies which are rated lower than Class 1.)
/s/ Gary A. Podesto /s/ Gloria Nomura /s/ Ed Stockton
|ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE E
Please vote NO on Measure E to protect the ability of your elected representatives on the City Council to make judgments regarding budget and service level priorities.
The public safety services of the City#police and fire# have been the highest priority of the City Council for many years. 75% of the City's General Fund budget supports these services, currently a total of $101 million.
Measure E would require the Council to maintain, forever, constant levels of police and fire staffing that are even higher than we have now, in spite of national and state fluctuations in the economy, and City revenues, over which the Council has little control. A City government must live within its budget and cannot deficit spend.
You elect City Council members and they are accountable to you. Let them continue to set budget priorities in response to changing community needs and financial circumstances. Please vote NO on E!
/s/ Gary A. Podesto /s/ Edward J. Chavez /s/ Carl Eck
Vote YES on Measure E!
The anti-public safety amendment group state that we elected representatives and should leave the budget priorities up to them. The State Constitution grants all of us the power to make these decisions. Article 2 reads, "All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for their protection, security, and benefit, and they have the right to alter or reform it when the public good may require."
The anti-public safety amendment individuals stated in their argument that, "Measure E would require the Council to maintain, forever, constant levels of police and fire staffing that are even higher than we have now..." This is an argument for measure E.
Last year in Stockton...
Burglary and larceny both rose 11%
Aggravated assaults jumped 17%
Forcible rapes increased 20%
And auto theft skyrocketed a whopping 40%
And what did the city do in response to this horrible problem? They cut 14 police officer positions from the budget. Measure E would have prevented this.
The anti-public safety amendment group has admitted that in the past the city has budgeted police officer positions with no intention of filling those positions so they could use the money elsewhere.
Measure E will stop the city from playing politics with our public safety. Measure E will support our police and fire personnel. Measure E will support the victims of crime, and lessen the new number of new victims.
Make Stockton Safer. Please vote YES on Measure E!
/s/ Dale C. Fritchen, School Board Trustee /s/ Dean Andal, Businessman /s/ Robert Fleckenstein, Union Representative /s/ Cody Adams, Business Owner