July 24, 2018 – After months of gathering feedback from residents about their priorities for Yuba County, the Board of Supervisors on Monday evening voted unanimously to place a Public Safety and Essential Services Protection Measure on the November 6 ballot for voter consideration.
If enacted, the measure would help Yuba County overcome underfunded state mandates by generating locally-controlled funds for essential services. These include maintaining fire protection services and emergency response times, improving the ability to react and contain wildland fires, maintaining 24-hour sheriff’s patrols, and attracting and retaining jobs and businesses to Yuba County. No funding could be taken by the State.
“Yuba County is handling over eight thousand 911 calls for fires and medical emergencies each year, sometimes with only two emergency dispatchers,” said County Administrator Robert Bendorf. “In other cases, some fire districts rely exclusively on volunteers and a patchwork of funding including relying on thrift store sales. Locally-controlled funding will help districts do more to ensure that every call gets a timely response.”
The measure, if approved by voters, would enact a one-cent sales tax for unincorporated Yuba County essential services. The measure contains strict accountability provisions, including independent citizens’ oversight and audits.
“With an average of only five sheriff’s deputies patrolling 664 square miles across Yuba County at any given time, and only one patrolling all of the foothills, it’s impossible to quickly respond to emergency calls,” said Sheriff Steve Durfor. “This measure would help maintain 24-hour sheriff’s patrol and address response times that can currently take up to 50 minutes.”
For more information about Yuba County’s Public Safety and Essential Services Protection Measure, visit www.yuba.org.