Turlock City News

Turlock City News

Turlock Road Tax Fails, Voters Approve District Elections


Measure B, the controversial seven-year half-cent sales tax increase devoted to fixing Turlock roads narrowly failed with 61.02 percent, just shy of the 66.7 percent, or two-thirds majority, needed to pass.

On the other hand, Measure A, the proposed initiative to change to the manner in which City Council elections are held, from at-large to district elections, will now divide the City into four districts with one councilmember representing each, after the Measure passed widely with 73.96 percent of voter approval.

The purpose of the failed Measure B would have been specifically for the construction, reconstruction, replacement, repair and/or maintenance of existing City streets, sidewalks, curbs, gutters, ramps, pedestrian/bicycle improvements, including Americans with Disabilities Act improvements, and necessary pavement markings.

The City Finance Department estimated Measure B would have raised an additional $39 million in tax revenue over the proposed seven-year period.

The tax would have begun April 1, 2015 and would have terminated seven years after, or upon the adoption of a new countywide transportation sales tax measure.

Despite its narrow failing, the numbers did show strong support for the tax. The Citizens for Yes on Measure B Committee had reported a total of $27,270 in year-to-date contributions and were left with $9,784.74 cash on hand.

With the passage of Measure A, though there was no current impending legal action being taken, the City rids itself of the potential vulnerability to a legal challenge under the California Voting Rights Act of 2001.

The Act states that an “at-large method of election may not be imposed or applied in a manner that impairs the ability of a protected class to elect candidates of its choice or its ability to influence the outcome of an election, as a result of the dilution or the abridgment of the rights of voters who are members of a protected class.”

The City of Modesto spent $1.7 million to fight a California Voting Rights Act case, which it ultimately lost, and was then forced to pay another $3 million in plaintiff’s attorney fees. Even lawsuits which are settled in a single day have ended in six figure settlements.

Districts created by the City Council, in line with State and Federal laws requiring each district to be approximately equal in population, will allow district boundary adjustments based on new census data without voter approval. In May, the current Turlock City Council selected the map that would divide the city into four evenly-sized voting districts.

Regarding future elections, changes will take effect in 2016 for the two council seats up for election at the time and in 2018, the remaining two seats would be elected in the same manner; Mayoral candidates will continue to be elected at-large and all registered voters in the City will have the opportunity to vote for any Mayoral candidate. 

Comments 20

  1. A "No Voter" says:

    This is why Measure B failed.
    Until pensions are reigned in, tax increases will be voted down.

  2. You get what you deserve. says:

    61% of Turlock voted for better roads. A 39% minority kept it from happening. Most of Turlock wants a road tax. It will happen eventually. Thanks to everyone who tried make Turlock a better place. Congrats to those who opposed Measure B – You succeeded in assuring the road will continue to deteriorate with no solution in site.

  3. Deserve says:

    Deserve, the problem is not a lack of income. It is paying out 2-3 million dollars over 30 years to a single public safety retiree. The vast majority of the money originally intended for roads is being rerouted to a select few, who don’t even serve the city any longer. This is a problem for the new mayor to solve. Don’t ask for more money, properly manage the money you already have.

  4. Tim Redd says:

    Do you know how ridiculous and ignorant your comment makes you sound? Even if an employee retired and was making $100,000 a year, he/she will never live to enjoy until they are eighty. Research shows the life expectancy of a public safety employee is 5-8 years past retirement and they can’t even retire until fifty. PERS counts on this stat as well.

    This shortened life span is due to the stress the jobs put on the body over a thirty year career not to mention chemicals they are exposed to.

    I’m sick and tired of people bashing public safety because they get a secure retirement after working a full career doing things most people can’t, or don’t want, to do. I’m still on the job and don’t live a lavish life-style so it’s safe to say I didn’t in to this job to get rich.

    But I, like everyone else, made a choice of what career to get into. Please don’t belittle that choice if I looked at the total picture instead of how to make the quick BIG bucks and pray social security is still around.

    Please just say THANK YOU because I put my life on the line everyday for you and your family for $5786 per month as do the rest of police officers and firefighters.

    And if you think it can’t happen here please stop by and take a look at Memorial at Lakewood Cemetary then maybe you can tell me how much money you would take to put your life on the line for total strangers.

    Tim Redd

  5. Dear Tim Redd says:

    Do you think Police and Fire have a monopoly on stressful jobs? Let’s take field laborers and lawyers and plumbers and contractors and electrical workers and doctors. Who in God’s great earth gets to retire at 50. And collect full retirement. That is insane. And I for one as a taxpayer am not going to take it anymore. REIGN in this grossly mismanaged retirement for the sacred few. We all have stressful jobs. We all work hard. Please Soieseth and the new Council. Reign in the mismanaged funds. You don’t need Fire and Police support anymore. Do the right thing.

  6. Really Tim? says:

    Tim ~

    Did you really say public safety employees can’t even retire until they’re 50? Oh poor babies. Many people work stressful jobs and have little sympathy for you. According to http://www.transparentcalifornia.com you made $6,814 per month ($81,769 yr.) in base salary in 2012 and 17,863 more in overtime pay. You also received $25,385 in benefits. I think if you don’t even know how much you make you need to find a new line of work. So cry me a river over how bad you have it. AND you get to retire at 50?

    Nurses, teachers, waitresses and childcare workers all have tougher jobs than you. Sorry you have to listen to people complain as you sit back on your fat wallet and retirement. NO ONE should be allowed to retire at 50 and suck on the public teat for the rest of their lives. This is particularly true for guys who relish their jobs. Tell us how you put you life on the line every day? Give me a break.

  7. Tax payer says:

    We already pay taxes in Turlock designed to keep up the maintenance of the roadways. Now they keep whining for more. If you give them an inch, they will take a mile……

  8. Appreciated says:

    The above comments are intended toward the politicians who created this problem. The attached link shows a recent survey proving that public safety actually outlive non public safety by one year.

  9. Tim not so read says:

    Tim, do you read the news? Last I saw there are always lines of 100 people or more for the firefighters jobs in any area. I think people also volunteer for free for the job you do. Am I correct? Lastly, only 4% of calls for Fire department services is to actually put out a fire. You are the richest person who fetches ducks out of storm drains. I am not sure why animal control doesn’t do that just like why the ambulance can’t respond to medical calls. What do you really do?

  10. Guest says:

    I just had to comment after that long rant. To the person who brought up pensions, partially true. But I think the bigger problem with the road tax is tthere is no accountability on the funds. Time and rime again money is unevenly distributed to serve the east side of town. Real example- Monte Vista will be repaved 5-6 times before W. Main st gets a portion of the potholes covered once. Secondly, they keep hiring the kaziest people on the planet to fix the roads so it takes too long. Drive by any road construction sites and you will see guys standing around in pockets at all times of the day. I voted no for those 2 reasons. Untili see Westside streets repaved I will always vote no.
    To the cop, get over it.
    You chose your job, your pay is more than sufficient. And before you retaliate, understand you are speaking to a veteran who also put his life on the line several times overseas with a paycheck less than half of yours. 5786, dude are you serious, most would love to get that much, you say that that is not lavish but understand that to most poor people, those whom you serve, that is rich. And last moot point, most people dont bash cops because of their pay, they do it due to their frustration with police brutality and corruption. Spend some time on YouTube. Citizen rights education should be incorporated into police training.

    Have a safe day.

  11. Turlocker says:

    As a former security officer I myself have been in dangerous situations granted not as many as you I am sure but none the less dangerous I have had knives bats pipes and many other weapons pulled and sometimes used against me. I know a security guard they are jokes but lets face it a security officer has a dangerous job and most of them do it for minimum wage no health and no retirement Also not to mention many of them do this job with no protection at all except their own hands.. So with that being said everything you said is irrelevant.

  12. TRUTHBETOLD! says:

    “The most common argument I hear from[b] SAFETY MEMBERS[/b] justifying the lush pensions is that they die shortly after retirement. This is one of those [b]ABSURD MYTHS[/b] that [b]$AFETY MEMBER$[/b] and their union members either truly believe or falsely promote for political purposes. On its face, it’s a hard one to believe. If $AFETY MEMBER$ died a few years after retirement, there would be no [b]UNFUNDED LIABILITY CRISIS!![/b] like there is in [b]Fat City, and Detoilet!! [/b] The crisis is caused by the large number of [b] $AFETY MEMEBER$[/b] who earn “3 percent at 50? retirements for decades.”

    Indeed, on the opposite end of these, we see many of these officials who do retire at age 50 go on to have a second career and sometimes even generate a second pension,[b] AKA DOUBLE DIPPER$
    This is certainly not to begrudge people of a decent living, but there is clearly a need for honesty in this debate so that the public can make up their own mind as to whether or not they believe these benefits are sustainable. The justification that there is only a short window of benefits for public safety employees appears to be debunked by the organization that provides those benefits to begin with and whose board is heavily tilted toward[b] $AFETY MEMBER$ UNION$.[/b] Personally, several years ago my cousin retired from SFPD with 35+ yrs of service as a Captain, and pulls in over $200,000.00 per year. My neighbor who works for ACFD arrived home and was mowing his lawn, I asked him where he drum up the energy to mow his lawn, He stated I’ll work harder here mowing my front yard than he did the entire four days on duty!! And the band played on………………….

  13. BTW Tim says:

    Time you should also know that police work isn’t even in the top 10 deadliest jobs. So tell me again why you’re so special?

    Top 10 in Order:

    1. Logging worker
    2. Fisherman
    3. Aircraft Pilot
    4. Roofers
    5. Structural iron and steel workers
    6. Refuse and recyclable material collectors
    7. Electrical power-line installers and repairers
    8. Drivers/sales workers and truck drivers
    9. Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers
    10. Construction laborers

  14. Lol @ Tim Redd says:

    Firefighters do virtually nothing most of their careers. They hang around the fire house shooting the breeze with the boys most of the time and have a rare occasion of an actually dangerous call. Who wouldn’t want to earn money sleeping and eating groceries paid for by the rest of us then retire with some ridiculous undeserved and Wholly unrealistic pension? You’re a joke Tim.

  15. Salary Proof? says:

    Where is the proof what Tim Redd makes or what any city employee makes?

    I saw a comment on another story that John Lazar’s campaign manager was given a job after he was elected and then the City manager gave her a raise paying $161,000 a year. Someone should check on that and the conflict of interest.

  16. Police lie says:

    Policeman Tim Redd said that he made $5,700 a month.

    This shows that he makes $10,000 a month or $120,000 a year.

    Police lie and maybe this is why the city manager can’t negotiate with you and why our city has no money to fix the roads.

  17. Guest says:

    If you actually knew how to read, you would see that Redd in fact earned a bit more than $8300 a month (with nearly $1500 a month being in overtime. It’s not like the money was given to him for not working excess hours)! Implying that he made over $10000 a month is disingenuous and takes away from your argument. To include benefits as if it was compensable pay is a lie. When asked how much you make, do you include social security taxes, unemployment insurance, and healthcare costs provided by your employer? Of course not, so quiet your whining…You continue to argue against yourself when you say “you knew the risks of the job and the pay” when you took it, yet you want to argue that Public Safety is being paid too much. If the money was so great, why can the city not fill it’s vacant positions? Who is the liar now?

  18. overpaid city and state workers says:

    the majority of city and state workers are overpaid and lazy. plain and simple. The only people they are fooling are the mouth breathing masses of Turlock who root for football like it means something.

  19. Guest says:

    It’s not the pay but the agency. Reputation is everything in any employment sector

  20. What's Soiseth's plan? says:

    Where is kid mayor Soiseth’s plan now? He opposed this tax only because the Turlock Chamber of Commerce created this plan and he said there had to be change. Where is the plan of change? Where is the solution to fixing the roads? Who wants to bet it will be a road tax.

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