Policymakers oft refer the wonkier questions to voters during odd year special elections knowing that while the turnout may be low, the few participating will tend to be a better-informed lot. The strategy offers a bit of hedge against the wedge politicking seen in most even-yeared contests.
For 2017, the one countywide question is whether the current Public Safety and Health Services Levy should be renewed; this is Measure 2-110.
The Advocate is endorsing a yes vote on this measure. Voters are already paying this tax; the vote is simply a five-year renewal of an existing levy. At $90 taxed yearly per $100,000 of assessed property value, we recognize this affects homeowners and rental rates. But, we believe County leaders have been reasonably good stewards, and the community needs the services. Notably, we would not have 24-hour Sheriff’s patrols if not for this levy.
Also paid with this levy: communicable disease outbreak tracking and prevention, supports for inmates completing state sentences, and jail bed rentals for our overflow into neighboring counties. This levy supports several mental health initiatives through both the Public Health and the Sheriff’s Departments. While some will point to malpractice within the nation’s ranks of law enforcement, our local department demonstrates a bent towards sensitivity and progressiveness.