Voting is an important part of democracy and all eligible voters should utilize the opportunity given through voting to use their voice in this country. However, voting without knowledge of all the choices in a ballot is a very risky decision that should be avoided at all costs.
This Election Day will present Fullerton residents with two measures to vote on. One is called Measure S: Community Services, Street Repair and Emergency Measure. This is a plan to add a 1.25% sales tax to the area, which is expected to add about $25 million annually towards funding for the city. To vote ‘Yes’ on this measure would mean supporting to authorize the proposed tax. Responding with a ‘No’ would be a rejection of the proposed tax.
The measure claims that these funds are intended to go towards fixing several different general issues such as street repair, addressing the homeless problem and cleaning up encampments. It mentions but does not guarantee that these problems will be addressed and only moves to create the additional tax. The money received will go into the general city funds.
The measure also declared that the spending of the funds would require disclosure, audits and oversight. While this is essential regarding all government spending, this measure does not ensure that the funding will be used for the causes mentioned, which were merely given as examples.
On the other hand, if this money is required to accomplish these goals and the city is actually short on funds to accomplish them, then rejecting the measure would mean that these problems at hand would more than likely continue on.
The other measure for the City of Fullerton that will be on the upcoming ballot is Measure U: The Fireworks Measure Ballot. This would amend Chapter 7.26 of the Fullerton Municipal Code to prohibit the sale, possession and use of fireworks in the City of Fullerton. A ‘Yes’ vote would prohibit sales, possession and use of all fireworks in Fullerton, except for permitted professional displays. A ‘No’ vote would leave in place the existing ordinance which permits safe and sane fireworks sales, possession and use in the city.
When a measure is submitted to the ballot, local politicians or people whom the measure may concern will submit an argument in favor of or against it. As far as Measure U goes, no argument was submitted in favor of the ban.
On the other hand, one important fact to consider that was brought to attention is that over the past seven years 47 different local community groups shared in over $2 million in profits from the sale of safe and legal fireworks.
In an article published by the Daily Titan in July, Fullerton Police Sgt. Eric Bridges said that the department has had an increase in calls regarding the use of illegal fireworks beginning in the middle of May.
According to Fullerton City Council Member Jesus SIlva, these measures are on the ballot due to a series of repeated community complaints. Thus, the city council determined that putting these measures on the ballot would give Fullerton residents a fair opportunity to speak out on these issues.