Measure S is a well thought-out proposition. From building an additional jail in the North County that has been needed for over 25 years, to the programs that will help stop recidivism. In the past two years our county’s law enforcement and firefighter agencies have been dangerously cut and with five major wild fires in Santa Barbara County within a two year period, they need all the help they can get just to maintain the status quo.
The timing of the half-cent sales tax increase for Measure S aligns with the sunset of the one-cent state sales tax, so that the taxpayer will not feel an additional burden. A quarter-cent sales tax measure would only build a jail, not operate it with the needed programs to stop recidivism.
This is the best possible solution to our early releases of prisoners and will enhance our public safety. Vote yes on Measure S!—Kathleen Watts
Over the last few weeks and months, voters in our county have had many opportunities to read and study the facts about Measure S-2010. The dea of paying any new taxes for anything that our families do not directly benefit from usually gets our attention, as it does that of many of our neighbors, colleagues, and friends. So, why should we support Measure S? It is pretty simple. Reality check: Criminals sentenced to jail in our county must be humanely housed, and released either at the end of their sentence, or early if adequate jail space cannot be provided. Without space to house them, current laws require that they be released early.
Reality check: We elected Bill Brown to be our County Sheriff because we knew that he would bring new leadership and vision for problem-solving to our county and his department. Rather than re-heat the cold soup of old ideas from the past, Brown first secured state matching funds for a new jail and then met tirelessly with elected officials, civic leaders, nonprofit organizations, and community members to seek and develop the best ideas for solving, on his watch, our county’s jail overcrowding and inmate recidivism challenges. Leaving the problems for others to solve was simply not an option.
If approved by the voters November 2nd, funds from a ½ cent sales tax will be used to provide the county’s match for construction of a new North County Jail, provide funding for jail operations, provide funding to assist county-wide law enforcement and fire safety agencies, and also provide funding for successful alternative-to-incarceration programs. Leaving no stone unturned , once passed, Measure S-2010 will require the formation of oversight committees to monitor and report on the collection and disbursement of these funds.
As you contemplate your own vote on Measure S-2010 at home or at the polls in the days and weeks to come, remember to complete your own reality check! Make solving our county’s jail overcrowding problem your priority too, vote yes!—Richard and Ophelia Rojas, Goleta