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Lake Elsinore voters favoring Measure Z

 

Last updated 11/4/2020 at 9:46am

Voter Arnett Mango receives his "I voted" sticker after casting his ballot in Lake Elsinore on Election Day. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo

Voters in the city of Lake Elsinore seemed to favor approving Measure Z, a 1% sales tax proposed to help the city address service, public safety, and local recovery needs.

As of 8:30 a.m., 7,035 voted yes and 3,813 voted no on the measure with 100% of precincts reporting.

The results of the election are not final or complete. 

Nearby cities such as Temecula, Murrieta, and Wildomar have passed similar measures in recent years and leading up to the election, Yates said the city had done everything they could to stave off putting the new tax on the ballot. 

“We've really worked hard to make sure that when we get to this point, we have exhausted every opportunity we can to try to make it work,” Yates said in an interview with Valley News in September. “So, the council came to the realization that to be the great city that we want to be and that we strive to be, and that we're working toward, we have to have financial stability

“We're also concerned that if we don't make this move, the county or the state will down the road, and then we'll never have this opportunity again. Therefore we're asking the community to tell us if they want to enact this, like every other city in southwest Riverside County.”

According to the city, the measure will generate $10 million per year that will go into the city’s general fund, and usage of the funds will be monitored by an oversight committee.

“The areas we're targeting are police and fire and homeless and special teams in the police department, reducing the gang and drug activity, emergency management, sidewalks, potholes, street repairs, all of the above really is what we're talking about putting this money toward,” Yates said. “A citizen oversight committee that will be connected to this and there will meet twice a year and they'll make sure that the city is spending the money as intended and will provide input on ways to spend the money.”

The council put the measure on the ballot back in late July with a 4-0 and councilmember Steve Manos absent. 

According to Yates, getting to that point included a lot of community outreach.

“We think this will be effective because we have spent a lot of time connecting with our community,” he said. “We've done a lot of interaction with the community with formal surveys. We have had lots and lots of face-to-face meetings. We did what we call Let's Talk Lake Elsinore. We were out in the community before COVID hit and talked to them, dozens and dozens of groups and hundreds of people. 

“We basically believe that the citizens are telling us that they want to be a great city. They want to have great public safety services. They want to have great roads. They want to have homeless issues addressed. When you put it together, you need to have the resources to do that. Our understanding is that the community wants all the good things that go along with having a dedicated revenue stream.”

For more information on the measure, visit http://www.lake-elsinore.org/residents/measure-z.

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at [email protected] 

 

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