Residents go the polls July 22 to decide issues crucial to city's future
Officials for both sides of the Measure I debate planned to do last-minute politicking and precinct-walking in East Palo Alto this weekend in preparation for Tuesday's election.
East Palo Alto voters will go to the polls to vote on two tax measures which city officials say are crucial for the city's finances and public safety.
By Thursday morning, 312 absentee ballots had already been received by the San Mateo County Registrar of Voters.
"The key to the election is the village," City Council member Duane Bay said Tuesday night, referring to the large residential area south of University Avenue and east of Bay Road.
City officials and volunteers who support Measure I were calling voters and walking precincts this week, hoping for a good turnout July 22.
Measure I, a police services tax that needs a two-thirds majority vote to pass, is a three-year tax that would generate $889,000 a year. It would tax homeowners $150 a year and businesses $1,000 a year.
Police Chief Wes Bowling said if the measure fails, his department will have to lay off up to 14 officers, dropping staffing from 41 to 27 officers. He said such a reduction would have serious consequences on his department's ability to enforce the law in the city.
Measure J, which would increase the city's business license tax, would generate about $50,000 a year and needs a simple majority to pass.
A group has formed to campaign against Measure I. The group, Citizens Against Tax Increases, includes members of the United Homeowners of East Palo Alto. One of them, Samuel Rasheed, said he is against the tax because he believes the ballot arguments for it are misleading.
"Measure I is a lie," he said several times during a forum on the ballot measures last Saturday.
Polling places in the city will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. next Tuesday.
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