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WE'RE ALL READY?

[Call to Order]

[00:00:02]

GOOD MORNING AND WELCOME TO THE SPECIAL BOARD MEETING OF TUESDAY, AUGUST FOURTH 2020.

WE DON'T HAVE ANYBODY FOR INVOCATION UNLESS SOMEBODY WOULD LIKE TO VOLUNTEER FROM THE BOARD OF THE PUBLIC FOR TODAY'S INVOCATION.

OK, THANK YOU.

CAN EVERYBODY PLEASE STAND? LORD, THANK YOU FOR THIS DAY.

IT'S ANOTHER DAY THAT WE GET TO WORSHIP YOU AND HONOR THE GOOD THINGS THAT YOU'RE DOING.

LORD, YOU'RE GOING TO BE THOUGHT OF A LOT.

I KNOW THAT OUR LEADERS TALK TO YOU ON A DAILY BASIS.

AND, LORD, I KNOW THAT PUBLIC NEEDS YOUR GUIDANCE DURING THIS TIME.

PLEASE GIVE THE GUIDANCE TO THOSE THAT ARE NEEDING THE HELP SUCH AS ME, AND GET US THROUGH THIS DAY. WE HAVE A BLESSED COUNTY.

WE'VE GOT GREAT LEADERS.

KEEP BLESSING THEM AND ENCOURAGING THEM.

AND DON'T LET THE LEADERS BE DOWNFALLED BECAUSE OF WHAT'S GOING ON NOW.

WE'VE GOT AN OPPORTUNITY.

LORD, I PRAY FOR YOU.

PRAY FOR EVERYBODY.

AND IN JESUS NAME, AMEN.

AMEN. THANK YOU, SHERIFF.

I WILL LEAD US INTO THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE.

GO AHEAD. IT'S NOW TIME FOR A PUBLIC OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK ON ANY MATTER OF THE PUBLIC'S

[PUBLIC OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK]

INTEREST WITHIN THE BOARD'S JURISDICTION, INCLUDING ITEMS ON THE BOARD'S AGENDA, EXCEPT FOR THOSE ITEMS SPECIFICALLY SCHEDULED AS PUBLIC HEARINGS, TESTIMONY LIMITED TO THREE MINUTES PER PERSON. THANK YOU.

WE'LL HAVE THE SHERIFF SPEAK FIRST AND THEN THE REST OF THE PUBLIC COMMENTS.

GOOD MORNING, BOARD, CHAIRMAN.

I'M COMING TO YOU- I KNOW THAT THIS SALES TAX MEASURE HAS BEEN WEIGHING ON A LOT OF HEARTS. AS AN ELECTED OFFICIAL IN OUR COUNTY, I, TOO, DON'T WANT TO SEE ANY MORE TAXES IN OUR COUNTY.

BUT WE'RE LEFT WITH A DILEMMA.

WE ALREADY ARE NOT GETTING THE MONEY THAT COULD BE PROPOSED BY THIS.

I'VE GOT THE SURVEY IN FRONT OF ME AND EACH ONE OF YOUR DISTRICTS THAT POLLED, THE MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE SAID THAT THEY WOULD SUPPORT A SALES TAX INCREASE BASED UPON THE CRITERIA THAT THIS BOARD GAVE DIRECTION TO HAVE.

WE NEED TO THINK ABOUT WHAT WE'RE ABOUT TO DO AND LET'S DO SOMETHING THAT IS IN OUR POWER FOR HERE, AND I KNOW THAT EACH ONE OF YOU STRUGGLES WITH THIS.

AND I'VE TALKED TO MANY OF YOU BECAUSE I'VE STRUGGLED WITH IT.

I PRAYED ABOUT IT THIS MORNING.

BUT WE NEED TO LET THE VOTERS DECIDE BECAUSE THE VOTERS HAVE BEEN ASKED ABOUT THIS.

I'M NOT SAYING THAT YOU'RE GOING TO APPROVE THE TAX MEASURE, BUT I THINK THAT WE SHOULD GIVE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR OUR VOTERS.

IF THE VOTERS TURN IT DOWN, THEN WE DON'T GET IT.

BUT IF WE DON'T ALLOW THE VOTERS TO AT LEAST LOOK AT IT, WE'RE NOT GOING TO GET IT.

IT'S A TRYING TIME.

WE'RE DOING THINGS THAT WE'VE NEVER HAD TO DO BEFORE.

LET'S LET OUR VOTERS DECIDE, AS AN ELECTED OFFICIAL EACH ONE OF YOU ARE.

I THINK THAT THE VOTERS CAN TAKE CARE OF THIS IN A WAY THAT, YOU KNOW, IT'S UP TO THEM.

THEY'RE GOING TO LET YOU KNOW IF THEY DON'T WANT IT, BUT AT LEAST GIVE THEM THE OPPORTUNITY. LIKE I SAID, THE POLLING IS VERY CLEAR THAT THE MAJORITY SAID THAT THEY WOULD SUPPORT IT BASED UPON THE CRITERIA THAT YOU GAVE DIRECTION FOR.

AGAIN, I DON'T WANT TO SEE ANY MORE TAXES EITHER, BUT WE'RE STUCK IN THAT POSITION THAT WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING. WE KNOW THAT IN LIGHT OF WHAT'S GOING ON, THAT THERE'S A POSSIBILITY THAT FUNDING WILL BE WITHHELD.

BUT WE NEED TO LET OUR VOTERS KNOW THAT WE STILL CARE.

WE WANT THE QUALITY OF LIFE TO CONTINUE AS IT'S BEEN GOING.

IT'S BEEN IMPROVING. WE'D LIKE TO SEE THAT CONTINUE.

SO THAT'S MY TWO CENTS WORTH OR MY HALF CENT WORTH.

SO I APPRECIATE YOUR TIME.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH. THANK YOU.

AND NOW ANYBODY ELSE WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK? WE'RE GOING TO COMBINE THE PUBLIC COMMENT TOGETHER WITH ITEM NUMBER ONE, WHICH IS ON THE HALF CENT SALES TAX. SO IF ANYBODY WOULD LIKE TO TALK ABOUT ANYTHING ABOUT PUBLIC COMMENT OR ABOUT THE ITEM, PLEASE COME FORWARD.

HI, CATHY BALLARD, A CITIZEN OF LOS BANOS.

I'M COMING TO YOU BECAUSE I'VE ALWAYS BEEN AGAINST ANY KIND OF TAXES BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT USED PROPERLY. AND I THINK THAT'S WHY EVERYONE PUTS OVER A GENERAL FUND TAX BECAUSE IT

[00:05:07]

ONLY NEEDS 50 PERCENT PLUS ONE.

I FEEL THAT IF YOU GUYS NEED A TAX FOR A CERTAIN THING, YOU SHOULD HAVE IT EARMARKED EXACTLY WHERE IT'S GOING TO GO AND HOW YOU'RE GOING TO USE IT, NOT DUMP IT IN A FUND THAT CAN BE USED ALL OVER THE PLACE.

THE AVERAGE INCOME IN MERCED IS FIFTY THOUSAND.

IF I TAKE OUT GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, IT DROPS TO TWENTY, TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND.

THAT'S WHERE YOU'RE SUCKING THAT MONEY FROM.

YOU GUYS ARE HERE TO REPRESENT US AS CITIZENS.

I KNOW THERE'S LOTS OF STUFF THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE AND REPAIRED AND BUILT.

I'M TIRED OF SEEING TAXES THAT DON'T GO TO THAT.

WE RECENTLY PASSED A MEASURE H.

I'M ON THE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE.

THEY SAID THAT WE HAD POWER TO MAKE SURE- I'VE HAD ONE MEETING SINCE THAT MEASURE WAS PASSED. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THEY'RE SPENDING IT ON.

YOUR PUBLIC IS GETTING TICKED OFF BECAUSE YOU KEEP TAKING AND THEY'RE NOT SEEING.

LOS BANOS HAS A SALES TAX EQUIVALENT TO SAN FRANCISCO.

RIDICULOUS.

BECAUSE SAN FRANCISCO'S INCOME, IF I TAKE OUT THE GOVERNMENT, IS THREE TIMES AS MUCH AS HERE. BUT YOU'RE ASKING US TO PAY IT.

SO I WANT YOU TO THINK OF WHO ELECTED YOU, WHO YOU NEED TO REPRESENT, THE PEOPLE YOU'RE TAKING MONEY OUT OF THEIR POCKETS.

THANK YOU. THANK YOU.

ANYONE ELSE? YOU CAN LOWER IT DOWN, THERE'S A BUTTON ON THE RIGHT, UP AND DOWN, JUST PUSH IT DOWN.

THANK YOU.

WELL, MY NAME IS I'M HERE TO ADDRESS THE SALES TAX, THE PROPOSED GENERAL SALES TAX.

THIS IS AN INEQUITABLE MEASURE.

IT IS BOTH REGRESSIVE AND IT'S REVENUE GENERATION AND INADEQUATE AS A MEASURE TO ADDRESS THE DEEP INEQUALITIES AND VULNERABILITIES THAT LOWER INCOME RESIDENTS FACE.

IT FAILS TO ADDRESS THE PRIORITIES OF ALL MERCED COUNTY RESIDENTS, AND IT PRIORITIZES CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS OVER INVESTMENTS IN DISADVANTAGED COMMUNITIES AND UNINCORPORATED MERCED COUNTY.

MERCED COUNTY RESIDENTS HAVE CONSISTENTLY PRIORITIZED FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR RENT, MORTGAGE AND UTILITIES, AS WELL AS PARKS AND RECREATION, COMMUNITY CENTERS FOR ROAD REPAIRS AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING.

THESE HAVE BEEN THEIR PRIORITIES FOR YEARS.

COVID-19 HAS AMPLIFIED THESE NEEDS.

THE RESOLUTION STATES THAT DOLLARS GENERATED BY THIS MEASURE WILL MAINTAIN ECONOMIC STABILITY, VITAL COUNTY SERVICES AND RECOVERY EFFORTS.

BUT NOWHERE IN THIS RESOLUTION AND THE ORDINANCE IS THEIR LANGUAGE THAT THESE DOLLARS WILL BE USED TO REPLACE THE DOWNTOWN JAIL, MAKE IMPROVEMENTS TO THE ONE HUNDRED AND TEN COUNTY OWNED BUILDINGS, OR BRING BUILDINGS INTO ADA COMPLIANCE.

APPARENTLY, THIS HAS BEEN IN THE MAKING FOR OVER A YEAR OR AROUND A YEAR, BUT RESIDENTS JUST LEARNED ABOUT THIS MEASURE SEVENTY TWO HOURS BEFORE THE BOARD WAS GOING TO VOTE.

THE LACK OF TRANSPARENCY DISPLAYED HERE IS EGREGIOUS AND DISINGENUOUS.

THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN A SCHEDULED ITEM FOR A PUBLIC HEARING ON THE AGENDA DURING MULTIPLE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETINGS.

RESIDENTS SHOULD HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO GIVE INPUT ON SPENDING PRIORITIES.

FURTHERMORE, BASED ON THE WORDING OF THIS ITEM AND RELATED AGENDA DOCUMENTS, WE QUESTION THE CONCLUSION THAT THE PROPOSED MEASURE WOULD QUALIFY AS A GENERAL TAX.

SPECIFICALLY, WE QUESTION WHETHER IDENTIFICATION OF SPECIFIC AND LIMITED PRIORITIES RENDERS THE MEASURE A SPECIAL TAX AND SUBJECT TO A HIGHER VOTE REQUIREMENT THAN A GENERAL TAX. WE URGE THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS TO VOTE NO ON THIS MEASURE UNLESS YOU DESIGNATED PORTION OF THE MEASURE DOLLARS TO ADJUST ECONOMIC RECOVERY AND INVEST IN UNDERSERVED COMMUNITIES BY ALLOCATING A PORTION OF THE DOLLARS TO PARKS AND RECREATION,COMMUNITY CENTERS DESPERATELY NEEDED ROAD REPAIRS AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING.

THANK YOU. AND OTHER PUBLIC COMMENTS? GOOD MORNING, BOARD OF SUPERVISORS AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS.

MY NAME IS THE PROPOSED SALES TAX DOES NOT INCLUDE THE RESIDENT PRIORITIES, AS MENTIONED. AND HAVING PARTICIPATED IN YOUR MEETINGS THROUGHOUT THIS PANDEMIC, WE HAVE NOT SEEN THE INVOLVEMENT FROM RESIDENTS THAT THIS REPORT STATES THAT FROM FEBRUARY TO JUNE

[00:10:04]

TWENTY TWENTY, THAT THERE HAVE BEEN TOWN HALLS AND COMMUNITY MEETINGS.

I THINK THAT COMMUNITY RESIDENTS HAVE NOT BEEN INFORMED OF THIS AT ALL.

AND THAT'S WHY YOU HAVE THE KIND OF REACTION YOU DO AS WELL TODAY.

THROUGHOUT THE PUBLIC PROCESS, YOU KNOW, IF ANYBODY WAS REACHED ABOUT THIS SALES TAX, IT WAS THROUGH A SURVEY WHICH DID NOT TECHNICALLY INFORM THEM THAT THIS WOULD LEAD TO THE PROPOSAL OF A SALES TAX, LOOKING AT THE QUESTIONS.

THE OVER RELIANCE ON A FEW PEOPLE RANDOMLY SELECTED IS A POOR BASIS FOR PROPOSING TWO HUNDRED FIFTY FIVE MILLION DOLLARS OVER THE NEXT 15 YEARS, REGARDLESS OF HOW MANY SURVEYS WERE CONDUCTED AND WHEN THEY WERE CONDUCTED.

THE BOARD'S PRIORITIES SET IN TWENTY SEVENTEEN DO NOT MAKE THIS PROPOSED TAX ANY MORE LEGITIMATE SIMPLY BECAUSE THIS WAS DISCUSSED A FEW TIMES THREE YEARS AGO AND THIS WASN'T EVEN THE BOARD THAT TALKED ABOUT IT.

THE- I'M SORRY, THE COUNTY IS PROPOSING TO USE THE FUNDS TO EXPAND THE JAIL WHILE AT THE SAME TIME PROPOSING TO PREVENT VIOLENT CRIME AND GANG ACTIVITY.

THIS IS COUNTERINTUITIVE BECAUSE ONE DOES NOT SUPPORT THE OTHER AND GOES TO SHOW THAT THE COUNTY INTENDS TO INVEST ITS LOCAL DOLLARS, NOT THE STATE OR FEDERAL FUNDS, BUT OUR COMMUNITIES MONEY INTO MORE POLICING AND INCARCERATION.

THESE ARE NOT OUR COMMUNITIES PRIORITIES.

AS WE SAID FROM TIME AND TIME AGAIN, WE'VE SUBMITTED PUBLIC COMMENTS THAT DO NOT GET READ BECAUSE THEY'RE EMAILED.

AND SO WE NEVER HEAR WHAT THE PUBLIC IS SAYING.

WE- BEFORE THE PANDEMIC, WE HAVE BEEN HERE WITH RESIDENTS AND THEY HAVE ASKED FOR COMMUNITY PARKS AND THINGS THAT HELP THE COMMUNITY THRIVE RATHER THAN MORE INCARCERATION.

WE KNOW THAT BLACK, BROWN AND POOR PEOPLE ARE DISPROPORTIONATELY AFFECTED BY THE PRISON SYSTEM. AND SO WITHOUT THERE BEING A, YOU KNOW, WE REALLY DON'T KNOW WHAT THESE FUNDS ARE BEING PROPOSED FOR. THESE ARE WHAT WE HEARD AT THE LAST MEETING AND WHAT'S WRITTEN IN HERE. BUT THAT IS WHY WE ARE SAYING THAT THERE HAS BEEN NO PUBLIC PROCESS.

AND IS THIS WHAT OUR COMMUNITY REALLY WANTS OR IS THIS SOMETHING THAT THE BOARD WANTS SPECIFICALLY? AND, YOU KNOW, IT'S- WE'RE ASKING FOR A LOT OF MONEY AND IT DOESN'T IDENTIFY ANY OF WHAT- MUCH OF WHAT THE RESIDENTS WANT.

AND SO WE ASK THAT YOU NOT PUT THIS ON THE BALLOT.

IT'S NOT REALLY- IT'S NOT THAT YOU'RE NOT GIVING THE VOTERS A CHANCE TO VOTE ON IT, IS THAT YOU SHOULDN'T EVEN PUT IT ON THE BALLOT RIGHT NOW BECAUSE IT HASN'T BEEN PRIORITIZED BY RESIDENTS. SO THANK YOU.

THANK YOU. ANYONE WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK? I DON'T KNOW HOW THIS WORKS.

UP OR DOWN. OK, HERE WE GO.

HI, GOOD MORNING. MY NAME IS ANTHONY MARTINEZ.

MANY OF YOU KNOW ME. AND SO WHAT I'M ABOUT TO SAY, YOU CAN PROBABLY UNDERSTAND IT'S NOT PERSONAL, BUT I AM GOING TO BE HIGHLY CRITICAL BECAUSE WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT HERE IS BUSINESS.

FOR ME, WHEN IT COMES TO THIS TAX, IT'S A HARD NO.

AND I WANT TO EXPLAIN A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHY IT'S A HARD NO FOR ME.

IN ALL FRANKNESS, IN MY OPINION, THE COUNTY DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO USE THE MONEY IT'S GIVEN. THE COUNTY DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO MAKE MONEY.

WHAT I'M GETTING AT IS THAT- LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR EMPLOYEES, FOR EXAMPLE, THINGS LIKE YOUR THEY HAVE TO COME TO THE MIC HAT IN HAND LIKE A CHARLES DICKENS CHARACTER BEGGING FOR A POINT FIVE, ONE POINT FIVE RAISE.

AND IN ORDER TO GET THAT, THEY HAVE TO GIVE UP A STIPEND OR SOME KIND OF VACATION BENEFIT OR SOMETHING, GOT TO GIVE UP SOMETHING TO GET SOME.

BUT HERE'S THE THING. YOU GUYS EMPLOY MORE EMPLOYEES THAN ANY OTHER ENTITY IN THE COUNTY.

SO WHAT THAT MEANS IS IF YOU'RE SENDING OUT THOSE PEOPLE INTO THE COMMUNITY WITH MINIMAL SPENDING POWER, WHAT YOU'RE REALLY DOING IS GIVING THEM LESS MONEY TO SPEND AT YOUR SMALL BUSINESSES. IF THEY HAVE LESS MONEY TO SPEND AT YOUR SMALL BUSINESSES, THOSE CAN'T GROW AND EXPAND. SO WHAT I'M GETTING AT IS ALL THE MONEY YOU'RE LOOKING TO SAVE BY NOT GIVING IT TO YOUR EMPLOYEES MEANS THAT YOU DON'T GET IT BACK SO YOU DON'T MAKE MONEY.

ANOTHER THING I WOULD BRING TO YOUR ATTENTION, CANNABIS.

A FEW YEARS AGO, THE CITY OF MERCED EMBARKED ON HOW TO MAKE CANNABIS LAWS AND TAX CANNABIS. AND I'M HAPPY TO SAY THAT AS A RESULT OF THAT, WE'VE MADE SOME PRETTY GOOD STRIDES WITH OUR REVENUE.

THIS PAST BUDGET, WE DIDN'T HAVE TO CUT ANYBODY IN LARGE PART DUE TO THE REVENUE WE RECEIVED FROM CANNABIS.

WHEN ALL FIVE OF OUR DISPENSARIES ARE UP AND RUNNING FOR A CALENDAR YEAR, WE MAY GENERATE UP TO THREE TO FIVE MILLION.

AND I MEAN, THAT'S JUST FOR THE PARKS.

MAYBE I'M GETTING AHEAD OF MYSELF WITH THE NUMBERS HERE.

BUT THE BOTTOM LINE IS IT'S A REAL REVENUE STREAM.

RIGHT NOW, THE COUNTY HAS THE SHERIFF ENFORCE THE LAWS BY FLYING AROUND THE CHOPPER.

AND I THINK THAT PERSON DOES A VERY GOOD JOB AT WHAT HIS JOB IS.

HE FLIES AROUND AND CATCHES PEOPLE AND IT'S LIKE FIFTY THOUSAND PLANTS A MONTH OR SOMETHING CRAZY, HE'S ALWAYS BUSTING.

[00:15:02]

BUT THE THING IS, YOU COULD SET YOUR OWN RULES, YOU COULD TAX PEOPLE AND HE COULD STILL FLY AROUND AND BUST PEOPLE THAT DISOBEY YOUR RULES.

BUT NOW YOU HAVE A REVENUE STREAM FOR IT.

I CAN'T SAY THAT I HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS ON HOW YOU CAN MAKE MORE MONEY FOR YOUR AREA, BUT I WILL SAY THAT SOME OF YOU ARE BUSINESS OWNERS.

IF YOUR BUSINESS WAS FAILING TO TURN A PROFIT, WOULD THE FIRST THING YOU DO BE TO GO GET A LOAN? WOULD THE FIRST THING YOU DO BE TO GO TO CHARITY.

YOU WOULD PROBABLY FIGURE OUT HOW TO THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX, HOW TO THINK MORE INNOVATIVE IN ORDER TO FIGURE OUT A WAY TO GENERATE A REVENUE STREAM FOR YOURSELF.

I WOULD ENCOURAGE EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU TO THINK ABOUT THINGS OUTSIDE THE BOX IN A MORE INNOVATIVE WAY. THAT'S THE MAIN REASON WHY I WOULDN'T WANT TO GIVE MONEY TO THE COUNTY, BECAUSE I THINK THAT THE COUNTY IS VERY STAGNANT IN TERMS OF THE WAY THEY THINK ON HOW TO MAKE MONEY. THE COUNTY IS VERY BUSINESS AS USUAL, AND I THINK THAT BUSINESS AS USUAL MENTALITY RUNS YOU INTO DEAD ENDS WHEN THE WHEN THE ECONOMIC TIMES CHANGE.

RIGHT NOW WE'RE AT A CHANGE, RIGHT? A CRUX. AND IF YOU CAN'T FIGURE OUT HOW TO ADAPT AND HOW TO ADJUST AND MAKE MORE MONEY, THEN YOU GO BY THE WAYSIDE.

THAT'S HOW IT IS IN A CAPITALIST SOCIETY.

SO I ENCOURAGE YOU ALL BEFORE DECIDING TO PUT THIS ON THE BALLOT, WHICH AGAIN, FOR ME IS A HARD NO. THINK ABOUT WAYS THAT YOU CAN VENTURE INTO MAKING MORE MONEY.

CANNABIS IS STILL A POTENTIAL OPTION, FROM WHAT I UNDERSTAND.

BUT IF THAT'S NOT SOMETHING YOU WANT TO CONSIDER, THAT'S FINE.

BUT I WOULD ENCOURAGE YOU TO CONSIDER OTHER AVENUES FOR MAKING MONEY BEFORE YOU COME TALK TO ME ABOUT IT, BECAUSE I CAN'T GIVE YOU ANY OF MONEY UNTIL I HAVE THE CONFIDENCE THAT YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH IT. THANK YOU.

THANK YOU. ANY OTHER PUBLIC COMMENTS? I DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO IT. HI, GOOD MORNING BOARD OF SUPERVISORS.

MY NAME IS BRENDA.

I LIVE IN MERCED. I'M DEEPLY CONCERNED BY THIS ENTIRE PROCESS.

THIS HONESTLY FEELS LIKE A SLAP IN THE FACE TO ALL OF YOUR RESIDENTS.

WE'RE WATCHING OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS DRIVE MERCED COUNTY INTO THE GROUND AND FOR WHAT? A COUPLE OF BUILDINGS? EXPANDING THE JAIL? I WANT TO BRING UP POINTS THAT HAVE ALREADY BEEN MADE AND JUST REINFORCE THEM.

THE KEY WORD IS THOSE WHO WERE POLLED AND IT HAS NOT BEEN A REPRESENTATIVE SAMPLE SIZE BECAUSE IT HAS NOT BEEN ACCESSIBLE.

AND I WANT TO SPEAK ALSO TO THE POINT OF LETTING VOTERS CHOOSE.

VOTERS ARE LITERALLY BEING MISLED BY WHAT'S PRESENTED TO THEM.

I'VE GONE THROUGH THE DOCUMENTS.

OTHER PEOPLE HAVE GONE THROUGH THE DOCUMENTS, AND THEY'RE NOT HERE BECAUSE THEY'RE WORKING. THERE ARE ESSENTIAL WORKERS THEY'RE, YOU KNOW, LITERALLY TAKING CARE OF ALL OF US, MAKING SURE THERE'S FOOD FOR US.

I WANT YOU TO SIT ON THAT.

REALLY REFLECT ON WHAT THAT MEANS, YOU KNOW? YEAH. JUST- SO IF- TO THE POINT OF LETTING VOTERS CHOOSE, WE'VE GONE THROUGH THE DOCUMENTS, VOTERS ARE BEING MISLED.

THIS MONEY IS GOING TO GO INTO AN UNRESTRICTED GENERAL FUND.

THE QUALITY OF LIFE RIGHT NOW IS ABYSMAL AND IT WILL GET WORSE IF THIS GENERAL TAX, LIKE, CONTINUES. RIGHT. AND IF IT GOES ON THE BALLOT BECAUSE VOTERS ARE BEING MISLED, THEY'RE GOING TO BE LIKE, THIS SOUNDS GREAT.

I NEED THIS.

AND THEY'RE GOING TO VOTE YES, BUT IT'S GOING TO GO INTO AN UNRESTRICTED GENERAL FUND AT YOUR DISPOSAL. RIGHT.

SO IT'S NOT- AND WHAT YOU'RE PROPOSING IS NOT REAL, WHAT PEOPLE ARE LIKE- IT'S NOT A REAL THING. I AGREE WITH KATHY AND ANTHONY MARTINEZ.

TAXES ARE MISSPENT.

THERE IS NO PLAN.

I DIDN'T FIND A PLAN.

WENT THROUGH ALL THE DOCUMENTS.

I'M DEEPLY, DEEPLY CONCERNED ABOUT THAT.

IT DOES NOT FEEL DEMOCRATIC.

YEAH. SO TO THE POINT THAT KATHY BROUGHT UP ABOUT THE AVERAGE INCOME AS WELL.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THAT INFORMATION.

AND IT LIKE ALSO DRIVE THAT POINT HOME.

IF THE AVERAGE INCOME IS FIFTY THOUSAND AND IF WE TAKE OUT PUBLIC OFFICIALS, IT GOES DOWN TO TWENTY OR TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND.

WE NEED MONEY ALLOCATED TO HELP SUPPORT FAMILIES SURVIVE THIS PANDEMIC.

OUR FAMILIES ARE DYING.

DO YOU, LIKE, DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT? OUR FAMILIES ARE DYING.

YEAH. I JUST WANT US TO ALL BE CLEAR ON WHERE WE'RE AT AND WHERE YOUR RESIDENTS ARE AT, WHERE YOUR CONSTITUENTS ARE AT AND WHERE THIS COMMUNITY IS AT.

ANY NEW REVENUE SHOULD GO TO CONTACT TRACING, TO HEALTH CARE FOR EVERYBODY, TO HOUSING.

I WANT TO RAISE THE ISSUE OF TRANSPARENCY AND PUBLIC PARTICIPATION.

I DON'T KNOW, LIKE THIS FEELS SO SKETCHY.

WHAT HAPPENED TO NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION? THAT'S LITERALLY WHAT WE'RE SEEING.

LIKE THE THING THAT BIRTHED LIKE AMERICA, RIGHT? YEAH. SO I'M ALSO DEEPLY CONCERNED WITH THE FACT THAT WHEN CONSTITUENTS HAVE ASKED FOR HELP, PROTECTION SERVICES, YOU'VE LITERALLY TOLD US TO LIKE FIGURE IT OUT ON OURSELVES.

BUT WHEN YOU NEED MONEY, THERE'S SUDDENLY A SALES TAX THAT'S GOING TO MAYBE BE ON THE BALLOT, RIGHT? YEAH.

SO IF YOU VOTE YES, I JUST WANT TO BE CLEAR WHAT THIS MEANS.

THAT TELLS MERCED COUNTY RESIDENTS YOU'RE NOT INTERESTED IN CREATING STRONG, RESILIENT COMMUNITIES. THAT YOU DON'T CARE.

THAT YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO THAT.

AND YOU WOULD RATHER DRIVE MERCED COUNTY INTO THE GROUND.

AND JUST TO MAKE THE POINT THAT, YOU KNOW, THERE'S NO TRANSLATION SERVICES AVAILABLE FOR

[00:20:04]

MY MOM, YOU KNOW, FOR MY DAD, FOR MY SIBLINGS TO PARTICIPATE, FOR PEOPLE IN MY COMMUNITY WITH . Y'ALL ARE NOT SHOWING UP.

Y'ALL ARE NOT HERE. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.

PLEASE SIT WITH WHAT THIS MEANS FOR OUR COUNTY.

THANK YOU. THANK YOU.

ANYONE ELSE WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK? HI BOARD AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS.

MY NAME IS MY GENDER PRONOUNS ARE SHE/HER/ELLA.

AND I AM THE DIRECTOR OF NINETY NINE ROUTE'S, THE CENTRAL VALLEY PROGRAM OF CALIFORNIA. OUR ORGANIZATION WORKS WITH YOUNG PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITY, PARTICULARLY BLACK AND BROWN YOUTH. WE'RE BASED IN ATWATER, CALIFORNIA.

AND I'M HERE TODAY TO OPPOSE ANY TAX MEASURE BEING PASSED IN THIS COUNTY.

I STAND BEFORE YOU NOT JUST AS SOMEONE THAT WORKS IN A COMMUNITY GROUP, BUT AS SOMEONE THAT LIVES AND LOVES MERCED COUNTY.

I HAVE WORKED WITH MANY OF Y'ALL FOR THE LAST FIVE YEARS, PARTICULARLY TALKING ABOUT PRIORITIES FOR COMMUNITY MEMBERS IN THIS COUNTY.

I WANT TO REMIND VARIOUS OF YOU THAT ARE SITTING THERE RIGHT NOW THAT TWO OR THREE YEARS AGO WE ACTUALLY USED THE SAME POLLING FIRM FM THREE TO TALK TO VOTERS ACROSS THIS COUNTY ABOUT THEIR PRIORITIES.

AND ONE OF THE MAIN PRIORITIES THAT THEY IDENTIFIED WAS PROVIDING HEALTH COVERAGE TO UNDOCUMENTED MERCED COUNTY RESIDENTS.

AND AT THAT TIME, WHAT I HEARD FROM MANY OF YOU BOARD MEMBERS WAS THAT IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO GET MONEY AND FIND A REVENUE TO FUND UNDOCUMENTED FOLKS THAT PAY TAXES IN THIS COUNTY.

AND YOU KNOW WHAT? IT'S NOT EVEN ABOUT PEOPLE PAYING TAXES.

IT'S ABOUT HUMAN LIVES AND DIGNITY.

IF Y'ALL ARE PEOPLE OF FAITH, I'M A PERSON OF FAITH.

I BELIEVE IN CREATOR GOD.

I KNOW THAT EVERY SINGLE HUMAN LIFE HAS WORTH AND VALUE.

AND YOU REFUSE TO FUND HEALTH COVERAGE FOR UNDOCUMENTED PEOPLE.

AND IN THIS MOMENT, FOR YOU TO WANT TO FURTHER CRIMINALIZE BLACK AND BROWN COMMUNITIES, POOR PEOPLE IS UNACCEPTABLE.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

THIS COUNTY CONTINUES TO BE SHADY TO TRY TO PASS POLICY THAT IS NOT GOING TO BENEFIT EVERYONE IN THIS COUNTY.

YOU REPRESENT NOT ONLY BUSINESS, NOT ONLY WHITE STRAIGHT MEN.

THE MAJORITY IN THIS COUNTY IS PEOPLE OF COLOR, FARM WORKERS AND IMMIGRANTS AND REFUGEES.

SO YOU NEED TO MAKE DECISIONS THAT ARE GOING TO CENTER OUR WELL-BEING AND ALWAYS CENTER THE WELLNESS OF THE MOST VULNERABLE.

I ALSO STAND HERE TODAY BECAUSE IT'S ALARMING THAT THIS COUNTY IS EVEN CONSIDERING EXPANDING THE JAIL OR PROVIDING MORE FUNDING FOR POLICE WHEN MORE THAN FORTY FIVE PERCENT OF YOUR COUNTY BUDGET IS ALREADY GOING TOWARDS LAW ENFORCEMENT.

AND WHEN WE SEE WHAT'S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW IN THIS PANDEMIC, BLACK AND BROWN ESSENTIAL WORKERS, YOUNG PEOPLE, MY OWN FAMILY MEMBERS ARE OUT THERE WORKING IN THE FIELDS.

AND WE HAVE LEADERSHIP LIKE THE ATWATER CITY MAYOR WHO REFUSES TO WEAR A FACE MASK IN CITY CHAMBERS AND INVITES OUTSIDE WHITE SUPREMACISTS TO SHOW UP AND TALK ABOUT HOW THIS PANDEMIC ISN'T IMPACTING THIS COMMUNITY.

YET PEOPLE ARE- SORRY, GO AHEAD AND FINISH IT.

Y'ALL KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING AND IT'S UNACCEPTABLE THAT YOU CONTINUE TO PLACE PROFIT AND POLICE FUNDING BEFORE THE DIGNITY AND VALUE OF HUMAN LIFE.

LIVES ARE SACRED. AND WHEN WE READ EVERY DAY THAT PEOPLE ARE DYING.

TO Y'ALL, IT MIGHT JUST BE A NUMBER. BUT FOR US, IT'S LITERALLY PEOPLE LEAVING CHILDREN BEHIND, LEAVING THEIR LOVED ONES WITHOUT INCOME, WITHOUT LOVE.

AND THAT'S SOMETHING THAT'S GOING TO IMPACT PEOPLE FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES.

AUDIO IS OUT AND WE'RE TRYING TO DO SOME MAINTENANCE AND WE'RE GOING TO TAKE A QUICK BREAK SO WE CAN FIX THAT, BECAUSE ON SOCIAL MEDIA, THEY'RE TELLING US THAT IT IS NOT

[00:25:03]

WORKING. SO WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK, OK? GIVE US A SECOND. THANK YOU.

OK, THANK YOU. I THINK WE'RE READY.

ANY OTHER PUBLIC COMMENT? GIVE ME A SECOND, LET ME START THIS.

GO AHEAD. THANK YOU AND GOOD MORNING BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, MY NAME IS-.

YOU WANT TO PUSH THE BUTTON ON THE RIGHT SIDE UP.

LET ME START OVER HERE.

LET ME START YOUR RESET YOUR TIME.

THANK YOU. GO AHEAD. GOOD MORNING, MR. SUPERVISOR. MY NAME IS AND IN REGARDS TO THIS TAX MEASURE, I THINK FOR ONE, IT IS THE WRONG TIME FOR MANY DIFFERENT REASONS. PANDEMIC HAS AFFECTED NOT ONLY THE LESS THE LOW INCOME PEOPLE, IT'S AFFECTING EVERYONE. AND TO SAY THAT WE WANT TO CONSIDER EVEN ANY KIND OF TAX RATE RIGHT AT THIS MOMENT, IT WILL BE SOMETHING DIFFICULT, ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE THAT ARE MOST VULNERABLE. AND THEN ONCE IT COMES TIME FOR- EVEN IF IT WAS ON THE BALLOT IN NOVEMBER, EVEN DURING THIS TIME, IF I HAD A HARD TIME CONSIDERING ANY OTHER TAX MEASURE, IF I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO VOTE FOR SUPPORT OF A NEW SCHOOL OR A NEW JAIL FACILITY, WHICH ONE WOULD I CHOOSE? YOU KNOW? AND AS IT IS, OUR COUNTY, OUR DISTRICTS, SOME OF OUR SCHOOL DISTRICTS HAVE HAD A HARD TIME BECAUSE WE NEED TO BUILD MORE SCHOOLS OR TO FIX SOME OF OUR SCHOOLS.

AND SOME OF OUR DISTRICTS HAVE DECIDED TO HOLD ON BECAUSE OF THEIR CONCERN, BECAUSE THEY'RE THINKING OF HOW OF HARDSHIP TO OUR CITIZENS.

SO WHY NOT? WHY CAN WE NOT THINK THE SAME? YOU KNOW, IF WE DECIDED TO HOLD ON ON THOSE SCHOOLS, SCHOOL BONDS, WHY NOT HOLD ON ON THIS RIGHT NOW? YOU KNOW, SO I DON'T THINK I CAN GO BACK.

AND I MEAN, EVERYONE ELSE HAS SAID EVERYTHING ELSE THAT I WANTED TO SAY.

BUT IT JUST TOOK INTO CONSIDERATION, DO WE WANT TO CONSIDER USING SOME OF MY SALES TAX TO BUILD OR FIX OUR SCHOOLS OR DO I WANT TO FIX OR BUILD A NEW JAIL? THANK YOU. THANK YOU, MR. AND THE OTHER PUBLIC COMMENTS? ANYBODY ELSE WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK? HI, GOOD MORNING BOARD.

YOU GUYS PROBABLY RECEIVED OUR LETTER FROM THE SIX MAYORS THAT ARE IN OPPOSITION TO THIS.

I JUST WANTED TO LET YOU GUYS KNOW THAT NOW IS PROBABLY NOT THE RIGHT TIME TO PROPOSE SOMETHING LIKE THIS. AND I WAS SENT A TEXT BY ONE OF THE SUPERVISORS, SCOTTY, THAT SAID, HEY, PAUL, YOU GUYS OPPOSING THIS VERY TAX IS GOING TO BE YOUR WORDS WILL BE USED AGAINST YOU. AND YOU KNOW WHAT? THAT'S A GOOD AWAKENING, BECAUSE I DON'T THINK NOW'S THE RIGHT

[00:30:06]

TIME FOR YOU GUYS TO DO TAX OR THE CITY OF ATWATER TO DO A TAX.

WE NEED TO LOOK AT SOLUTIONS.

WE THE CITY OF ATWATER HAVE BEEN DIGGING AND CUTTING AND MAKING THINGS WORK FOR YEARS, SINCE 2008 WHEN THE CRASH HAPPENED- SORRY. GO AHEAD.

AND WE'RE CONTINUING TO MAKE THE CUTS THAT WE NEED TO MAKE AND THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA WOULD JUST GIVE US OUR TAXES BACK IN OUR COMMUNITIES IN MERCED COUNTY, WE WOULD BE GOING TO THE CITIZENS AND ASKING FOR THIS WHOLE TIME.

WE HAVE THE LOTTERY SYSTEM THAT'S SUPPOSED TO TAKE CARE OF EVERYTHING AND SOLVE ALL OF OUR TAX PROBLEMS, THE SCHOOL SYSTEM, THE TAXES, WE GIVE THE SCHOOLS TONS OF MONEY FOR TAXES AND THEY'RE THERE BARELY SURVIVING AND GETTING BY.

SO FOR US TO CONTINUE TO KEEP ASKING THE RESIDENTS AND RIGHT NOW WITH THE REFLECTION I HAVE WITH WHAT WE'RE ABOUT TO DO, WE CAN'T PUT THIS ON THE PEOPLE.

WE NEED TO MAKE MORE CUTS IN OUR OWN COMMUNITY AND WE EXPECT THE SAME OUT OF THE COUNTY.

SO AS ONE OF THE MAYORS, I CAN'T SEE THIS BEING DONE IN A POSITIVE WAY.

WE NEED TO LOOK FOR BETTER WAYS TO CONTINUE THE SOLUTION THAT'S, YOU KNOW, THAT WE NEED RIGHT NOW. WE NEED EVERYTHING.

THIS COMMUNITY, THIS COUNTY, WE NEED EVERYTHING.

SO DIG DEEP FOR YOUR WAY TO MAKE IT WORK.

LET'S GET THROUGH THIS PANDEMIC AND THEN MAYBE COME BACK AND HAVE A DISCUSSION.

THANK YOU. THANK YOU, SIR.

ANY OTHER PUBLIC COMMENTS? GOOD MORNING. MY NAME IS I'M A COMMUNITY ORGANIZER HERE WITH FAITH IN THE VALLEY AND I'M ALSO A RESIDENT OF MERCED. I WOULD LIKE TO BEGIN BY SAYING, PLEASE DO NOT APPROVE THIS SALES TAX.

THIS IS ALREADY- THERE IS ALREADY A BURDEN, AS YOU'VE HEARD MANY PEOPLE SAY, IN SOME OF THE MOST LOW INCOME COMMUNITY RESIDENTS THAT LIVE IN MERCED COUNTY.

WE'RE AN ORGANIZATION THAT PRIMARILY SERVES LOW INCOME FOLKS.

AND I JUST WANT TO START BY SAYING ALSO, YOU KNOW, I SEE HOW THIS IS GOING TO BE MORE OF A BURDEN ON LOW INCOME FAMILIES, ESPECIALLY ON FARM WORKERS.

SO WE WORK A LOT ALSO WITH FARM WORKERS.

NEEDLESS TO SAY, ALSO, A LOT OF MY FAMILY MEMBERS WORK IN THE FIELDS, ALSO.

THESE ARE THE FOLKS THAT FEED OUR COMMUNITIES AND THESE ARE THE FOLKS THAT PAY THE MOST ALSO TO BE ABLE TO GIVE THESE LIKE, YOU KNOW, FOOD TO PUT FOOD ON THE TABLE FOR THEIR FAMILIES. PLEASE CONSIDER ALL OF THE FOLKS THAT ARE GOING TO BE AFFECTED NEGATIVELY IN MERCED COUNTY. I KNOW MANY OF YOU ARE ALSO A FARM WORKER OR FARM OWNERS.

RIGHT. SO PLEASE, WE NEED TO SEE THAT YOU VALUE ALL OF YOUR COMMUNITY.

MANY, YOU KNOW, THE ACCESS THAT MANY OF OUR FOLKS HAVE, ESPECIALLY OUR UNDOCUMENTED COMMUNITY HERE IN MERCED COUNTY TO THE SERVICES HERE ARE VERY MINIMAL.

AND AT THIS POINT, WE REALLY NEED TO CONSIDER AGAIN, THESE ARE THE FOLKS THAT ARE BEING THE MOST IMPACTED BY COVID.

SO WE NEED TO SHOW OR YOU NEED TO SHOW THAT YOU DO VALUE YOUR COMMUNITY, THAT YOU DO VALUE YOUR WORKERS, THAT YOU DO VALUE THE FAMILIES THAT ARE DYING IN MERCED COUNTY.

THIS SALE TAX, AGAIN, THE WAY THAT THIS WAS DONE, I KNOW FOLKS BROUGHT UP THE EXPANSION FOR HEALTH TO UNDOCUMENTED RESIDENTS.

AND I JUST SEE VERY CLEARLY WHERE MANY OF YOUR VALUES LIE.

AND IT'S NOT FOR THE PEOPLE.

UNFORTUNATELY, I UNDERSTAND THERE IS A BELIEF THAT UNDOCUMENTED PEOPLE CANNOT HOLD YOU ACCOUNTABLE BECAUSE THEY CANNOT VOTE.

AND I KNOW I'VE HEARD FOLKS SAY THAT.

RIGHT. LET'S JUST SAY HOW IT IS.

AND I THINK THAT THAT IT JUST SHOWS HOW SOME PEOPLE ARE VALUED MORE AND TREATED MORE WITH DIGNITY AND RESPECT THAN OTHERS.

AND I THINK THAT YOU NEED TO KEEP THAT IN MIND, TOO.

AND THERE'S A WAY THAT YOU CAN SHOW THAT, YOU KNOW, THAT THAT YOU DO VALUE AND YOU DO HAVE DIGNITY AND RESPECT FOR SOME FOLKS.

PLEASE ALLOCATE TO SERVICES THAT OUR COMMUNITY RESIDENTS ACTUALLY NEED.

THANK YOU. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

ANY ONE ELSE WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK? GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE.

MY NAME IS CLARA.

I AM A PROUD ALUMNI OF UC MERCED AND HAVE LIVED IN THE MERCED COMMUNITY FOR THE PAST

[00:35:04]

COUPLE OF YEARS AND HOPING TO CONTINUE THAT.

SO I'M HERE AS SOMEONE THAT'S SUPER CONCERNED ABOUT THE WAY THAT THIS HAS BEEN APPROACHED. IT'S DISAPPOINTING AND ALARMING TO SEE THE WAY THAT THE BOARD DOESN'T LISTEN TO CONSTITUENTS, NOT ONLY THEIR CONCERNS, BUT THEIR CRY FOR HELP.

THE EXISTENCE OF FOLKS BEING AFFECTED WITH THEIR HEALTH, NOT MEETING THEIR BASIC NEEDS, HOUSING INSECURITY, EXISTED BEFORE COVID AND BEFORE COVID THAT WAS NOT BEING PAID ATTENTION TO. NOW THAT WE'RE ON A NATIONAL STAGE NOW THAT ALL EYES ARE ON THE CENTRAL VALLEY, IT'S ALARMING TO SEE THAT EVEN THEN THAT THAT IS NOT A CAUSE TO START MOVING ON THESE THINGS. SO WHAT WILL IT TAKE? AS FOLKS HAVE BROUGHT UP, FOLKS ARE DYING BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO OPTION BUT TO CONTINUE WORKING. THEY DON'T HAVE THE PRIVILEGE OF BEING ABLE TO SIT HERE IN THIS ROOM ON A WEEKDAY TO BE ABLE TO VOCALIZE THEIR CONCERNS.

THEY'RE LITERALLY NEGOTIATING WHETHER OR NOT TO CONTINUE TO WORK, TO BE ABLE TO MEET THEIR BASIC NEEDS, KNOWING THAT GOING INTO WORK COULD BE A DEATH SENTENCE FOR THEMSELVES AND THEIR FAMILIES.

THIS IS NOT SUSTAINABLE AND IT'S NOT EQUITABLE TO REQUIRE THAT THE PEOPLE THAT ARE MOST HARD HIT BY THE PANDEMIC TO ALSO CARRY ON THEIR BACKS, THE FUNDING AND THE GROWTH OF A SYSTEM THAT WILL CONTINUE TO CRIMINALIZE THEM.

IT'S SHOCKING.

AND IT'S HONESTLY REALLY DEPRESSING TO THINK THAT THESE DECISIONS ARE BEING MADE AS IF OUR RESIDENTS ARE NOT ASKING FOR HELP AND HAVE BEEN ASKING FOR HELP.

THE PLAN ISN'T CLEAR AND IT'S OBVIOUS THAT COMMUNITY OPINIONS ARE NOT REPRESENTED.

AND IT'S INCREDIBLY DISRESPECTFUL TO THE COMMUNITY BECAUSE THEY'RE FIGHTING SOMETHING THAT IS RAVAGING THEIR COMMUNITIES.

AND THE INFORMATION THAT YOU ALL PROVIDED, IT SAID THAT THERE WAS LIKE A STRUGGLE IN GETTING COMMUNITY FEEDBACK DURING THE MONTHS THAT THE PANDEMIC WAS REALLY HITTING OUR COMMUNITIES. IF THAT'S NOT ENOUGH TO KNOW THAT THIS IS NOT THE MAIN CONCERN, FIRST, FOR FOLKS TO EXPAND JAILS AND TO CONTINUE TO FIND A SYSTEM THAT CRIMINALIZES THEM, IS ALARMING, LIKE TO MOVE FORWARD AND TO CONTINUE TO SIT HERE AND LISTEN AND ALSO TO JUST NOT INVOLVE PEOPLE IN THE PROCESS AT ALL.

AND AS NEED TO ADDRESS RACIAL INJUSTICE IN THE COUNTY.

AND SO IT FEELS DISRESPECTFUL ALSO TO CONTINUE TO HAVE THIS CONVERSATION WITHOUT THAT CONTEXT AND WITHOUT US SPEAKING ABOUT THE VIOLENCE THAT OUR COMMUNITIES ARE EXPERIENCING AT THE HANDS OF PEOPLE THAT ARE SPEAKING UP IN FAVOR OF THIS SALES TAX.

SO I JUST WANT TO REALLY EMPHASIZE THAT FOLKS ARE FIGHTING FOR THEIR LIVES, FIGHTING FOR THE COMMUNITIES AND FIGHTING FOR THEIR FAMILIES.

THEY SHOULD NOT BE HARD HIT BY THE HAVING TO THANK YOU VERY MUCH. WOULD ANYONE LIKE TO SPEAK AGAIN,? NOT AGAIN, I'M SORRY, THE PUBLIC COMMENTS.

IS THAT ALL THE PUBLIC COMMENT OK? WELL, I'M GOING TO GO AHEAD AND NOTIFY THAT THERE'S SOME EMAILS THAT HAVE BEEN SENT.

FIVE EMAIL RECEIVED BY FIVE P.M.

YESTERDAY AND 11 EMAILS RECEIVED AFTER FIVE PM.

COMMENTS ARE TO GO ON THE RECORD.

BUT I'M JUST GOING- BUT THEY'RE VERY LONG AND A LOT OF THEM ARE THE SAME.

SAME WITH JUST DIFFERENT NAMES.

SO I'M JUST GOING TO READ THE NAMES ON THE EMAILS, OK? WE HAVE AN EMAIL BY THE SIX MAYORS OF MERCED COUNTY, WHICH IS MAYOR PAUL CREIGHTON, CITY OF ATWATER, MAYOR APRIL HOGUE, CITY OF DOS PALOS, MAYOR PAT NAGY, CITY OF GUSTINE, MAYOR GURPAL SAMRA, CITY OF LIVINSTON, MAYOR MIKE VILLALTA, CITY OF LOS BANOS, MAYOR MIKE MURPHY, CITY OF MERCED.

I THINK MOST PEOPLE SAW IT, BUT IT SAYS, UH, THEY'RE OPPOSING THE BRENDA GUTIERREZ, THERE'S AN EMAIL BY THERE'S AN EMAIL BY

[00:40:08]

EMAIL BY ALONZO GABRIELLE ATKINS, JOSE TORRES, MARIA GONZALEZ, JESSIE ORNELAS, THANK YOU VERY MUCH. AND YOUR EMAILS WILL GO IN TO THE RECORD.

SO NOW WE'LL CLOSE PUBLIC COMMENT AND WE HAVE A REPORT.

[REPORTS/BOARD DIRECTION]

MR. CHAIR, MEMBERS OF THE BOARD AND MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY AND PUBLIC, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR TODAY. UH, FIRST OF ALL, TO ASSURE AT YOUR LAST BOARD MEETING, YOU DID DIRECT STAFF TO CONTINUE THE ITEM TO A SPECIAL MEETING, WHICH IS WHY WE ARE HERE TODAY.

I DO WANT TO SHARE THE PUBLIC IN OUR CONCERN THAT THERE WERE NO DECISIONS MADE AT THAT DAY AND THERE HAVE BEEN NO DECISIONS YET.

IN FACT, THE REASON THE BOARD DID NOT, AS FAR AS I REMEMBER THE COMMENTS FROM BOARD MEMBERS THAT DAY WERE BECAUSE YOU DID NOT HAVE A FULL BOARD AT PRESENT, AND YOU WANTED THE ABILITY FOR ALL BOARD MEMBERS TO PARTICIPATE IN A DISCUSSION.

SO FOR MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC, THAT'S WHY THE BOARD DID NOT MAKE A DECISION AT THE LAST BOARD MEETING, BUT PUSHED IT TO TODAY IN ORDER TO PROVIDE ALL BOARD MEMBERS TO PARTICIPATE IN THE DISCUSSION.

WE AT THAT MEETING, THERE WAS A REQUEST FOR SOME INFORMATION, ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.

SO WE'VE TRIED TO INCLUDE THAT INFORMATION IN THE MATERIAL TODAY.

I DO WANT TO SHARE AS WE GO THROUGH THIS, THAT THIS IS NOT SOMETHING THAT IS JUST CAME ABOUT VERY RECENTLY.

THIS IS SOMETHING THAT THE COUNTY HAS BEEN WORKING ON SINCE LAST SUMMER.

SO IT IS NOT SOMETHING THAT JUST CAME CAME ABOUT.

THERE HAVE BEEN SOME CHALLENGING CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH WE AS STAFF WILL ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HAVE MADE IT A DIFFICULT PROCESS.

SO WITH THAT, WE'LL GO AHEAD AND START THE DISCUSSION.

NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE. SORRY, WE'RE DOING IT REMOTELY.

WE'VE GOT A, YOU KNOW- ONE OF THE QUESTIONS THAT THE BOARD MEMBERS HAD LAST WEEK WAS KIND OF JUST TO WALK THROUGH A LITTLE BIT ON SPECIAL VERSUS GENERAL SALES TAX.

SO WE THOUGHT WE'D JUST START OUT OF THE GATE.

THERE ARE TWO DIFFERENT TYPES OF BASICALLY TAXES THAT LOCAL ENTITIES NORMALLY LOOK AT.

ONE IS WHAT IS A GENERAL OBLIGATION BOND, WHICH IS WHERE IT'S ACTUALLY PLACED ON THE PROPERTY. AND IT DOES REQUIRE A TWO THIRDS VOTE AND IT IS SPECIFIC TO THE PURPOSE.

THE OTHER MECHANISM THAT LOCAL ENTITIES CONSIDER SOMETIMES IS A SALES TAX, OTHERWISE A TRANSACTION AND USE TAX.

THIS CAN BE BROKEN UP.

THERE ARE TWO DIFFERENT TYPES.

ONE IS A SPECIAL PURPOSE TAX AND ONE IS A GENERAL SALES TAX.

THE SPECIAL PURPOSE TAX IS WHERE THE REVENUE IS EARMARKED FOR A VERY SPECIFIC AND DEDICATED PURPOSE, AND IT DOES REQUIRE TWO THIRDS VOTE.

THE GENERAL SALES TAX IS WHERE THE REVENUE MAY BE USED ON ANY GENERAL FUND PURPOSE, AND THAT REQUIRES A SIMPLE MAJORITY PLUS ONE VOTE.

SO THAT IS KIND OF THE DIFFERENCE IS REALLY IS THE SPECIAL IS DESIGNATED REQUIRES TWO THIRDS A GENERAL CAN BE USED FOR ANY PURPOSE AND IS A MAJORITY.

BUT THERE ARE TWO TYPES. THE PROPERTY WHICH IS A BOND AND THEN THE SALES TAX, WHICH IS THE TAX ON TRANSACTIONS IN USE.

NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE. SO TO TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT, YOU KNOW, THE PROCESS.

AS WE SAID THIS DID BEGIN LAST SUMMER, WHERE AND IT DID START OUT RELATED TO THE LATORRACA CORRECTIONAL FACILITY.

AS MANY OF YOU IN THE COMMUNITY KNOW, WE HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL IN ACHIEVING A 40 MILLION DOLLAR GRANT FOR PHASE ONE OF A FORTY FIVE MILLION DOLLAR PROJECT.

WE'RE HAPPY TO SAY, RELATED TO THAT PROJECT, IS WE HAVE ACTUALLY ON YOUR NEXT AGENDA ITEM, NEXT BOARD MEETING, YOU WILL BE CONSIDERING THE LEASE AGREEMENT WITH THE STATE.

SO WE'RE HOPEFULLY WE CAN GET TO THE BSEC BOARD OF STATE AND CORRECTIONS NEXT MONTH.

SO WE'RE HOPING THAT PROJECT WILL BE ABLE TO COME TO YOU IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF MONTHS TO ACTUALLY MOVE FORWARD. AND I KNOW THAT'S BEEN ABOUT PROBABLY ABOUT A FOUR OR FIVE YEAR PROCESS. BUT WE'RE FINALLY- THE STATE IS FINALLY MAKING SOME MOVEMENT ON THAT.

MANY OF YOU ARE AWARE IS OUR AND WE'LL TOUCH ON IT LATER, BUT OUR DOWNTOWN JAIL IS VERY OLD, VERY IN DEFERRED MAINTENANCE.

AND SO THERE HAS BEEN WORK ON A PHASE TWO, WHICH WOULD AT LATORRACA, WHICH HAS ITS OWN SANDY MUSH, WHICH WOULD ACTUALLY ENHANCE, EXPAND THE CAPACITY OUT THERE AND BE ABLE TO

[00:45:06]

DEMOLISH THE JAIL DOWNTOWN.

SO YOUR BOARD THAT LAST SUMMER DID AUTHORIZE US TO START LOOKING AT OPTIONS ON HOW TO FINANCE IT, WHICH WOULD INCLUDE A POTENTIAL MEASURE.

AT THAT POINT, THE MEASURE WAS GEARED MORE TOWARDS PROPERTY ON THE JAIL BOND.

THAT WAS KIND OF THE THOUGHT.

IT WASN'T OPEN. THERE WERE NO FIXED ROUTES AS WE WERE WORKING THROUGH THAT.

BUT THE ORIGINAL EFFORT WAS TO KIND OF, WE THOUGHT THAT WOULD END UP AS MAYBE LOOKING AT A POSSIBLE BOND, WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN ON PROPERTY AND NOT THE SALES TAX.

THERE WAS A PUBLIC POLL DONE IN FALL OF TWENTY TWENTY AND THAT LOOKED AT BOTH MECHANISMS. AND THEN WE THOUGHT OUR GOAL WAS, AS A RESULT OF THAT POLL, IS WE WOULD START IN FEBRUARY AND THROUGH JUNE WOULD BE SOLICITING THE COMMUNITY FEEDBACK.

AND WE STARTED IN FEBRUARY.

WE INITIATED A WEBSITE SURVEY IN FEBRUARY, BUT WE WERE NOT BECAUSE COVID HIT, WE WERE NOT ABLE, YOU SEE THOSE TWO BOXES ARE UNCHECKED DOWN THERE.

WE WERE NOT ABLE TO GET OUT INTO THE COMMUNITY AND DO THE TOWN HALLS AND COMMUNITY MEETINGS. AND IN FACT, MANY OF YOU AND I AND OTHER STAFF AND OTHERS AND THE SHERIFF HAD DISCUSSIONS INTERNALLY ABOUT TRYING TO SET UP GROUPS ACROSS THE COMMUNITY TO GO MEET WITH. AND IT JUST IT DIDN'T WORK.

AND THAT'S RIGHT WHEN COVID HIT IN ALL THOSE EFFORTS JUST KIND OF CAME TO A HALT AND A STANDSTILL. AND SO, IN FAIRNESS, THE COMMUNITY PIECE DID NOT TAKE PLACE THE WAY IT WAS ANTICIPATED TO TAKE PLACE.

AND REALLY QUICK, I JUST WANT TO MAKE A CORRECTION ON THAT SECOND OR THIRD FOURTH BULLET POINT. IT'S FALL TWENTY NINETEEN.

I APOLOGIZE. YES, IT IS.

FALL TWENTY NINETEEN. THANK YOU.

YES. FALL OF TWENTY NINETEEN WAS THE FIRST POLL.

NEXT SLIDE PLEASE. SO THAT POLL IN FALL OF TWENTY NINETEEN, ESSENTIALLY, AGAIN, LOOK AT BOTH THE BOND AND THE SALES TAX.

THE FINDINGS WERE THAT AND AGAIN, THE JAIL PROJECT IS MULTIPLE COMPONENTS TO IT.

AND SO WE WERE LOOKING AT A COUPLE DIFFERENT SCOPES OF THE PROJECT.

AND SO WE WERE POLLING AT TWO DIFFERENT AMOUNTS.

AND THE FIRST WE WERE PULLING OUT OF FIFTY FOUR MILLION DOLLARS BACK THEN, WHICH WE GOT SIXTY ONE PERCENT IN THROUGH THE POLLING AND THEN THE THIRTY FOUR MILLION DOLLARS BACK THEN AND WE POLLED IT ABOUT SIXTY NINE PERCENT, WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN OVER THE TWO THIRDS, BUT IT IS CLOSE.

AT THAT TIME, WE DID ALSO POLL JUST FOR A SPECIAL AND A GENERAL PURPOSE SALES TAX, THE SPECIAL WHAT HAD BEEN FOR THE JAIL PROJECT AND THE DEMO AT THE MAIN JAIL AND TRYING TO FIND A NEW HOME FOR THE SHERIFF'S ADMINISTRATION AND PATROL, THAT POLLED THAT FIFTY NINE PERCENT. AND THEN THE GENERAL PURPOSE SALES TAX ACTUALLY POLLED BETTER THAN THE SPECIFIC- THE SPECIAL TAX AT SIXTY ONE PERCENT.

SO EVEN BACK IN FALL OF NINETEEN, THE GENERAL PURPOSE FROM A POLLING STANDPOINT DID ACTUALLY POLL BETTER THAN THE SPECIAL PURPOSE SALES TAX.

NEXT SLIDE PLEASE. AND AS WE ACKNOWLEDGED, WE STARTED IN FEBRUARY OF 20, AN ONLINE SURVEY THROUGH THE COUNTY.

IT WAS REALLY STARTING TO DO WELL.

IT ONLY BEEN UP FOR ABOUT A WEEK OR TWO AS WE STARTED GOING TO MARCH AND THEN COVID.

AND THEN BASICALLY WE STOPPED THROUGH ALL MECHANISM- AS STAFF AND WE COULD BE FAULT- AND THINGS STARTED GOING AND SPENDING TIME IN MULTIPLE DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS RELATED TO COVID.

AND WE WERE NOT ABLE TO PROMOTE AND ENCOURAGE AND ENGAGE THE COMMUNITY TO, YOU KNOW, ON THE ONLINE COMMUNITY FEEDBACK AS WE THOUGHT.

BUT THIS WAS THE RESULTS OF THAT.

AGAIN, AT THIS TIME, WE ARE STILL LOOKING MORE PROBABLY FOR AMORE SPECIFIC AREA AS THE MAIN PROJECT. AND YOU CAN SEE THROUGH THERE THAT KIND OF THE RESULTS OF THAT, AGAIN, IT STARTED IN FEBRUARY, WAS REALLY UP FOR A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME BEFORE COVID HIT.

AND THEN WE WERE NOT ABLE TO REALLY GET OUT AND PUSH THIS COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT.

NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE. SO, OF COURSE, WE'VE ALREADY HEARD, YOU'VE HEARD DIFFERENT THINGS.

WE RAN INTO SIGNIFICANT CHALLENGES.

THE INITIAL EFFORTS WERE HOW DO WE FIND OPTIONS TO FUND OUR AGING PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITIES THAT WE HAVE NO CHOICE.

WE HAVE TO DO.

THAT MAIN JAIL DOWNTOWN HAS 15 TO 20 MILLION DOLLARS OF DEFERRED MAINTENANCE ON IT.

IT IS A VERY OLD FACILITY.

IT DOES NOT MAKE ANY SENSE TO INVEST THOSE KIND OF DOLLARS INTO THAT FACILITY FROM A LONG

[00:50:03]

TERM PERSPECTIVE. NOW, YOU'VE STILL GOT STAFF OPERATING AT TWO DIFFERENT FACILITIES.

IT'S NOT COST EFFECTIVE.

IT'S NOT A GOOD USE OF TAXPAYER DOLLARS.

IT'S NOT EFFICIENT, YOU KNOW.

AND SO THAT WAS THE ORIGINAL.

IT WAS KIND OF A FOCUSED EFFORT.

WHEN YOU GO INTO THE MARCH ELECTION, THE RESULTS WERE NOT FAVORABLE AND ESPECIALLY NOT FAVORABLE FOR BONDING, FOR JAIL BONDS, WHICH WERE SPECIAL TAXES.

WE KNOW THAT THROUGH- THAT EVEN OUR FALL POLLING, IT WAS MENTIONED FROM THE CONSULTANTS AND OTHERS THAT IF THERE WAS ANY ORGANIZED OPPOSITION AT THE TIME, IT PROBABLY WOULD NOT DO WELL. WELL, WHEN MARCH CAME, WE DO KNOW LOCALLY WE HAD ONE, THERE WAS ORGANIZED OPPOSITION AND WAS NOT SUCCESSFUL.

AND LOOKING ACROSS THE STATE, THERE WERE NOT- THEY WERE STILL- THEY WERE NOT WHAT I WOULD CALL A LOT OF FAVORABLE OR SUCCESS WITH THAT.

AND THEN WE FACED NEW FISCAL CHALLENGES WITH COVID.

I THINK EVERYBODY IS AWARE OF THAT.

AND AS WE SAID, WE ALL SAID AND WE COULD NOT ENGAGE THE COMMUNITY AND THE COMMUNITY AND ORGANIZATION AND EVERYBODY STARTED TO FACE NEW CHALLENGES.

SO JUNE, AFTER WE'RE INTO COVID FOR A FEW MONTHS, WE'VE BEEN IN THIS PROCESS FOR NOW A YEAR. WE'RE NOT ABLE TO REALLY MAKE THE ENGAGEMENT THAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR.

WE'RE AT A CROSSROADS.

WE'RE AT A POINT TO WHERE- WHAT DO WE DO? DO WE LOOK AT GENERAL OBLIGATION BOND VERSUS SALES TAX? BOTH OF THESE, AND SPECIFICALLY OBLIGATION BOND, YOU CAN ONLY PUT ON THE BALLOT DURING THE GENERAL ELECTIONS, WHICH IS EVERY TWO YEARS.

SO TWENTY TWENTY, TWENTY TWENTY TWO.

THAT'S WHEN YOU CAN BASICALLY GO TO THE PUBLIC AND SEE IF THERE'S INTEREST, SEE IF THERE'S WILLINGNESS TO SUPPORT THESE TYPES OF ISSUES.

SO WE'RE AT THAT POINT WHERE MARCH ELECTION DID NOT FAVOR WELL.

COVID CHALLENGING GETTING OUT TO THE COMMUNITY.

SO WE BASICALLY REEVALUATED AND ASSESSED ALL OF OUR LONG TERM NEEDS, ALL OF OUR PROJECTS THAT YOU, MANY OF YOU HAVE EXPRESSED OVER THE LAST, AND CANDIDLY AS AN ORGANIZATION AND A COMMUNITY, WE NEED TO LOOK AT, AND WITH COVID, THERE WAS ACTUALLY A CONVERSATION WE HAD.

THERE WAS DISCUSSIONS ACROSS THE STATE AMONG MANY PEOPLE.

IS THERE A WAY OF TRYING TO USE THIS TO ACTUALLY ASSIST THE COMMUNITY? IS THERE A WAY TO USE SOME RESOURCES FROM THIS FROM A RECOVERY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT? AND SO WE WERE LOOKING AT THAT, TRYING TO FIGURE OUT A WAY.

WE DID REACH OUT TO A FEW DIFFERENT GROUPS, DID HAVE SOME CONVERSATIONS ON, YOU KNOW, IF THERE'S WAYS THROUGH ASSISTANCE OR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, IF THERE WOULD BE WAYS OF THIS COULD BE USED. SO THAT WAS A COMPONENT THAT WAS BEING LOOKED AT.

AND SO THE THOUGHT WAS, WELL, THE JAIL BOND IS NOT GOING TO WORK.

SO WE'LL LOOK AT A SECOND ROUND OF POLLING, JUST TO SEE.

AGAIN, THIS IS SOMETHING THAT HAD BEEN IN THE WORKS FOR A WHILE.

WE COULD HAVE BROUGHT IT TO YOU IN JUNE, BUT WE THOUGHT WE WANTED TO SEE WHAT THE POLLING WOULD LOOK LIKE.

EXCEPT THIS NEXT ROUND OF POLLING, IT WAS FOCUSED ON A GENERAL- ON A SALES TAX, GENERAL OR SPECIFIC, BUT MORE GENERAL AT THIS POINT IN TIME.

AND TO BE ABLE TO BRING INFORMATION TO YOU THAT WAS MORE CURRENT RELATED TO A POLL.

WE UNDERSTAND THE POLL IS NOT A COMMUNITY WIDE, BUT I THINK ANYBODY WHO'S WORKED IN AND DONE THESE TYPE OF THINGS, WHEN YOU DO A POLL, IT IS A SAMPLE GROUP.

YOU KNOW, I THINK THROUGH HISTORY, POLLING HAS SHOWN THAT IT'S GENERALLY REPRESENTATIVE, DOESN'T MEAN IT'S ALWAYS REPRESENTATIVE.

BUT WE FELT LIKE WE NEEDED TO GO TAKE A LOOK AS STAFF TO PROVIDE MORE CURRENT INFORMATION TO YOU ON KIND OF AT LEAST BEFORE YOU MADE ANY FINAL DECISIONS.

AND SO, IN SUMMARY, THERE HAVE BEEN CHALLENGES.

WE ACKNOWLEDGE THAT.

THE CIRCUMSTANCES HAVE NOT BEEN IDEAL AND THERE HAS BEEN CHALLENGES, AS WE SAID, WITH COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT. NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE.

SO THERE WAS A REQUEST AT THE LAST MEETING TO ACTUALLY WALK THROUGH THE JUNE POLLING, AND SO WE DO HAVE ONLINE FOR YOU.

I CAN'T READ. IS THAT KURT? SORRY, KURT. KURT TO ACTUALLY WALK THROUGH THE JUNE POLLING FOR YOU, BECAUSE AGAIN, THAT WAS AN ASK, A REQUEST BY THE BOARD, A BOARD MEMBER TO, YOU KNOW, TO WALK THAT THROUGH.

SO AT THIS POINT I'M GOING TO TURN IT OVER TO KURT, WHO'S WITH THAT FM3 TO WALK THROUGH THAT POLL. OK, THANK YOU VERY MUCH AND GOOD MORNING MEMBERS OF THE BOARD AND PUBLIC HERE.

UNFORTUNATELY, I HAVE A CLIENT PRESENTATION THAT I'M GIVING TO SOMEONE ELSE AT 11.

I DIDN'T QUITE BUDGET THIS MUCH TIME FOR THIS.

SO I'M GOING TO GO THROUGH THIS AS FAST AS POSSIBLE.

[00:55:01]

I'VE BEEN TRYING TO PUSH BACK MY PRESENTATION, SO HOPEFULLY I CAN DO THAT.

BUT I'M GOING TO GO THROUGH THIS VERY, VERY QUICKLY.

UM, NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE.

QUICK NOTE THE ABOUT METHODOLOGY, VERY SIMILAR TO THE SURVEY WE CONDUCTED BEFORE 600 INTERVIEWS. WE WRAPPED THEM UP JUST BEFORE THE JULY 4TH WEEKEND.

WE OFFERED THEM IN A VARIETY OF DIFFERENT LANGUAGES.

THERE'S A FOUR PERCENT MARGIN OF ERROR FOR THE OVERALL SURVEY SAMPLE.

NEXT SLIDE AND THE NEXT SLIDE.

THANK YOU. SO WE DID ASK A QUESTION ABOUT THE TYPES OF ISSUES THAT ARE MOST SERIOUS PROBLEMS IN THE COMMUNITY AND THE NUMBERS THAT WE TEND TO FOCUS ON THE MOST INTENSE OF EXTREMELY, VERY SERIOUS PROBLEMS. AND HOMELESSNESS, TOP THE LIST, BUT ALSO THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF THE CORONAVIRUS.

THAT'S ONE OF THE TOP TWO THINGS THAT WE SAW IN OUR SURVEY OF VOTERS CONCERNED ABOUT.

AND IN THE SECOND TIER BELOW THAT, WERE A NUMBER OF ITEMS THAT WERE SEEN AS EXTREMELY SERIOUS PROBLEMS BY ABOUT A THIRD.

AND THERE ARE ISSUES RELATED TO COST OF LIVING ISSUES, COST OF HEALTH CARE FOR PEOPLE LIVING IN POVERTY AND ECONOMIC ISSUES, BUT ALSO DRUGS AND THE CRIME ASSOCIATED WITH THAT.

NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE. FURTHER DOWN THE LIST, THESE ARE ITEMS THAT ARE SEEN AS EXTREMELY OR VERY SERIOUS PROBLEMS BY A LITTLE MORE THAN HALF OR LESS, AND WE SEE ISSUES RELATED TO CRIME BROADLY. SO DRUGS SEEM TO BE A HIGHER SALIENT ISSUE HERE.

WASTE AND INEFFICIENCY OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, WITH ABOUT HALF OF RESPONDENTS CONCERNED ABOUT AND GENERICALLY THE COST OF LIVING WAS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE LIST.

SO SOME OF THOSE ELEMENTS, SUCH AS UNEMPLOYMENT, SUCH AS COST OF HEALTH CARE, WERE MORE SALIENT CONCERNS THAN BROADLY THE COST OF LIVING.

NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE. AND WAY DOWN THE LIST HERE AND YOU SEE THERE'S A DASHED LINE THERE, SO THINGS BELOW THAT ARE THINGS THAT PEOPLE ARE A LOT LESS CONCERNED ABOUT.

YOU SEE THE AMOUNT PAYING LOCAL TAXES WASN'T PARTICULARLY HIGH, BUT CONDITION OF THE PARK'S GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT, LIBRARIES, POLICE VIOLENCE, OVERCROWDING IN JAILS, ALL WERE SEEN AS A PARTICULARLY LOW CONCERN LEVEL PROBLEMS COMPARED TO OTHER THINGS YOU SAW THE PRIOR SLIDES. NEXT SLIDE.

IN TERMS OF OVERALL TREND, FAMILIARITY AND COMFORT WITH MAKING A BASIC LIVING EXPENSES, ABOUT THREE AND FIVE SAID THEY WERE CONFIDENT.

NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE. THIS IS A GENERIC QUESTION THAT WE USE, THE ITALICIZED LANGUAGE THERE THAT TALKS ABOUT THE GENERIC FEEL FOR DOES YOUR COUNTY NEED MORE REVENUE.

AND THREE QUARTERS OF SURVEY RESPONDENTS SAID THERE WAS AT LEAST SOME SO THERE CLEARLY SO THIS IS CLEARLY SOMETHING THAT THE VOTERS FEEL LIKE IT KIND OF NEEDS ADDITIONAL FUNDING. NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE.

SO GET TO THE TAX MEASURES.

NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE. SO HERE IS THE GENERAL PURPOSE MEASURE OVER HERE REFERENCED TO.

A HALF CENT SALES TAX RAISING ABOUT 16 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR.

WE LOOKED AT A COUPLE OF DIFFERENT DURATIONS, EITHER NINE YEARS OR 15 YEARS.

NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE.

AND YOU'LL SEE THAT THERE ISN'T REALLY, TWO THINGS HERE, THERE WASN'T REALLY A MATERIAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE DURATION, BUT OVERALL LEVELS OF SUPPORT WERE AROUND THAT 60 PERCENT NUMBER THAT WE SAW BACK IN 2019.

SO YOU HAVE ABOUT THREE OUT OF FIVE WHO INDICATE THEY'D VOTE YES AND A LITTLE MORE THAN A QUARTER SAYING THEY'D VOTE DEFINITELY YES AND AROUND A QUARTER SAYING THEY DEFINITELY VOTE NO. AND VERY FEW UNDECIDEDS, WHICH IS PRETTY COMMON FOR A SALES TAX MEASURE.

IT'S MUCH EASIER MECHANISM TO UNDERSTAND, BUT THAT'S WHERE THE INITIAL LEVEL OF SUPPORT WAS. NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE.

AND THERE WAS REFERENCE TO THIS MADE EARLIER TODAY.

AND BREAKING THIS OUT BY SUPERVISORIAL DISTRICT, THERE WAS A RANGE FROM 54 TO 62.

BUT WE'RE SORT OF IN THAT LOW 60S, THE MID 50S RANGE IN SUPPORT INITIALLY AFTER THOSE 75 NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE. AND THIS IS THE COMPARISONS SLIDE.

SO THE DISTINCTIONS AREN'T DRAMATIC, AND YOU'LL SEE WE'RE OFTEN SIXTY ONE TO FIFTY NINE, PRETTY SIMILAR AND SHAVED A LITTLE BIT OFF, BUT DEFINITELY, YES.

BUT THERE'S ALSO ABOUT FIVE POINTS MORE ON THE DEFINITELY NO SIDE, BUT SOMEWHAT SIMILAR TO SEPTEMBER OF 2019.

NEXT SLIDE.

ONE MOMENT, PLEASE.

I AM TRYING TO JUGGLE MY NEXT OBLIGATION HERE.

ALL RIGHT, NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE, ON SLIDE 23.

SO THIS IS A LIST OF POTENTIAL SPENDING AREAS.

AND THE LIST HERE IS HOW IMPORTANT THESE.

SO IF THE COUNTY BOARD HAVE ADDITIONAL MONEY, IF THIS MEASURE WERE TO GENERATE ADDITIONAL FUNDS, HERE'S A VARIETY OF WAYS THAT CAN BE SPENT.

SO WE'VE LISTED THOSE SORT OF THEM BY THE ONES THAT ARE EXTREMELY OR VERY IMPORTANT.

YOU'LL SEE A WHOLE LOT OF PUBLIC SAFETY ITEMS HERE, PARTICULARLY EMERGENCY RESPONSE, FIRE

[01:00:03]

PROTECTION AND ADDRESSING GANG VIOLENCE, BUT ALSO KEEPING FUNDS LOCAL, MAKING SURE THAT THE COUNTY HAS CONTROL OVER THOSE FUNDS.

NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE.

WE'LL SEE HERE A VARIETY OF OTHER SPENDING AREAS HERE IN THOSE DARK CANDY BARS TO GET A LITTLE BIT SMALLER. BUT THERE'S STILL- EVERYTHING HERE IS SEEN AS EXTREMELY OR VERY IMPORTANT BY MORE THAN TWO THIRDS.

AND WHEN WE START TO GET SOME NONPUBLIC SAFETY HERE- ITEMS HERE OF PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCIES, JOB GROWTH, SENIOR SERVICES, COMMUNITY HEALTH PROGRAMS AND ISSUES RELATED TO HOMELESSNESS. NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE.

AND AS YOU GO THROUGH HERE, YOU'LL SEE THAT THERE ARE A VARIETY OF OTHER SOURCES.

WE'RE STARTING TO GET A LITTLE- THE INTENSITY STARTED TO DROP OFF A LITTLE BIT HERE.

THOSE DARK GREEN BARS- WE'RE GETTING A LITTLE BIT SMALLER HERE TOWARDS THE BOTTOM OF THE LIST HERE IS MAINTAINING COUNTY PARKS.

ALTHOUGH EVERYTHING HERE IS- NOTHING IS BEING DISMISSED.

THOSE BRIGHT RED BARS ARE STILL PRETTY SMALL.

IT'S JUST A MATTER OF GRADATION OF INTENSITY.

NEXT SLIDE. AND FINALLY HERE, NOW WE START TO GET TO THINGS THAT ARE SEEN AS EXTREMELY OR VERY IMPORTANT SPENDING DOLLARS BY LESS THAN HALF OF RESPONDENTS HERE.

ISSUES RELATED TO THE LIBRARIES, EXPANDING OUTDOOR RECREATIONAL SPACES AND PREVENTING AN INCREASED CAPACITY- OVERCROWDING BECAUSE THE CAPACITY OF THE JAILS, THOSE ARE ALL THINGS THAT WERE SEEN AS MUCH LESS COMPARATIVELY IMPORTANT THAN THE OTHER SPENDING PRIORITIES.

NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE. SO GETTING TO THE CONCLUSIONS HERE.

SO REAL QUICK, SOME OF THE SAME BIG CONCERNS ARE STILL THERE, PARTICULARLY THINGS RELATED TO HOMELESSNESS. BUT NOW WE SEE THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF THE CORONAVIRUS WITH TOP OF THE LIST THERE. BUT A LOT OF OTHER THINGS RELATED ECONOMY TOO.

UNEMPLOYMENT, POVERTY, HEALTH CARE COSTS.

THERE IS A VERY STRONG SENTIMENT, THREE QUARTERS FEEL LIKE THE COUNTY NEEDS AT LEAST SOME ADDITIONAL FUNDS TO PROVIDE- INCLUDING FORTY FOUR PERCENT AND FEEL LIKE TO HAVE A GREAT NEED FOR ADDITIONAL FUNDING HERE.

SO THIS PARTICULAR SNAPSHOT IN TIME AND AS YOU'VE LEARNED THIS YEAR IN TWENTY TWENTY, THINGS CAN CHANGE ON A MONTH TO MONTH BASIS.

BUT AS OF RIGHT NOW, THERE WAS A MAJORITY SUPPORT FOR A MEASURE.

AND AFTER WE WENT THROUGH SOME INFORMATION ABOUT A MEASURE OF PROS AND CONS, SUPPORT STILL STAYED ABOVE THAT VOTE THRESHOLD.

IT DID GO DOWN A LITTLE BIT.

I WILL JUST ADD THAT THE THOUSAND NINETEEN SURVEY WE WENT THROUGH ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, SUPPORT WENT UP IN THIS PARTICULAR SURVEY SUPPORT WENT DOWN A LITTLE BIT.

STILL STAYED ABOVE THE 50 PERCENT VOTE THRESHOLD.

WE'RE SEEING THAT IN VIRTUALLY ALL OF OUR SURVEYS IS THAT IF YOU LEARN MORE ABOUT A MEASURE LAST YEAR, IT COULD GET PUSHED UP.

THESE DAYS IT GETS PUSHED DOWN, WHICH AGAIN, I THINK IS A GOOD REMINDER THAT THOSE TWO THIRDS MEASURES WOULD BE EVEN FACING THE LONGER ODDS NOW THAN THEY LOOKED AT WHEN WE FIRST SURVEYED THEM BACK IN 2019.

BUT IT'S STILL VERY CLOSE AROUND THAT, THE MARGIN OF ERROR OF THE SURVEY HERE.

SO THIS IS- I DON'T WANT TO PAINT TOO ROSY A PICTURE, BUT THIS IS A MEASURE THAT LOOKS LIKE IT'S IN A SOMEWHAT SIMILAR PLACE AS IT WAS IN 2019, ALTHOUGH SOME OF THE FUNDAMENTALS AND COUPLE OF MONTHS WILL TURN OUT. BUT IT WAS SOMETHING THAT WAS SUPPORTED BROADLY ACROSS ALL FIVE DISTRICTS.

AND I THINK I'LL JUST LEAVE IT AT THAT.

KURT, BEFORE YOU- I KNOW YOU HAVE TO GO, BUT LET ME SEE IF THE BOARD HAS ANY QUICK QUESTIONS. SUPERVISOR THANK YOU. JUST A COUPLE QUICK QUESTIONS.

ON THE COVER OF THIS PRESENTATION, THE DATES DIFFER FROM PAGE TWO.

CAN YOU CONFIRM WHICH DATES THE INTERVIEWS WERE CONDUCTED? YEAH, THEY WERE DIFFERENT.

YES. ONE SAYS JUNE TWENTY FIRST THROUGH THE TWENTY FIFTH.

THE OTHER SAYS JUNE 21ST TO JULY 2ND.

ALL RIGHT. LET ME LOOK THAT UP.

MAY HAVE BEEN A - YEAH, THEY WENT THROUGH JULY 2ND.

THANK YOU. AND THEN THE INTERVIEWS CONDUCTED VIA LANDLINE AND CELL PHONE, CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT PERCENTAGE ANSWERED BY LANDLINE IN WHAT PERCENTAGE ANSWERED BY CELL PHONE? SURE, SO CELL PHONE WAS, OF THE PHONE INTERVIEWS, THERE ARE SEVENTY SIX PERCENT ON CELL PHONE. TWENTY FOUR PERCENT ON LAND LINE.

THANK YOU. AND DO YOU HAVE THE PERCENTAGE WHO RESPONDED IN ENGLISH, SPANISH, HMONG AND PUNJABI? YEP.

ENGLISH, 94 PERCENT.

SPANISH, FIVE PERCENT.

HMONG, ONE PERCENT.

AND PUNJABI, A LITTLE BIT LESS THAN ONE PERCENT.

ONLY HAD A HANDFUL OF INTERVIEWS IN HMONG AND PUNJABI.

THANK YOU. AND ON PAGE 11 IN THE MIDDLE PIECE,

[01:05:05]

THIS SAYS DRUGS AND NARCOTICS AND THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE LIVING IN POVERTY.

WAS THERE ANY EXPLANATION OR ANY INDICATION OF DRUGS AND NARCOTICS IN RELATION TO PREVENTION, INTERVENTION OR ENFORCEMENT? NO, THOSE ARE JUST THE PHRASES THAT WERE USED.

WE DIDN'T DIG DEEPER INTO THOSE PARTICULAR TOPICS.

WE GUST THAT PARTICULAR PHRASE OK, AND THAT WOULD BE THE SAME FOR A NUMBER OF PEOPLE LIVING IN POVERTY.

OK, NO INDICATION WHETHER IT BE AFFORDABLE HOUSING, HEALTH CARE, QUALITY JOBS? NO, WE DIDN'T DIG DEEPER INTO UNPACKING THE VARIETY OF DIFFERENT ISSUE.

THESE ARE SORT OF THE BIG PICTURE CONCERNS.

OK. AND THEN- THE PAGE 17, THE HYPOTHETICAL BALLOT LANGUAGE THAT WAS TESTED.

DAVID, DO YOU MIND GOING BACK TO THAT SLIDE? CAN YOU PROVIDE THE SLIDE NUMBER, PLEASE? SLIDE 17.

M Y 17 IS DIFFERENT THAN THAT. PERFECT.

AND THEN I'M GOING TO REFERENCE PAGE TWENTY THREE OF MINE.

AND IT BEGINS MAINTAINING NINE ONE ONE EMERGENCY RESPONSE.

SO THOSE TWO SLIDES ON PAGE 23, ALL BUT ONE REFERENCE EMERGENCY SERVICES AND THEN THE HYPOTHETICAL BALLOT LANGUAGE REFERENCES EMERGENCY RESPONSE FOR THE CRIME GANG PREVENTION, SENIOR YOUTH SERVICES, LOCAL BUSINESSES, JOB CREATION.

SO WERE THEY- WHEN THE FOLKS WERE ASKED, OBVIOUSLY THEY WERE BOTH RELATED,RIGHT? SO WHAT I'M QUESTIONING IS, WE'RE GIVING FOLKS THE HYPOTHETICAL BALLOT LANGUAGE, BUT YEAH, WE'RE ONLY GIVING THEM THE OPTION TO RAT THE ITEMS ON PAGE 23.

DOES THAT MAKE SENSE? YEAH.

SO THERE'S SEVERAL SLIDES THERE IN THAT SERIES.

THE WAY IT WORKS TRADITIONALLY IS THAT WE COME UP WITH THE LIST OF DIFFERENT THINGS WE WANT TO- THAT THE COUNTY MAY WANT TO SPEND MONEY ON AND TRY TO PUT THEM IN DIFFERENT TYPES OF CATEGORIES.

AND THERE'S A LOT OF VARIATIONS ON HOW TO EXPLAIN IN WAYS THAT ARE LIKE DIGESTIBLE.

AND WE TRY TO TEST A LOT OF THOSE.

AND THEN THE HYPOTHETICAL 75 WORDS, PARTICULARLY 81-95, WHERE YOU HAVE TO INCLUDE A VARIETY OF DIFFERENT FINANCIAL ASPECTS.

THERE'S NOT A LOT OF REAL ESTATE THERE.

SO A LOT OF TIMES THOSE THEMES ARE CONCATENATED AND KIND OF JAMMED INTO THOSE 75 WORDS AND THEN MAKES A LITTLE BIT OF A TRICKY BALLOT LANGUAGE HERE.

BUT ONE OF THE THINGS THAT'S HELPFUL FROM THE SURVEY PERSPECTIVE IS THAT WE PUT TOGETHER THESE 75 WORDS AND GUT REACTIONS TO THAT AND WE CAN GO BACK AND LOOK AT THAT.

I THINK IT'S PROBABLY TWO OR THREE SLIDES AFTER THIS THAT YOU'RE REFERRING TO AND SEE WHICH ELEMENTS WERE REALLY RESONATING MOST STRONGLY WITH YOUR VOTERS.

AND IN THAT CASE, YOU COULD AMEND THOSE 75 WORDS TO REFLECT SOME OF THOSE HIGHER, HIGHER PRIORITIES. THANK YOU.

AND THEN CAN YOU SHARE A LITTLE BIT ON THE DEMOGRAPHICS OF THE RESPONDENTS? ARE THEY TYPICALLY- IT SAYS HERE FOLKS WHO WOULD MOST LIKELY VOTE IN NOVEMBER, CORRECT? SO THAT WOULD MEAN THEY HAVE A HIGH VOTER RECORD.

YEAH, SO WE- THIS IS A SURVEY FIRSTLY OF JUST ADULTS AND THEN JUST ADULTS WHO ARE REGISTERED TO VOTE. SO IT LOOKS A LITTLE DIFFERENT DEMOGRAPHICALLY FROM WHAT YOUR CENSUS DATA WOULD BE. AND THEN OF THOSE WHO ARE REGISTERED TO VOTE, THOSE WHO WE DEEMED, IN OUR MODEL OF TIME, LIKELY TO VOTE IN THIS COMING NOVEMBER.

FOR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, THAT'S PRETTY HIGH, RELATIVELY HIGH PERCENTAGE.

I DON'T HAVE IT OFF HAND HERE FOR MERCED COUNTY JUST BECAUSE IT'S THE HIGHEST TURNOUT ELECTION, BUT SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN REGISTERED TO VOTE FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS AND HAS A PLACE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS, WE WILL LEAVE OUT OF THAT THAT MODEL AT THAT POINT.

BUT THAT'S HAS DRIVE AND IT'S BASED UPON PARTICIPATION MORE HEAVILY WEIGHTED TOWARDS MORE RECENT ELECTIONS. OK, AND THEN LAST QUESTION IS AGE RANGE.

YEAH. SO AGES, OBVIOUSLY 18 AND UP.

I COULD JUST QUICKLY HERE- THOSE UNDER- THE MAJORITY OF THESE FOLKS- NOT A MAJORITY, BUT MANY OF THEM ARE SENIORS. SO MAYBE I'LL JUST QUICKLY GO THROUGH: EIGHTEEN TO TWENTY NINE, SIXTEEN PERCENT.

30 YEAR OLDS, 16 PERCENT.

40 YEAR OLDS, 15 PERCENT.

50 YEAR OLD, 50 PERCENT.

60 PLUS, I'M DOING THE MATH.

THIRTY EIGHT PERCENT.

THANK YOU. I THINK THOSE ARE ALL MY QUESTIONS FOR NOW.

OTHER BOARD MEMBERS? NO, NO.

[01:10:04]

THANK YOU VERY MUCH. MY PLEASURE.

AND I'M VERY SORRY THAT I HAVE TO SIGN OFF HERE.

THANK YOU. I UNDERSTAND OUR AUDIO WENT DOWN AGAIN, SO WE'LL TAKE A QUICK PAUSE.

WELL, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

THAT WAS THE REPORTS FROM THE PRESENTATION AND THERE IS A LITTLE- GO AHEAD. WE'RE BACK NOW.

SO NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE.

SO AS WE REGROUP HERE AS AFTER THE POLLING AND DURING THE POLLING AND LOOKING WHERE ORIGINALLY THIS WAS SET UP TO LOOK AT A SPECIAL AND IN LOOKING AT A MORE BROADER GENERAL BASIS AND LOOKING AT A LOT OF WHAT I WOULD CALL SIGNIFICANT PROJECTS AND COUNTY NEEDS OUT THERE AND DESIRES FROM THE BOARD, WE STARTED GROUPING THEM IN THESE FEW DIFFERENT AREAS INTERNALLY TO KIND OF LOOK AT WITH THE IDEA THAT DEPENDING ON HOW THINGS WENT AND IF THE BOARD WAS TO CONSIDER TO MOVE FORWARD, THIS IS WHAT WE WOULD TRY TO GO OUT TO THE COMMUNITY AND JUST EDUCATE THEM ON.

SO AGAIN, WE HAVE NOW- THIS WAS AFTER NOT BEING ABLE TO GET TO THE COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT WITH COVID IF WE WENT OUT, THIS IS KIND OF WHAT WE ARE LOOKING TO EDUCATE.

AND SO GROUPING IN THESE AREAS, AS WE SAID, THE JAIL, THE LATORRACA MAIN JAIL, THAT PROJECT, DEPENDING ON THE SCOPE, IS ANYWHERE BETWEEN THIRTY FIVE TO 60 MILLION.

WE DO NOT THINK YOU HAVE A CHOICE WITH THAT.

I MEAN, THERE'S ALWAYS A CHOICE.

BUT WE DO THINK THAT THE EXPANSION AND DEMOLISHING THE MAIN JAIL IS A PRIORITY, AND IS SOMETHING WE ARE GOING TO NEED TO MOVE FORWARD ON ONE WAY OR THE OTHER.

IF WE MOVE FORWARD ON IT AT THIRTY FIVE TO 40 MILLION TO 60 MILLION, THE ONLY OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO US WOULD BE TO GO ISSUE DEBT.

MAYBE WE CAN COME UP WITH RESOURCES TO- AS YOU BUY A HOUSE, PUT A DOWN PAYMENT ON SOME OF IT SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO FINANCE THE WHOLE THING, BUT YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO ISSUE DEBT AND YOU'RE GONNA END UP WITH A DEBT SERVICE PAYMENT OF PLUS OR MINUS TWO MILLION, MAYBE UP TO THREE MILLION DOLLARS.

FIRE. MANY OF YOU AND MANY OF THE PUBLIC AND COMMUNITY ARE AWARE OF OUR FIRE FACILITIES.

WE CURRENTLY HAVE 15 FIRE STATIONS THAT WE OWN.

AND JUST THE STATIONS ALONE, PROBABLY THE NEED IS 12 TO 18 MILLION.

THE DEFERRED MAINTENANCE ON THEM IS SIGNIFICANT.

THE NEW ENGINES ARE HAVING CHALLENGES EVEN FITTING IN THEM.

AND IF WE WERE TO LOOK AT THE EQUIPMENT AND ESPECIALLY STAFFING, WHICH EVERYBODY KNOWS THE DESIRE TO GET TO 2-0 STAFFING, WHICH IS NOT INCLUDED IN THAT NUMBER, THAT'S A SIGNIFICANT ANNUAL AMOUNT, IF WE WERE TO TRY TO LOOK AT SOMETHING TO WHERE WE GOT TO 2-0 STAFFING ON FIRE.

FLOOD CONTROL, THERE'S A LONG TIME PROJECT THAT'S BEEN IN THE WORKS.

OH, WOW. I'M NOT SURE IF IT'S THE 60S OR 70S THAT HAS STARTED ON RETENTION BASIN FOR BLACK RASPAL TO HELP THE FLOODING THROUGH THE CREEK THROUGH THE CENTER OF MERCED OUT TO, YOU KNOW, BEACHWOOD, FRANKLIN AREA.

WE ALL KNOW THERE'S BEEN MULTIPLE FLOODING THERE.

WE ARE MOVING FORWARD.

THE ESTIMATE RIGHT NOW ON THAT PROJECT RIGHT NOW IS THIRTY FIVE TO FORTY MILLION.

FORTUNATELY, THAT IS A JOINT PROJECT WITH THE CITY OF MERCED IRRIGATION DISTRICT AND US AS ALL THREE WITH PART OF THE STREAMS GROUP.

WE HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL IN GETTING TEN MILLION DOLLARS IN SECURED.

WE JUST BEEN NOTIFIED WITHIN THE LAST PROBABLY MONTH OR TWO MONTH THAT WE MAY HAVE TO CONSOLE. IF THAT PROJECT STAYS AROUND THIRTY FIVE TO FORTY MILLION, WE'VE IDENTIFIED AND BEEN ABLE TO GET TWENTY MILLION IN GRANTS.

THAT STILL LEAVES 15 TO 20 MILLION.

AGAIN, IT'S A JOINT PROJECT AND DEPENDING ON WHERE THE SHARING BUT IF WE'RE ABOUT 40 PERCENT OF THAT SHARE, THAT'S A SIX TO TEN MILLION DOLLARS THAT WE HAVE TO COME UP WITH, WHICH THAT PROJECT IS MOVING ALONG.

AND IN THE NEXT YEAR, A COUPLE OF YEARS, THAT PROJECT IS GOING TO BE AT A POINT TO GO OR NO GO. AND WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO COME UP WITH THAT SIX TO TEN MILLION DOLLARS FROM COUNTY SHARE THE CITY OF MERCED AND COMMUNITY SERVICE- AND SO THAT'S THE MAIN AREA.

ALL OF THOSE, FIRE STATIONS AND THE JAIL AND BLACK RASCAL ARE NEEDS.

THEY ARE THEY ARE THINGS THAT ARE, I WON'T CALL THEM REQUIREMENTS BECAUSE YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO THE FLOOD CONTROL PROJECT.

BUT WE'VE HAD MULTIPLE FLOODING THROUGH THE MIDDLE OF THE COMMUNITY.

MERCED, THE CITY OF MERCED THAT WOULD HELP THAT.

THE JAIL WE'VE GOT TO DO AND THE FIRE STATIONS ARE- THERE IS PROBABLY ONE OR TWO THAT COMPLETELY NEED TO BE REBUILT.

[01:15:01]

AND THERE'S MAINTENANCE NOW ON MANY OF THEM.

AS WE LOOKED AT COMMUNITY SERVICES, MANY OF YOU ARE AWARE OF OUR COMMUNITY AND VETERANS FACILITIES. THERE ARE TWENTY ONE FACILITIES ACROSS THE COUNTY AND COMMUNITY AND VETERANS FACILITIES.

AND WE HAVE TWELVE LIBRARY BRANCHES.

BETWEEN THOSE, JUST TO DEAL WITH ROOFS, H VACS AND DEAL WITH SOME DEFERRED MAINTENANCE THAT NEED TO BE DONE ON MANY OF THESE, I'VE GOT AN ESTIMATE OF TWENTY FIVE MILLION DOLLARS THAT PUBLIC WORKS SAYS WE'VE ACTUALLY HAD TWO DIFFERENT SURVEYS DONE FROM OUTSIDE AND THEY BOTH COME IN ABOUT THAT NUMBER.

SO THOSE ARE NEEDS OF THE COMMUNITY AND YOUR VETERANS FACILITIES.

MANY OF THOSE ARE GOING TO BE FACED WITHIN THE NEXT FEW YEARS WITH DECISIONS THAT YOU EITHER PUT MONEY INTO IT TO FIX OR YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO CLOSE IT UP AND PROBABLY NOT USE THEM. THE COURTHOUSE MUSEUM, IT'S ONE OF THE- I'VE HEARD FROM NUMEROUS PEOPLE THROUGHOUT THE COUNTY AND IN THE CITY OF MERCED AREA.

THERE IS A SIGNIFICANT- IT'S ONE OF THE JEWELS- WE KNOW WE'VE HAD TO JUST DO THE EXTERIORS ABOUT A TWO AND A HALF MILLION DOLLAR PROJECT.

THAT DOESN'T DEAL WITH THE INTERIOR.

WE NEED TO KEEP UP THE MAINTENANCE ON THAT.

WE'RE ALREADY SLIPPING BEHIND.

BUT TO HELP THE EXTERIOR ON THAT, TO DO THE MAINTENANCE THAT WE NEED TO CATCH UP TO SPEED IS ABOUT TWO AND A HALF MILLION DOLLARS FOR THE COURTHOUSE MUSEUM.

MANY OF YOU HAVE EXPRESSED INTEREST IN PARKS AND OUR OPEN SPACES, WHETHER IT'S JUST IMPROVING THEM TO- THERE'S TWO COMMUNITIES THAT CONSISTENTLY ARE BROUGHT UP HERE FROM BOARD MEMBERS THAT DO NOT HAVE A COUNTY OWNED COMMUNITY PARK, THAT'S BEACHWOOD, FRANKLIN, AND I MEAN, WHITON, I KNOW WE WENT AFTER PLANALTO.

WE ARE SUCCESSFUL IN THIS PAST YEAR, GOING AFTER GETTING A GRANT.

WINTON, WE WERE NOT SUCCESSFUL.

WE, AS FAR AS WE KNOW FROM THE BOARD THAT WE WILL BE GOING AFTER IT AGAIN.

BUT THAT'S ABOUT A FIVE MILLION DOLLAR PROJECT IN WINTON.

SO YOU HAVE EXPRESSED INTEREST TO STAFF IN TRYING TO MOVE FORWARD ON SOME OF THESE PROJECTS. AGAIN, THOSE ARE THINGS THAT AREN'T HAVE TO DO RIGHT NOW, BUT THEY ARE THINGS FROM YOUR COMMUNITIES THAT YOU'VE HEARD THAT ARE VERY IMPORTANT.

AND TO COME UP WITH THOSE KIND OF RESOURCES IS A CHALLENGING.

THERE'S BEEN A LOT OF CONVERSATION HERE AND THERE.

BUT OVER RIGHT BEFORE COVID, THERE WERE SOME REAL WHAT I WOULD CALL PRODUCTIVE CONVERSATION TAKING PLACE THAT WAS REALLY GAINING SOME MOMENTUM WITH A COUPLE GROUPS FROM SOCCER AND BASEBALL IN LOOKING AT LAKE YOSEMITE.

AND THERE HAD BEEN DISCUSSION OF BEACHWOOD, FRANKLIN NEVER GOT UP WITH THAT BEING ANOTHER POSSIBILITY AS FAR AS YOU KNOW, BUT OF CREATING SOCCER AND BASEBALL FIELDS? AND SO THAT IS AN AREA THAT WHEN WE ARE LOOKING AT TO PUT TOGETHER FOR ALL OF YOU OF POTENTIAL IDEAS OF WHERE YOU COULD SPEND THIS, THAT WAS AN AREA.

THE REST IS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT RECOVERY OUTSIDE OF JUST MAINTAINING FISCAL STABILITY.

MANY OF THESE ARE- THESE AREN'T THE THINGS THAT YOU HAVE TO DO, BUT IT'S JUST FROM AN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STANDPOINT.

THERE'S THE WORKING OUT AT WHAT WE CALL OLD CASTLE, YOU KNOW, IS THE PROJECTS OUT THERE REQUIRE RESOURCES? WE THOUGHT I MEAN, IF THERE WAS ENOUGH HERE, IT WOULD HELP TOWARDS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT THERE. AND AS I SAID EARLIER, WE WERE LOOKING AT IN DISCUSSIONS WITH FROM THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY AND COMMUNITY IN GENERAL, HOW DO WE HELP WITH RECOVERY? ARE THERE WAYS TO CREATE INCENTIVES, GRANTS? HOW DO WE ASSIST? DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS? ARE THERE INCENTIVES? COULD WE CREATE INCENTIVES FROM AN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STANDPOINT AND DO THINGS THAT HERE LOCALLY WE HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO DO TO ENCOURAGE OTHER GROUPS OR OTHER DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS OR OTHER INTEREST IN THE COUNTY AREA? AND SO, AGAIN, THESE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS WE STARTED TO LOOK AT WHEN THE DISCUSSION BECAME A LITTLE BROADER FROM JUST THE JAIL AS POTENTIAL THINGS THAT WE ARE GOING TO BE FACED WITH OVER THE NEXT FEW YEARS TO THINGS THAT ARE LONG TERM IN NATURE.

NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE. AND SO AT THIS POINT, YOU KNOW, THE CONSIDERATIONS THAT HAVE BEEN RUN THROUGHOUT THIS IS, YOU KNOW, AS YOU LOOK AT THE COMMUNITY'S NEEDS, YOU KNOW, THE COUNTY'S NEEDS, WHAT ARE THE BOARD PRIORITIES, THE POLLING RESULTS.

AS YOU LOOK AT ALL THOSE, THERE ARE NEEDS.

THERE ARE THINGS THAT WE LONG TERM DO HAVE TO ENGAGE IN A DISCUSSION WITH THE COMMUNITY ON AND ENGAGE IN HOW DO WE SOLVE SOME OF THESE.

COVID HIT. THAT DID THROW KIND OF A CHALLENGE, AS WE SAID, THAT'S INTO THE CURRENT ECONOMIC STATE. IT'S A DIFFICULT TIME.

WE ALL KNOW THAT. AND SO THAT IS SOMETHING THAT DOES HAVE TO BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION.

[01:20:03]

AND THEN OUR ABILITY TO ENGAGE THE COMMUNITY.

WE WERE NOT ABLE TO DO THAT FROM MARCH THROUGH JUNE.

IF THE BOARD DECIDED TO MOVE FORWARD WITH THIS, THAT WAS GOING TO BE A CHALLENGE.

BUT THAT WAS THE NEXT STEP, IS TO TRY TO EDUCATE WHERE WE CAN ON KIND OF THOSE NEEDS, THOSE USES AND HOW THE MONEY COULD BE SPENT AT THIS POINT.

AND SO WITH THAT NEXT SLIDE.

AT THIS POINT, IT IS BACK TO YOU AGAIN.

AND THIS HAS BEEN A LONG PROCESS FOR THE LAST YEAR.

IT IS AT THE POINT TO WHERE WE WERE CIRCLING BACK.

IT'S NOT SOMETHING THAT STAFF COULD JUST SAY, WE'RE NOT DOING ANYTHING.

WE FELT LIKE SINCE THAT'S BEEN SOMETHING THAT WAS INITIATED A YEAR AGO, THE BOARD HAD BEEN INVOLVED. WE NEEDED TO BRING IT BACK TO YOU FOR KIND OF A DECISION ONE WAY OR ANOTHER. THAT WAS THE LAST BOARD MEETING.

YOU DID NOT HAVE A FULL BOARD THERE.

AND SO IT WAS THE DECISION FROM THE BOARD AT THAT POINT WAS TO SAY, WELL, WE'D LIKE A FULL BOARD TO JUST HAVE THAT DISCUSSION ON WHETHER IT MAKES SENSE TO MOVE FORWARD OR DOESN'T MAKE SENSE TO MOVE FORWARD AT THIS POINT IN TIME.

IF YOU DO DECIDE TO CONSIDER TO MOVE FORWARD, YOU HAVE OPTIONS OF WHETHER IT'S A HALF CENT OR QUARTER CENT AND YOU DO HAVE OPTIONS WHETHER TO SHORTEN THE TERM.

THE POLLING WAS AT FIFTEEN AND NINE YEARS.

YOU COULD PICK SOME OF THOSE THINGS OUT OF THERE AND TRY TO GET IT.

BUT YOU DO HAVE TO BE CAREFUL BECAUSE YOU CANNOT DESIGNATE AT THIS POINT UNDER A GENERAL TAX, YOU CANNOT DO THAT.

AND SO IT'S GOT TO BE AT THIS POINT IN WITH THE LANGUAGE AND WHERE WE'RE AT, WE DO NOT HAVE THE OPTION TO MOVE FORWARD ON A SPECIAL TAX AT THIS POINT IN TIME, YOU KNOW.

AND SO WITH THAT, AS FAR AS WE'RE AVAILABLE FOR ANY QUESTIONS AT THE BOARD MAY HAVE AND LOOKING FOR YOUR GUIDANCE AND DIRECTION.

ANY ON THE BOARD HAVE ANY QUESTIONS FOR JIM? YEAH, I JUST WANT TO BE CLEAR ON SOME OF THE QUESTIONS THAT WE'RE COMING UP AT THE PODIUM AND THROUGH THROUGH OUR EMAILS.

AND IT SAID THAT WE DIDN'T HAVE PRIORITIES OR THINGS IN PLACE, BUT WITH THE GENERAL SALES TAX, BY LAW, WE CAN'T HAVE THAT IN PLACE.

AND IF WE DID PUT IT ON THE BALLOT AND PASS IT, THEN AT THAT POINT WE START THE DISCUSSION TO PUT THOSE PRIORITIES IN PLACE.

AND SO I'M JUST WANTING TO BE CLEAR ON THAT BECAUSE WE CAN'T LIST IT THAT WAY.

I'VE HAD A HARD TIME WITH THIS FROM THE BEGINNING, BUT WHENEVER I SAW THE STUFF THAT NEEDED TO BE DONE AND WE HAD IT TOTALLY FOCUSED ON INFRASTRUCTURE ITEMS THAT NEEDED TO BE DONE, I THINK THE FOLKS WOULD BE A LITTLE MORE INCLINED TO PAY A TAX IF THEY KNOW EXACTLY WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN. BUT THE WAY IT SITS RIGHT NOW WITH THE GENERAL SALES TAX, I CANNOT SUPPORT IT.

I'M THE ONE WHO MADE THE MOTION BECAUSE I DIDN'T WANT TO KILL IT AT THE LAST MEETING WITHOUT OUR CHAIRMAN THERE TO BE ABLE TO HAVE THE DISCUSSION.

SO I WANTED TO PROLONG IT.

AND THAT'S WHY I MOTION THE WAY I DID.

SO WE COULD HAVE A FURTHER DISCUSSION WITH ALL BOARD MEMBERS HERE.

I DIDN'T THINK IT'D BE FAIR FOR MY NO VOTE TO KILL IT AT THAT TIME.

THANK YOU MR. THANK YOU MR. CHAIRMAN. IT'S WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE LIST THAT WE WENT THROUGH OF ALL THE- I'LL BE THE FIRST ONE TO ADMIT AND RECOGNIZE THAT THERE ARE SOME THINGS THAT ARE PROBABLY CONSIDERED MORE NEEDS THAN WANTS.

WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT OUR AGING INFRASTRUCTURE.

WE NEED OUR FIRE FACILITIES.

AND I HEARD A LOT OF EXPANDING OUR JAIL.

IT'S REALLY NOT EXPANDING OUR JAIL.

IT'S TAKING THE ONE THAT WE HAVE AND BASICALLY DEMOLISHING IT AND PUTTING A NEW, SAFER, MODERN FACILITY IN THERE, NOT ONLY FOR THE FOLKS THAT ARE- THE INMATES THAT ARE THERE, BUT ALSO THE STAFF THAT WORKS THERE.

AND YOU LOOK AT THESE THINGS AND THEY STILL THINK, I KNOW THAT THERE'S PEOPLE THAT WILL DISAGREE, THAT I STILL THINK A SALES TAX IS THE FAIREST TAX.

THE BURDEN OF IT'S NOT ONLY BORNE BY OUR RESIDENTS, BUT IT'S ALSO- WE CAPTURE SOME DOLLARS FROM FOLKS THAT ARE PASSING THROUGH OUR COUNTY, SO WE KIND OF HELP TO SPREAD IT OUT A LITTLE BIT.

AND I FEEL LIKE, YOU KNOW, I WILL ADMIT WE FELL INTO, WITH COVID HITTING, THIS, AGAIN, I WANT TO STRESS THIS TO THE FOLKS OUT HERE IN THE AUDIENCE AND THE FOLKS LISTENING AT HOME. I PROMISE YOU THAT THIS ISN'T SOMETHING THAT WE JUST ALL OF A SUDDEN IN THE LAST WEEK OR TWO WEEKS OR MONTH THOUGHT OF.

THIS IS SOMETHING THAT, AS YOU GUYS SEEN THROUGH THE PRESENTATION EARLIER, THAT'S BEEN BEING TALKED ABOUT FOR QUITE SOME TIME.

AND THEN, YOU KNOW, THERE WAS A PLAN TO DO MORE COMMUNITY OUTREACH.

COVID HIT AND HOW YOU COULD ENGAGE YOUR CONSTITUENCY AND ENGAGE THE PUBLIC OBVIOUSLY CHANGED DURING COVID. AND THEN YOU RUN UP AGAINST THIS DEADLINE OF IF YOU DON'T GET-

[01:25:03]

HERE'S YOUR CHOICE. AND ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU LOOK AT THESE OPPORTUNITIES, IF YOU WILL, TO PUT A MEASURE ON THE BALLOT, HAVE TO BE DONE IN EITHER A YOU KNOW, EVERY TWO YEARS IN A GUBERNATORIAL ELECTION.

IT HAS TO BE DONE IN A GENERAL ELECTION.

AND SO YOU'RE LOOKING AT 2022.

AND SO YOU GET INTO LIKE, WELL, HEY, IF WE'RE GOING TO GET THIS ON THE 2020 BALLOT, WE HAVE TO DO IT NOW. AND AFTER HAVING SOME TIME TO THINK ABOUT IT, IT'S- THAT RUSH IS JUST NOT THAT IMPORTANT TO RUSH TO GET IT ON THE BALLOT.

WHEN YOU LOOK AT IT, DOES IT MAKES IT WHERE IT DOESN'T PASS THE SMELL TEST.

AND THAT'S WHY IT'S IT SEEMS LIKE WE ARE TRYING TO RUSH SOMETHING THROUGH.

IN THE END, I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT THERE IS NO CONCERTED EFFORT TO HIDE IT FROM THE COMMUNITY. IT REALLY WAS THE COVID RELATED.

WHEN COVID HIT AND YOUR WHOLE GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION TURNS TO EVERYTHING THAT THEY DO IS COVID RELATED, IT FELL THROUGH THE WAYSIDE AND THEN YOU RUN UP AGAINST THIS DEADLINE.

AND SO, YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU LOOK AT SOME OF THE THINGS THAT ARE THE WANTS ON THERE AND NOT NECESSARILY THE NEEDS, YOU KNOW, HAVE A PARK. AND YES, THERE IS GRANT FUNDING.

BUT, YOU KNOW, ANYTHING WE DO TO PUT A DECENT PARK OUT THERE, YOU'RE NOT JUST TALKING.

YOU GO SPEND FIFTY THOUSAND BUCKS AND YOU HAVE A PARK.

YOU'RE TALKING A MILLION PLUS DOLLARS TO BUILD A PARK.

AND THAT'S JUST IF YOU BUILD JUST A PARK WITH THE PLAY STRUCTURE ON IT.

IT DOESN'T TALK IF YOU'RE TRYING TO DO A LITTLE BIT MORE LIKE IN A COMMUNITY CENTER.

AND SO, YEAH, WHEN YOU LOOK AT HOW ARE YOU GOING TO FUND ALL THESE THINGS, THIS LOOKS LIKE IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A POSSIBLE ANSWER.

BUT JUST RIGHT NOW, TIMING PEOPLE ARE HURTING.

BUSINESSES ARE HURTING.

WE ARE ONE OF THE POORER COMMUNITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA.

FOR ME RIGHT NOW- AND LISTEN, I HEARD- I WANT TO THANK EVERYBODY THAT REACHED OUT TO ME VIA PHONE, EMAIL, TEXT TO LISTEN TO THEIR CONCERNS.

YOU KNOW, I DO SAY THAT I MENTIONED IT AT THE LAST MEETING.

WE STILL LIVE IN THE GREATEST COUNTRY ON EARTH.

AND THAT'S BECAUSE OUR VOTERS GET TO DECIDE.

I THINK IF THE TIMING WAS DIFFERENT, I KNOW THAT THERE'S SOME FOLKS THAT DON'T WANT IT ON THE BALLOT PERIOD BECAUSE THEY DON'T WANT THE VOTERS DECIDE.

IF THE TIMING WAS DIFFERENT, I WOULD STILL- OUR VOTE TODAY, IT'S EITHER TO PUT IT ON THE BALLOT OR NOT PUT IT ON THE BALLOT.

IT'S NOT PASSING THE SALES TAX MEASURE.

ULTIMATELY, THAT'S DECIDED BY THE VOTERS.

BUT RIGHT NOW, I THINK TIMING WISE, IT JUST IT DOESN'T IT JUST NOT RIGHT.

THIS IS NOT RIGHT TO ASK FOLKS TO WHO REALLY HAVE A LOT OF UNCERTAINTY- AND ALL OF US DO WITH WHAT OUR ECONOMIC RECOVERY IS GOING TO LOOK LIKE TO PUT SOMETHING ON THE BALLOT.

BUT I THINK IT GIVES US AN OPPORTUNITY TO A BROADER DISCUSSION.

I WANT FOLKS TO BE AWARE OF ALL THOSE THINGS THAT WERE ON THAT LIST ON TWO SLIDES AGO OF PRIORITIES THAT HAVE TO BE DONE.

WE DON'T HAVE AN OPTION.

I GUESS YOU HAVE AN OPTION JUST TO LET YOUR FACILITIES FALL APART.

BUT THEN IT COMES TO TOUGH CHOICES WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT LIBRARY BRANCHES, WE HAVE FOLKS THAT COME TO OUR MEETINGS AND EXPLAIN TO US THE VALUE IN HAVING LIBRARIES.

BUT YOU HAVE TO MAKE HARD CHOICES ON ARE YOU GOING TO SPEND MONEY TO KEEP THAT FACILITY TO KEEP IT SAFE AND ADA COMPLIANT AND OPERATIONAL, OR ARE YOU GOING TO SHUT THAT FACILITY DOWN? AND SO NONE OF THESE CHOICES ARE EASY.

IF IT WAS ALL EASY, THEY WOULDN'T NEED ANY OF US UP HERE.

THEY WOULD JUST TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES.

BUT NOW I'VE HEARD FROM MY CONSTITUENTS, YOU KNOW, I KNOW, YOU KNOW, FOR EXAMPLE, IN THE CITY OF LOS BANOS, THEY HAVE AN EIGHT POINT SEVENTY FIVE PERCENT SALES TAX RATE.

YOU PASS ANOTHER HALF A PERCENT ON TOP OF THAT.

THAT PUTS THEM AT NINE AND A QUARTER.

AND JUST FOR INFORMATION, ANYTHING OVER NINE POINT TWENTY FIVE PERCENT NEEDS SPECIAL LEGISLATION FROM FROM SACRAMENTO TO MAKE YOUR SALES TAX GO HIGHER.

UM, SO I THINK THE MESSAGE IS SENT RIGHT NOW.

IT'S NOT THE RIGHT TIME, BUT FOLKS HAVE SENT A MESSAGE THAT WE NEED TO LEARN HOW TO DO MORE WITH LESS AND LIVE WITHIN OUR BUDGETS AND THE MONEY THAT WE HAVE AND PRIORITIZE.

AND HERE I'M GOING TO SAY IT, IS AT TIMES, THAT'S NOT GOING TO BE PRETTY.

I'VE BEEN THROUGH TWO BUDGETS NOW.

AND WE'RE IN THE MIDDLE OF A PROPOSED VERSUS FINAL.

AND WHEN YOU LOOK AT BUDGETS AND YOU EXPERIENCE GROWTH IN REVENUES, BUT BEFORE YOU EVEN GET A STAB AT IT, IT'S ALREADY EATEN UP.

JUST IN EMPLOYEE COSTS.

JUST IN HEALTH CARE COSTS, RETIREMENT COSTS.

SO TRYING TO MAKE YOUR DOLLAR STRETCH MORE, IT'S FINE FOR ME.

THAT'S WHAT WE'RE ELECTED TO DO, IS TO HELP LISTEN TO OUR CONSTITUENTS AND MAKE THOSE HARD CHOICES. AND, YOU KNOW, IT WON'T BE PRETTY AT SOME TIMES.

BUT I THINK THE MESSAGE IS SENT LOUD AND CLEAR.

I CAN HONESTLY TELL YOU THAT FROM LAST WEEK UNTIL NOW, I HAVE NOT HAD ONE PERSON EMAIL

[01:30:04]

ME, CALL ME ANYTHING IN SUPPORT OF THIS SALES TAX MEASURE.

AND NOW I'VE HAD FOLKS EMAILED ME AND CALLED ME FOR VERY DIFFERENT REASONS, BUT NOBODY HAS CALLED ME AND SAID, HEY, I WANT YOU TO PUT THIS ON THE BALLOT.

AND IN CONVERSATIONS, I THINK MOVING FORWARD AND MAYBE THIS IS JUST KIND OF MY OPINION, I WANT TO PUT IT OUT THERE THAT I'M HEARING FROM FOLKS, IS THE PART ABOUT A- I THINK THE SYSTEM IS KIND OF BACKWARDS IN THAT TO GET A GENERAL SALES TAX MEASURE THAT YOU COULD SPEND ON ANYTHING AS LONG AS THE MAJORITY OF THE BOARD OR A COUNCIL AGREES TO IT, YOU NEED A SIMPLE MAJORITY, A 50 PERCENT PLUS ONE.

BUT TO GET A SPECIALIZED TAX THAT IS ALREADY- IT SAYS WE WILL SPEND IT ON ABC AND D, IT TAKES A TWO THIRDS MAJORITY.

MAYBE IT'S MY MIND CAN'T WRAP MY HEAD- I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN CONFUSED BY THAT.

BUT WHEN I'M LISTENING TO FOLKS THAT ARE DEAD SET AGAINST A SALES TAX INCREASE, BUT IN TALKING TO THEM THERE, IT'S MORE PALATABLE TO THEM IF A LIST OF PRIORITIES IS SET.

AND IT'S JUST LIKE, FOR EXAMPLE, I'M GOING TO GO BACK TO LOS BANOS MEASURE P, WHICH IS A HALF CENT SALES TAX FOR PUBLIC SAFETY.

IT IT IS LINED OUT THAT A CERTAIN PERCENTAGE GOES TO POLICE, A CERTAIN PERCENTAGE GOES TO FIRE. AND OF THOSE PERCENTAGES, A CERTAIN GOES TO STAFFING AND THE OTHER GOES TO INFRASTRUCTURE. SO I THINK THAT IF PEOPLE SEE EXACTLY WHAT WE WERE WANTING TO SPEND THIS ON, WE'RE GIVING THEM A BLUEPRINT UP FRONT, I THINK IT'S MORE PALATABLE AND MAYBE IT GARNERS MORE SUPPORT.

I THINK THAT FOLKS, YOU KNOW, THERE'S A DISTRUST IN GOVERNMENT AND THEY DON'T, YOU KNOW, AND I MENTIONED THAT AT THE LAST MEETING, YOU KNOW, YOU'RE ONLY AS GOOD AS THE FOLKS THAT YOU HAVE UP HERE. BUT THAT'S WHY IT'S IMPORTANT TO VOTE AND MAKE SURE YOU HAVE- YOU'RE PUTTING PEOPLE IN OFFICE THAT DO WHAT THEY SAY THEY'RE GOING TO DO AND LIVE UP TO THE PROMISES THAT THAT ARE MADE.

SO FOR NOW, AND I DO WANT TO HEAR THE REST OF MY COLLEAGUES AND WHAT THEY HAVE.

I THINK THAT IT'S SOMETHING THAT I JUST CAN'T VOTE TO MOVE FORWARD ON RIGHT NOW.

I THINK THE TIMING IS ALL WRONG.

I THINK THAT WE MAY REVISIT THIS IN TWO YEARS.

BUT IN THE MEANTIME, I STILL THINK THAT IT'S IMPORTANT THAT WE MOVE FORWARD WITH LOOKING AT WHAT WE'RE GOING TO DO WITH OUR AGING INFRASTRUCTURE.

I KNOW THERE'S THINGS THAT WE CAN DO AND CONTINUE FORWARD WITH THAT.

WE CAN'T JUST STOP.

THOSE THINGS HAVE TO BE DONE BECAUSE I'M STILL- I'VE SAID THAT UP HERE BEFORE.

EVERY YEAR THAT YOU WAIT THE DOLLAR AMOUNT TO FIX IT KEEPS GOING UP.

THAT DOESN'T GO DOWN.

AND SO WE HAVE TO AT SOME POINT MAKE A COMMITMENT THAT WE'RE GOING TO DO THESE THINGS.

SO THAT'S ALL I HAVE FOR NOW.

THANK YOU. THANK YOU, SUPERVISOR ANY COMMENTS? NO, THANK YOU.

I HAVE A LIST OF QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS FOR STAFF IN THE PUBLIC STAFF.

STAFF, DO WE HAVE PAPER COPIES OF THE SURVEY RESULTS AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC TODAY? WE MADE COPIES OF THE PRESENTATION OUT THERE.

OK, PERFECT. CAN WE POST ALL SURVEY RESULTS ONLINE ON OUR WEBSITE? I BELIEVE THE SEPTEMBER RESULTS WERE NOT SHARED TODAY.

OK, THANK YOU.

AND THEN I WANT TO BRING ATTENTION TO THE PHRASE STAFF IS BRINGING FORTH FOR CONSIDERATION. AND THEN ALSO STAFF IS PROPOSING CREATING A LOCALLY CONTROLLED SOURCE OF REVENUE THAT ADDRESSES THE PRIORITIES IDENTIFIED BY THE COMMUNITY AND THE COUNTY.

AND I WANT TO MAKE THIS CLEAR THAT I DID NOT PROPOSE THIS OPTION.

STAFF IS PROPOSING IT TODAY FOR THE BOARD'S CONSIDERATION.

AND STAFF'S PRESENTATION TODAY SHOWS THAT WE DO NOT HAVE ADEQUATE PUBLIC INPUT.

AS A RESULT OF COVID-19, THE COUNTY WAS NOT ABLE TO CONDUCT THE COMMUNITY OUTREACH AS PLANNED. AND MR BROWN, YOU STATED THAT STAFF TALKED TO THE SHERIFF AND SOME COUNTY SUPERVISORS REGARDING COMMUNITY OUTREACH, CORRECT? OR AM I MISUNDERSTANDING THAT? SO IDENTIFYING GROUPS TO TALK TO? THERE WERE SOME CONVERSATIONS RIGHT BEFORE COVID ABOUT, YOU KNOW, HOW DO WE GO OUT WHEN THE FOCUS WAS ON THE, YOU KNOW, THE JAIL ORIGINALLY AND POTENTIALLY A PROPERTY.

AND SO, YES.

AND WE NEVER DID ACTUALLY GET ANY SET.

OK, WHICH COUNTY SUPERVISORS DID STAFF SPEAK TO? I COULD- I DO NOT REMEMBER.

IT WAS JUST HAPPENING AT THAT POINT IN TIME.

I DON'T REMEMBER SPECIFICALLY.

OK, THANK YOU. AND I KNOW AT THE TIME THERE WAS CONVERSATIONS ABOUT TRYING TO GET A SMALL GROUP TO START GOING AROUND.

THANK YOU. AND WE KNOW THAT THE DEMOGRAPHIC WHO CONSISTENTLY VOTE ARE MORE EDUCATED AND WELL OFF THAN A MAJORITY OF RESIDENTS IN MERCER COUNTY, WHICH MEANS OUR SAMPLE SIZE IS NOT ENOUGH, NOR IS IT REPRESENTATIVE OF OUR POPULATION.

I'D LIKE FUTURE INITIATIVES AND SURVEYS TO BE MORE REPRESENTATIVE OF OUR COMMUNITY.

THE LAST FORMAL BOARD PRIORITIES WERE ESTABLISHED IN TWENTY SEVENTEEN PRIOR TO SUPERVISOR AND I DON'T HAVE THEM AVAILABLE TO ME AND THE PUBLIC DOES NOT HAVE IT AVAILABLE TO THEM

[01:35:01]

AND IT IS NOT LISTED ON OUR WEBSITE OR ON ANY ELECTRONIC SPACE WHERE THE PUBLIC CAN ACCESS. AND SO I RECOMMEND THAT THE BOARD HOLD SEVERAL PRIORITY SETTING SESSIONS AT DIFFERENT TIMES, EVEN ON THE WEEKEND OR ON A WEEKEND TO HEAR OUR COMMUNITIES NEEDS.

AND THE PURPOSE AND PRIORITIES OF THIS TAX MEASURE MUST BE BETTER DEFINED.

AND SINCE WE CANNOT DEFINE THEM FOR GENERAL SALES TAX MEASURE, THEN WE SHOULD CONSIDER A SPECIAL SALES TAX.

AND THE PROPOSED LANGUAGE IN THE AGENDA STATES THAT PROCEEDS FROM THE TAX IMPOSED BY THIS ORDINANCE SHALL BE UNRESTRICTED- PROCEEDS FROM THE TAX IMPOSED BY THIS ORDINANCE SHALL BE FOR UNRESTRICTED GENERAL REVENUE PURPOSES OF THE COUNTY AND THAT THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS SHALL RETAIN DISCRETION TO EXPEND THE PROCEEDS OF THE TAX FOR ANY LAWFUL PURPOSE OF THE COUNTY. WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE UNRESTRICTED GENERAL REVENUE AND WHAT PERCENTAGE OF EACH? I'M SORRY.

WHAT'S INCLUDED IN YOUR GENERAL DISCRETIONARY REVENUE IS PROPERTY TAX, SALES TAX.

THOSE ARE THE TWO LARGEST COMPONENTS.

THERE ARE SOME RELATED TO THE WILLIAMSON ACT.

YOUR INTEREST REVENUE THAT YOU GET ON- THAT ANYBODY BASICALLY GETS.

THOSE ARE THE LARGER COMPONENTS OF BASICALLY YOUR DISCRETIONARY REVENUE.

GREAT. AND WHEN IT COMES TO OUR DISCRETIONARY BUDGET, WHERE DO WE SPEND THE GENERAL COUNTY FUNDS? YOUR TOTAL BUDGET IS ABOUT SIX HUNDRED- WELL, THAT'S PROPOSED, AND IT'S GOING TO CHANGE. BUT IN GENERAL, IT'S ABOUT YOUR PROPOSED BUDGET AS A PLACEHOLDER WITH SIX HUNDRED EIGHTY FOUR MILLION. YOU CURRENTLY HAVE PROJECTED ABOUT ONE HUNDRED MILLION IN DISCRETIONARY REVENUE. SO THAT'S JUST UNDER 15 PERCENT OF WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL OF THE TOTAL BUDGET AS FAR AS THAT.

NOW, AS WE SHOW EVERY BUDGET YEAR, WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE DISCRETIONARY COST THAT MOST OF THAT DISCRETIONARY REVENUE GOES TOWARDS PUBLIC SAFETY, WHICH INCLUDES A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT COMPONENTS, INCLUDING THE JAILS, INCLUDING OUR ASSISTANCE WITH THE COURTS AND THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY, PUBLIC DEFENDER AND THE SHERIFF AND PROBATION.

THANK YOU. AND NOW I'M GOING TO SWITCH TO THE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE.

CAN YOU DEFINE THE VISION OF WHAT THE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE WOULD LOOK LIKE? SO THE ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES AND I RECOGNIZE THAT IN THE DOCUMENTS THAT STATES THAT THE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE WILL IDENTIFY OR DEFINE THEIR ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES BEFORE THE PUBLIC INFORMATION STAFF WAS PUTTING THIS TOGETHER, WHAT WAS THEIR VISION OF THE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE IN THE ROLES OF RESPONSIBILITIES AND AUTHORITY? WELL, AT THIS POINT, WE WOULD BE PRESUMPTUOUS TO MOVE FORWARD WITH THAT KIND OF CONVERSATION BECAUSE THE ACTION WAS ASKING THE BOARD TO- WE COME BACK TO THE BOARD FOR HOW THEY WANTED THAT. SO FROM A STAFF PERSPECTIVE, I WOULD NOT WANT TO BE PRESUMPTUOUS ON WHAT THE BOARD AND WHAT THEY WANT THAT STRUCTURED LIKE.

THANK YOU. I'D LIKE TO SEE MORE THAN FIVE RESIDENTS ON THE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE.

AND LET'S SAY THAT THIS PASSES TODAY AND THEN VOTERS PASS THIS IN NOVEMBER.

ASIDE FROM THE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE, HOW ARE WE ENSURING THAT THE PUBLIC IS HEARD, IN TERMS OF PRIORITIES? WELL, AT THIS POINT, WE WOULD BE TRYING TO ELICIT AND START TO GO OUT TO TRY TO GO OUT WHERE WE CAN, WE'D PROBABLY- WE STARTED TO CREATE ANOTHER COUNTY WIDE SURVEY.

WE WOULD BE PROBABLY EDUCATING.

IT WOULD PROBABLY COST RESOURCES, BUT WE'D HAVE TO EXPEND DOLLARS WITH COVID NOW, YOU CAN'T PHYSICALLY GO OUT TO THE VARIOUS SOCIAL GROUPS, COMMUNITY GROUPS AND THINGS LIKE THIS AT THIS POINT IN TIME.

SO YOU'D PROBABLY HAVE TO HAVE VIRTUAL TOWN HALLS OR VIRTUAL COMMUNITY GROUPS THROUGH VIRTUALLY AND THEN PROBABLY THROUGH EDUCATION, THROUGH TRYING TO REACH THEM DIRECTLY AT THEIR HOUSES, WHETHER IT'S THROUGH, YOU KNOW, MAILING OR THOSE TYPES OF THINGS.

BUT AGAIN, FROM A STAFF PERSPECTIVE, WE CANNOT ADVOCATE.

WE CAN ONLY EDUCATE AND INFORM.

SO WE HAVE TO BE CAREFUL ON WHAT THOSE ARE LIKE.

IT REALLY REQUIRES COMMUNITY AND OTHER LEADING THE CHARGE BECAUSE WE CAN'T LEAD THAT CHARGE ONCE YOU GET TO THIS POINT.

OK, AND I UNDERSTAND THE LEGALITIES AROUND THAT.

BUT FOR THE PUBLIC'S INFORMATION, IF STAFF CANNOT LEAD THE CHARGE, THEN WHO WILL? IT'LL BE COMPLETELY UP TO THE COMMUNITY, CORRECT? WELL, IT WOULD BE UP TO PROBABLY THE BOARD AND THE COMMUNITY TO IDENTIFY.

USUALLY WHEN YOU LOOK AT MOST ELECTIONS, WHAT TAKE PLACE IS THERE'S COMMUNITY GROUPS THAT ARE CREATED AND ADVOCATES AND THERE'S THOSE WHO ARE IN OPPOSITION.

SO GROUPS GET TOGETHER AND, YOU KNOW, AND KIND OF LEAD THAT, UH, THAT ADVOCACY.

[01:40:05]

THANK YOU. AND THEN JUST A THOUGHT THAT IF THE NEEDS ARE A RESULT OF COVID, THE PRIORITY SHOULD NOT BE INFRASTRUCTURE, BUT THEY SHOULD BE PUBLIC HEALTH, LIKE CONTACT TRACING, HEALTH CARE SYSTEM AND AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE, AS WELL AS BEHAVIORAL MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT LIKE OUR BUSINESSES AND JOBS, AND THEN OUR YOUNG PEOPLE, OUR SCHOOLS, AND MORE OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE, AS WELL AS AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS.

WE HAVE RECEIVED FUNDING FOR OUR HOMELESSNESS AND OUR NAVIGATION CENTER, BUT WE DO NEED TO SPEND MORE ON PREVENTION INTERVENTION SO WE WON'T NEED SUCH A BIG NAVIGATION CENTER.

AND HAD WE FOCUSED ON HEALTH CARE TWO YEARS AGO, I BELIEVE OUR COVID NUMBERS WOULD BE A LOT LOWER TODAY.

AND I ASK OF STAFF AND COUNTY DEPARTMENTS.

WE COULD HAVE CONDUCTED THE SAME PROCESS FOR AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE BECAUSE WE KNOW THAT OUR HEALTH CARE SYSTEM IS VERY LACKING.

WE DO NOT HAVE SPECIALISTS HERE IN MERCED COUNTY.

FOLKS HAVE TO LEAVE MERCED COUNTY FOR SPECIALTY CARE.

AND GOING FORWARD, MY EXPECTATION IS THAT WHEN OTHER DEPARTMENTS PROPOSE A TAX MEASURE THAT THE CEO'S OFFICE AND THE BOARD PROVIDE THE SAME OR MORE LEVEL OF SUPPORT TO THEIR EFFORTS. AND THIS INCLUDES ALL THE SURVEYS, ALL THE STAFF MEETINGS, ALL THE PUBLIC HEARINGS, ALL THEIR PUBLIC OUTREACH THAT WE HAVE DONE WITH THIS GENERAL SALES TAX MEASURE. THANK YOU.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I WANT TO SAY THAT, YOU KNOW THANK YOU, MR. CHAIR. I WANT TO SHARE SOMETHING UP FRONT AS MORE OF AN INFORMATIONAL ITEM.

MY CONVERSATIONS, MUCH LIKE SUPERVISOR TELL ME THAT THEY WERE IN FAVOR OF THIS MEASURE AT THIS TIME.

AND, YOU KNOW, WHICH, YOU KNOW, KIND OF FLIES IN CONFLICT WITH THE POLLING.

ONE THING ABOUT THE POLLING, YOU KNOW, THE POLLING COMPANIES TAKE A PAINSTAKINGLY EFFORT TO MAKE IT AS UNBIASED AS POSSIBLE.

AND SO THE RESULTS ARE KIND OF AN UNBIASED OPINION OF WHAT PEOPLE THINK.

AND I THINK IT WAS A PRETTY GOOD RUNDOWN OF WHAT THE PEOPLE IN OUR COMMUNITIES SET AS PRIORITIES. BUT AS PEOPLE WERE TALKING AND SHARING THEIR EXPERIENCES, MOST OF THEM DID NOT REALIZE WHERE THEIR PROPERTY TAX DOLLARS GO.

RIGHT. TWICE A YEAR, YOU WRITE A BIG CHECK.

AND SO I ASKED OUR COUNTY TAX COLLECTOR IF SHE WOULD GIVE ME A BREAKDOWN AND WHICH SHE HAS PROVIDED. AND SO THE COUNTY COLLECTED THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTEEN MILLION, THREE HUNDRED AND FORTY THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED AND NINETY EIGHT DOLLARS AND FORTY CENTS FOR THE NINETEEN TWENTY TAX YEAR.

RIGHT. AND YOU THINK THAT'S A LOT OF MONEY.

AND OBVIOUSLY IT IS.

HOWEVER, THE STATE TAKES 60 PERCENT OF THAT MONEY OR ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY NINE MILLION TWO HUNDRED AND FOUR THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED AND SEVENTY EIGHT DOLLARS.

AND THEN SPECIAL DISTRICTS IN OUR COUNTIES GET AN ADDITIONAL TWENTY FOUR POINT TWO PERCENT, WHICH IS SEVENTY SIX MILLION, THREE HUNDRED AND TWELVE DOLLARS AND- THREE HUNDRED AND TWELVE THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED SEVENTY THREE DOLLARS.

AND SO THAT LEAVES THE COUNTY ITSELF WITH FIFTEEN POINT EIGHT PERCENT OF THE PROPERTY TAXES YOU PAY.

AND THAT IS FORTY NINE MILLION, EIGHT HUNDRED AND TWENTY THREE THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED AND FORTY SIX DOLLARS.

AND SO WHY IS THAT IMPORTANT? RIGHT. I THINK BECAUSE MOST OF US WRITE THE CHECK.

I WRITE A CHECK TWICE A YEAR AND IT'S A SIGNIFICANT CHECK AND, YOU KNOW, AND EVERYBODY THINKS, WELL, I WANT MY ROAD FIXED BECAUSE I PAID X OR I WANT THIS BECAUSE I PAID THIS LARGE AMOUNT. AND I JUST WANT YOU TO UNDERSTAND THAT ABOUT 85 PERCENT OF THAT MONEY DOES NOT COME TO US. WE DON'T HAVE THOSE DOLLARS.

IT GOES TO SPECIAL DISTRICTS LIKE CEMETERY DISTRICTS OR RIGHT. GETS A CHUNK OF THOSE DOLLARS.

AND SO THEY ARE SPENT AND THEY'RE SPENT LOCALLY.

BUT THEY ARE NOT UNDER OUR CONTROL.

AND WE CAN'T USE THEM TO FIX THE THINGS THAT NEED TO BE FIXED.

AND I SAY ALL THAT.

AND THEN I WANT TO REMIND YOU THAT IN THE OLD DAYS, AND I'M NOT SURE WHAT YEAR IT CHANGED, BUT WE USED TO GET ABOUT 60 TO 65 PERCENT OF THOSE DOLLARS FOR THE COUNTY TO DO THE THINGS THAT THE COUNTY IS RESPONSIBLE FOR.

RIGHT. BUT WHEN THE STATE GOT SHORT OF MONEY, THEY CHANGED THE THE SYSTEM.

RIGHT. AND SO NOW WE GET JUST A PITTANCE OF THE PROPERTY TAXES.

[01:45:01]

AND I'LL JUST SHARE TWO EXAMPLES.

SO SAY YOU HAVE A HOME THAT'S WORTH TWO HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND AND YOU'RE PAYING TWENTY FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS A YEAR IN PROPERTY TAX, THE COUNTY ONLY GETS FOUR HUNDRED AND TWELVE DOLLARS OF THAT.

AND WITH THAT WE HAVE TO PROVIDE THE COURT SYSTEM, THE PUBLIC DEFENDER'S OFFICE, THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY, YOU KNOW, SOME OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH FUNDING, PUBLIC SAFETY.

AND SO- AND THEN I HAD ONE OTHER PERSON TELL ME, WELL IN THE LAST 20 YEARS, I HAVE PAID TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS IN PROPERTY TAXES.

AND I WANT MY ROAD PAVED.

AND, YOU KNOW, AND I HEARD THEM AND I LISTENED.

AND WHAT HE SAID MADE SENSE, EXCEPT THAT ONLY THIRTY SIX THOUSAND OF THOSE DOLLARS CAME TO US OVER THE OVER A PERIOD OF 20 YEARS.

AND SO ANYHOW, SO THAT'S WHY I GUESS I AS A SUPERVISOR ARE UP HERE ENTERTAINING THE THOUGHT OF A SALES TAX.

AND I AGREE WITH MY COLLEAGUES THAT THIS IS NOT THE TIME.

AND EVEN IF IT WERE THE TIME, I WOULDN'T BE ADVOCATING FOR A HALF CENT SALES TAX.

BUT ANYWAYS. BUT THAT'S WHY WE'RE PUT IN THIS POSITION.

AND IT'S A DIFFICULT POSITION.

I DON'T LIKE TAXES.

I DON'T YOU KNOW, I DON'T I MEAN, I PAY TAXES, BUT I DON'T GET OVERJOYED IN THE FACT THAT I'M PAYING TAXES BECAUSE I BELIEVE THAT MY TAX DOLLARS GO TO SACRAMENTO AND THEY DO SOMETHING ELSE WITH IT THAN MY PRIORITY.

AND ONLY 15 PERCENT OF WHAT I PAY COMES BACK TO MY COUNTY, IN MY COMMUNITY FOR US TO USE.

AND ANYWAY, SO I THINK THAT'S KIND OF A LOT IF WE PUT IN A MEETING FOR TWO HOURS.

BUT I WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT PEOPLE UNDERSTAND WHAT WE ARE UP AGAINST A YOUR SUPERVISORS.

AND ANYWAYS AND THEN, YOU KNOW, AS I GO DOWN THE PROCESS, THE FOLKS THAT I TALK TO THAT REACH OUT TO ME, YOU KNOW, THEY WANT THEIR INFRASTRUCTURE.

THEY FEEL LIKE THE COUNTY HAS, YOU KNOW, OUR CORE PROCESSES, OUR PUBLIC SAFETY AND ROADS AND THEN, YOU KNOW, PARKS AND COMMUNITY BUILDINGS AND, YOU KNOW, AND EVEN THE LIBRARY, ALTHOUGH UNFORTUNATELY IT DOESN'T POLL VERY WELL, IT ONLY POLLS AT TWENTY EIGHT PERCENT.

BUT I GOT TO TAKE THIS OFF.

I'M GETTING SHORT OF BREATH.

I DON'T WANT TO PASS OUT IN FRONT OF IT, IT WOULDN'T LOOK GOOD.

BUT ANYWAYS, I JUST WANTED TO SHARE THAT BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, IT'S HEAVY ON MY HEART WHEN WE WHEN WE TALK ABOUT A TAX INCREASE.

AND I BELIEVE AND I HONESTLY BELIEVE THAT WE AS CITIZENS PAY FAR MORE IN TAXES THAN WE SHOULD HAVE TO PAY. BUT BECAUSE OF THE COST OF DOING EVERYTHING, YOU KNOW, THOSE DOLLARS DON'T GO VERY FAR.

AND SO AT SOME POINT IN TIME IN THE FUTURE, UNFORTUNATELY, I BELIEVE WE'LL BE COMING BACK TO THE PUBLIC AND ASKING FOR THEM IF THEY ARE INTERESTED IN INCREASING THE SALES TAX OR NOT. AND WITH COVID AS IT IS, THAT MAY BE A YEAR FROM NOW, MAYBE TWO YEARS FROM NOW.

WELL, ACTUALLY WE COULDN'T DO IT UNTIL TWENTY TWENTY.

BUT, YOU KNOW, AND IT MAY BE TWENTY, TWENTY FOUR, BUT AT SOME POINT IF WE'RE GOING TO MAINTAIN THE BUILDINGS WE OWN AND WE'RE GOING TO MAINTAIN THE FACILITIES THAT WE'RE RESPONSIBLE FOR, IT'S PROBABLY AN INEVITABLE DECISION THAT'LL HAVE TO COME BEFORE THE TAXPAYERS. AND YOU KNOW, A FEW OF THE FOLKS THAT MADE PUBLIC COMMENTS TODAY SAID THAT WE WERE CIRCUMVENTING DEMOCRACY.

AND I DON'T AGREE WITH THAT.

DEMOCRACY IS THE PEOPLE ELECTING US TO REPRESENT YOU.

AND THEN IN THIS CASE, WE MAKE A DECISION NOT TO TAX OR NOT TAX YOU.

THAT DECISION IS UP TO YOU YOURSELF.

AND SO ALL WE CAN DO IS KIND OF DECIDE WHAT TO PUT BEFORE YOU.

AND IT IS ULTIMATELY THE CITIZENS DECISIONS TO MAKE EITHER FOR OR AGAINST.

AND THAT'S HOW DEMOCRACY WORKS.

I DON'T DICTATE.

OUR STAFF DOESN'T DICTATE.

MY COLLEAGUES DON'T DICTATE.

WE ALL ADVOCATE FOR WHAT WE THINK IS IMPORTANT, WHAT OUR CONSTITUENTS HAVE TOLD US IS IMPORTANT TO THEM. AND THEN FROM THAT, YOU KNOW, FROM THAT STANDPOINT, WE DO OUR PART AND THEN THE CITIZENS THEMSELVES DO THEIR PART.

SO ANYWAY, THANKS.

THANKS FOR THE TIME. AND FROM MY COMMENTS, AS YOU COULD TELL, I'M NOT INTERESTED IN A SALES TAX AT THIS- OR PUTTING IT ON THE BALLOT AT THIS TIME.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH. WELL, FOR ME, I WILL CONCUR WITH MY COLLEAGUES THAT, YOU KNOW, WE HAD DISCUSSION WITH STAFF.

THEY GIVE US A LOT OF INFORMATION ABOUT PROPOSING THAT SALES TAX AT THE END OF LAST YEAR.

AND WE WERE TALKING ABOUT ALL THE NEEDS OF A INFRASTRUCTURE THAT THE COUNTY NEEDED.

[01:50:01]

AND WE HAD TO DECIDE WHETHER WE WANTED TO PUT IT ON THE BALLOT, BECAUSE I KNOW THAT THE CITY OF MERCED AND ALSO, YOU KNOW, MR. SO WE HAD TO DELAY THAT.

AND I CONCUR.

COVID HIT AND HERE WE ARE.

YOU KNOW, WE WERE TRYING TO GIVE MORE INFORMATION TO THE PUBLIC, BUT COVID OVERTOOK EVERYTHING ELSE. BUT WE DO NEED THE FACILITIES, UM, YOU KNOW, CORRECTIONAL WHETHER WE AGREE OR NOT ON THE EXPANSION, THE MODIFICATION A LOT OF OUR PRISONERS ARE PROBABLY IN, YOU KNOW, THEY'RE BEING HOUSED IN OLD DILAPIDATED BUILDINGS.

SO, YOU KNOW, I DON'T KNOW IF YOU HAVE ANY FAMILY MEMBERS, BUT WHOEVER DOES, I DON'T THINK THEY- THINK THEY WILL LIKE BETTER ACCOMMODATIONS THERE.

FIRE. THERE'S OLD FIRE STATIONS ALL AROUND THE COUNTY.

THERE'S SOME BUILDINGS THAT NEED ADDITIONS OR BAYS FOR THE TRUCKS AND, YOU KNOW, AND STAFFING AS WELL, EVERY CITY HAS BEEN PUSHED TO ADD MORE STAFFING FOR THEIR TRUCKS.

FLOOD CONTROL. SO I KNOW WHEN FLOODS COME, YOU KNOW, WE GET CALLS ABOUT FLOODS AND WE'RE TRYING TO HELP OUT AS MUCH AS WE CAN OUT THERE.

YOU KNOW, LAST ELECTION THAT I WENT THROUGH IN MARCH, I GOT HIT WITH IN MY COMMUNITY WHERE I LIVE IN LIVINGSTON AND ALL AROUND THE COUNTY ABOUT ARE VETERANS FACILITIES.

THEY'RE PRETTY OLD.

AND, YOU KNOW, WHAT'S WHAT'S GOING ON.

YOU DON'T SUPPORT THE VETERANS? AND THAT'S WHAT WE DO. YOU KNOW, I THINK WE ALL WERE MEMBERS UP HERE.

WE SUPPORT OUR VETERANS, BUT THERE'S NOT ENOUGH FUNDS TO, UH, TO UPDATE OUR FACILITIES FOR THE VETERANS.

LIBRARIES THE SAME WAY.

OUR COUNTY COURTHOUSE, SOCCER FIELDS.

EVERYBODY WANTS SOCCER FIELDS, MORE FACILITIES, MORE THINGS FOR OUR KIDS, FOR THE YOUTH, ESPECIALLY ON THE COUNTY.

THE CITIES HAVE, YOU KNOW, A LITTLE BIT MORE BETTER FACILITIES THAN OUT IN THE COUNTY.

SO WE NEED TO PROVIDE MORE ENTERTAINMENT FOR OUR KIDS AND RECREATION AS WELL FOR ALL OUR CITIZENS.

WE WE GOT THE OLD BUILDINGS THERE.

SO ALL THROUGHOUT, YOU KNOW, BECAUSE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN ASKING, YOU KNOW WHAT, WHY DO YOU NEED ALL THIS MONEY? WELL THERE'S MONEY THAT'S NEEDED TO FIX ALL THE FACILITIES.

YOU KNOW, IN A WAY, MAYBE WE CAN YOU KNOW, IF WE WANT TO PUT A MEASURE BALLOT IN THE FUTURE, I THINK WE MAYBE WE CAN WORK WITH THE CITIES BECAUSE EVENTUALLY, YOU KNOW, THE SAME CITIZENS ARE GOING TO HAVE TO VOTE FOR THE SALES TAX.

THEY LIVE IN THE CITIES. AND, YOU KNOW, WE'RE WORKING WITH THE COUNTY.

MAYBE WE CAN DIVVY UP A PORTION OF THAT FOR THE CITIES AND A PORTION FOR THE COUNTY.

THAT WAY, EVERYBODY GETS A PIECE FOR WHAT THEY NEED IN THE CITIES.

AND WE DO. WE'LL GET THE REST FOR A COUNTY.

SO BUT I AGREE RIGHT NOW'S NOT THE TIME.

IT'S THE WORST TIME EVER. THERE'S, YOU KNOW, A LOT OF PEOPLE GOING THROUGH LOTS OF JOBS AND EVEN THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN LAID OFF, PEOPLE THAT DON'T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO PAY THE RENT, THEY'RE PROBABLY THE MOST LIKELY WILL BE EVICTED.

AND THEY'RE JUST TRYING TO SURVIVE.

WE'RE ALL TRYING TO SURVIVE. AND SO I AGREE WITH MY COLLEAGUES.

AND, YOU KNOW, DEFINITELY IN THE FUTURE WE'LL PROBABLY HAVE TO COME BACK AND DECIDE WHETHER WE WANT TO PUT IT ON THE BALLOT.

SO THOSE ARE MY COMMENTS.

AND WITH THAT, WE'RE GOING TO DECIDE WHETHER OR NOT

[BOARD ACTION]

MOTION TO NOT MOVE FORWARD ON ACTION ITEM NUMBER 1.

IS THERE A SECOND,? SECOND, SECOND BY THE SUPERVISOR SO WITH THAT AS WELL, I GUESS WE'LL VOTE.

THERE'S A MOTION TO NOT MOVE FORWARD.

ALL IN FAVOR.

IT LOOKS LIKE A 5-0, SO THAT MOTION, THIS MOTION PASSES.

SO WITH THAT, YOU KNOW, IT KILLS IT.

SO WE WON'T BE HAVING THIS ON THE BALLOT IN NOVEMBER.

SO JUST SOME COMMENTS REGARDING THE PUBLIC COMMENTS FOR NEXT MEETING.

THE COMMENTS WILL BE, UH, WILL BE ADDED THIRTY MINUTES OR, UH, OR PAST THAT FIRST- THE NEXT MEETING WILL HAPPEN NEXT TUESDAY, A REGULAR MEETING.

WE'LL TAKE PUBLIC COMMENT FIRST, IF YOU'RE PRESENT AND THEN WE'LL DECIDE TO HAVE CALL INS OR EMAILS AND WE'LL TRY TO READ AS MUCH AS LONG AS THEY'RE NOT TOO LONG.

SO I JUST WANT TO STATE THAT'S OUR NEXT MEETING NEXT TUESDAY.

AND WITH THAT, WE THANK YOU FOR SHOWING UP AND YOUR COMMENTS.

AND WE'LL SEE YOU NEXT TUESDAY, HOPEFULLY.

ADJOURN THE MEETING. THANK YOU.

* This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.