What other alternatives were considered to fund public safety?

Our public safety staff have adapted to address our growing needs by working smarter, creating efficiencies, collaborating with stakeholders and community members, utilizing special funding sources, and prioritizing what types of service we provide. Despite our best efforts, it is increasingly difficult to meet the growing demands for service without additional personnel.

Every year we have requests for additional positions. With the current funding, we prioritize the addition of a few positions where we can. For example, 9-1-1 dispatchers aren’t on the list because we've added some positions in the Dispatch Center over the last few years. Ultimately, the number of needs we have is just too great for the annual amount that we're allowed to allocate. We are at a point where we either continue the process of prioritizing and just adding a few positions or through this referendum we provide the funding needed to keep up with the demand for our public safety services.

We’ve also heard questions about why we are not advocating for the use of ARPA Funds or pulling from other one-time funding sources. The problem is that these funding resources are not sustainable for long-term ongoing expenses like paying the salaries of these needed positions. The last thing we want to do is to hire great people to fill these positions in the short term and have to let them go a year or two down the road when the funding is gone. We have identified a long-term issue that requires a long-term solution.

Back to the Public Safety Referendum page.

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1. What is the proposed public safety referendum on the ballot?
2. What will appear on the ballot?
3. What will it mean if a majority of voters vote “yes”?
4. What does it mean if a majority vote “no” and the referendum fails?
5. What is the cost per household?
6. Would this increase be permanent?
7. Why do we need a referendum to raise the tax levy limit?
8. If approved, when will the tax levy increase go into effect and how soon will these positions be available?
9. What other alternatives were considered to fund public safety?
10. If we have a growing population adding more taxpayers, why do we need to increase the tax levy through referendum?
11. Where do I find voting information?