Ballot statements on controversial ‘Measure F’ released
August 18, 2011 3:50 PM
Beau Yarbrough
Staff Writer

HESPERIA • The City Council is divided over a proposed $85 parcel tax to support the Hesperia Fire District, and their disagreement will be on full display for voters in November.

Arguments for and against Measure F were released by the city this week. Residents have until Aug. 26 to submit their rebuttals, with the proposed Hesperia Fire Safety Tax requiring the support of two-thirds of voters on the Nov. 8 ballot.

“Over the past three years, the fire district’s major revenue source, property tax, has plummeted by 24 percent, crippling the department’s abilities to continue providing adequate firefighting and paramedic services to citizens,” the argument in favor of Measure F reads in part. “…Should Measure F fail, the city council will have to cut nine firefighter/paramedics on January 1, 2012, leaving fire engines without a paramedic on board to give advanced life support to you, or your family.”

Council members Mike Leonard, Bill Holland and Thurston “Smitty” Smith all signed their names in support of the five-year tax, with assurance that it will only be used to maintain current staffing.

“Hesperia has 35,211 taxable parcels, taxed at $85 for five years, equals $13.8 million dollars! The amount needed to maintain current fire staffing for five years is $5.5 million,” the argument against the tax reads in part. “…Safety is not an issue. A NO vote on Measure F will help ensure that homeowners will not lose their homes. A NO vote will not reduce fire services.”

Council members Russ Blewett and Paul Bosacki, along with Al Vogler, the husband of former mayor Rita Vogler, signed their names to the ballot statement arguing against Measure F.

Full versions of arguments for and against Measure F, as well as an impartial analysis by City Attorney Eric L. Dunn, are available at the city manager’s office in City Hall, at 9700 Seventh Avenue.

Beau Yarbrough can be reached at (760) 956-7108 or at beau@HesperiaStar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.

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