A vote to declare a fiscal emergency failed to pass at Tuesday night’s city council meeting in Redding.
The vote would have allowed for a public safety tax to be placed on the ballot in June.
Redding police chief Roger Moore says with a public safety tax, he'd be able to hire more public safety officers to address many of the issues residents are concerned about.
“We are up in robbery,” Moores said. “And we are definitely up in car thefts and larcenies and things like that. We have about 800 cars stolen a year here now.”
That works out to about 2 cars a day, Moore said.
And while other crimes are down, he says that number is unacceptable.
“So there are reasons that I do need more policemen to put special teams out there to combat these issues,” Moore said.
Redding resident Shannon Hicks spoke out in favor of the tax at Tuesday night’s meeting and says most people are already paying in one form or another.
“The question is do you want to pay through insurance claims and damage or out of pocket costs for for the theft and vandalism,” he said. “Or would you rather pay a small public safety sales tax?”
And hicks says downtown businesses are hit the hardest.
“We're already seeing business owners leave and citizens who are employed here pulling up stakes and going to other cities or leaving the state altogether,” he said.
Amanda Smith works downtown and says all of the issues Redding is facing are having a negative impact on businesses in the city.
“When someone looks at Redding, whether it's true or not, this is what they see,” she said. “They are seeing and being introduced to our face as being in the bottom 5 percent of safe cities”
She says the city really needs to work to improve public safety and change that image.
If not, it’ll lose more than just business.
“If we do not invest in our town, we will ultimately lose in property values, closing businesses and even walking on our beautiful trails,” Smith said.
Moore shared her sentiment.
“I certainly think we missed an opportunity for the time being to get our officers some help,” Moore said. “And that's what we need right now.”
A public safety tax could still make in onto the November ballot.
Moore says, while it’s not ideal, that could give him and the city extra time to educate the public on its importance.
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