Measure S

What is Measure S?

The Cotati City Council unanimously approved placing Measure S on the November 2020 ballot to continue voter-approved, locally controlled funding for City services and infrastructure. If continued by voters, Measure S funding would maintain a reliable source of local funding without raising tax rates. No funding could be taken by the State.

For a short video summary of Measure S click here for English or here for Spanish.

Impact of Measure S

Existing, voter-approved locally controlled funding (approved by Cotati voters in 2014 as Measure G) provides the community approximately $2.2 million per year for City services and infrastructure. This represents approximately 30% of the City's General Fund.  The charts following the Frequently Asked Questions graphically display the impact of this local funding, which would include:

  • Loss of nearly all funding for street, park or public building repairs; and
  • Elimination of all recreation programs; and
  • Loss of all reserves for street, park or public building repairs, with very limited ability to respond to natural disasters, emergency response and normal economic cycles; and
  • An estimated 47% cut in staffing, which will result in a staffing level can only perform the basic legal functions of a City. This includes the possible loss of our local police department and the need to contract with the Sheriff or another agency at a significant reduction of service.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why was Measure S placed on the ballot?

The State has taken millions from Cotati’s budget over the years. Existing, voter-approved local funding has maintained and prevented cuts to public safety, street and parks maintenance, youth and senior programs and other vital services in Cotati, including:
• Local 911 emergency dispatch and crime prevention/investigation
• Domestic violence response services
• Preparing for emergency and natural disaster response
• Fixing potholes and repairing streets to improve safety for walkers, cyclists, and drivers, including local first responders
• Clean, safe parks and youth/senior recreation programs

How does Measure S address emergency services and preparedness?

The City’s top priority is keeping our community safe, especially now. Measure S will ensure we continue to be ready for any health, public safety, or natural disaster. Measure S will prevent the possible elimination of the Cotati’s 911 emergency dispatch and police department, preserving emergency response times, crime prevention, and community-based neighborhood police patrols.

Does Measure S address road safety and repair?

Yes. Measure S will allow the City to continue to maintain streets, sidewalks and roads. However, there are millions of dollars in maintenance needs for street, sidewalk, and pothole repair that only gets more expensive if not addressed. Renewing Measure S will ensure we can continue to invest in our roads, create well-paying local jobs boosting the local economy, and make our streets safer for all residents, including first responders who must safely and quickly reach people.

Does Measure S increase taxes?

No. Measure S extends existing funding Cotati voters previously approved in order to maintain vital city services, fiscal stability, and emergency preparedness.

What happens if Measure G (the existing revenue measure) in not renewed?

If existing local funding is not renewed, Cotati may have to eliminate its local 911 emergency dispatch and police department, cease most street and sidewalk and park repairs, and discontinue all parks and recreation programs, including those for youth and seniors. Local funding has allowed Cotati’s police department to remain independent, preventing the City from having to contract out public safety services to the County Sheriff or another public safety agency at a lower level of service.

What does Measure S cost?

Measure S would extend the existing, voter-approved local one-cent sales tax. Measure S is not applied to prescription medicine or food purchased as groceries. Measure S is not a property tax or tax on your home. A majority of Cotati’s sales tax is paid by out-of-town shoppers coming to local destinations like Lowe’s.

Is Measure S fiscally accountable?

Measure S continues to require community and fiscal accountability, including Independent Citizens Oversight, public review of all expenditures, and mandatory financial audits. Measure S will continue to be spent locally, and no funding can be taken by the state.

Has the City explored contracting or sharing services?

The City always looks for ways to better serve the community at a lower cost. The City is in numerous regional agreements for shared services, including police records management and computer-aided dispatch, insurance, wastewater treatment, water supply and others. More recently, Sonoma State University (SSU) contracted with Cotati to dispatch the university police, saving money and improving safety in Cotati and SSU. The City also uses private contract services in numerous areas, particularly where the work is short duration. However, contracting in place of full-time staff, such as contracting with the County Sheriff for police services, or using private contractors for full time work, has proven to be generally more expensive than City staff.

When is the election?

Tuesday, November 3, 2020. To check your registration or get registered to vote, visit registertovote.ca.gov. We encourage everyone to vote!

Where can I get more information about Measure S?

The City will continue to keep the community informed about Measure S. If you are a member of a community organization that would like to receive a (virtual) presentation on Measure S please contact Lauren Berges at 707.665.3622 or info@cotaticity.org. You can also find additional Measure S background and voting information in the links below.
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