Madera County needs tax hike for public safety | Fresno Bee Editorial

The Madera County Grand Jury report chastising the board of supervisors over dangerous staffing levels (inmates 1001) and pay ($2,700 monthly) for correctional officers illustrates a problem. Twenty-seven percent of the officers are on government assistance, and $1 million was spent training officers, who have since gone elsewhere for better pay.

The city of Madera is now looking into a joint effort with the county to pass a measly sales tax of a half cent in 2016.

About 62,000 residents are protected by two fire trucks. Response times average four minutes. These trucks can’t fight fires above the second floor of any building or big box stores.

Police officer staffing nationwide calls for 1.5 per 1,000 residents. Madera averages half of that. Officers can only react to 25 percent of incidents per shift and must pay overtime for the rest. The California Highway Patrol provides assistance to patrol the city.

The sales tax would generate $3.5 million. A fire truck that can fight fires over three stories costs $1.5 million, a building to house it $3 million. That doesn’t include staffing. Where is the money for the police?

The math doesn’t add up. Better make it two cents.


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Chowchilla Patriot

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