Rebuttal to argument against Measure B
The argument against Measure B is uninformed.
Santa Cruz County is fulfilling its commitments to voters.
Measure G helped establish: Housing for Health which focuses on homelessness issues; Focused Intervention Teams to address repeat offenders; and the Office of Response, Recovery & Resilience (OR3) to improve our emergency readiness and response, coordinate with public safety agencies, and prepare for climate change. OR3 also secured Fire Safe Council funding to improve neighborhood fire safety.
Over the last five years, the County has sustained $200 million in damages from extreme weather and natural disasters, including the CZU fires. State and federal partners have assisted with recovery, but the County has spent more than $50 million in local funds for public safety response and infrastructure repairs. Without Measure G, the County could not have done this.
Measure G has helped fund: parks improvements, such as LEO’s Haven, an inclusive playground for children of all abilities; parks maintenance workers; and other essential services. The community has benefited – and is safer – due to Measure G. The community will benefit from Measure B as well.
Vacation rentals continue affecting neighborhood quality of life and the housing crisis by removing homes from the long-term market, leaving many empty during the off-season while friends and families struggle to find housing. Measure B – a tax on visitors, not local operators – will also support neighborhoods, mental health services, homelessness programs and affordable housing.
Measure B is transparent and fiscally accountable. Every penny stays in Santa Cruz County under local control. By law, no funds can be taken by the State and public reports will ensure responsible use of funds.
/s/ Hallie Greene, CZU Fire Survivor and Long Term Recovery Group
/s/ Tricia Wiltshire Potts, Co-Founder, Santa Cruz Playground Project/LEO’s Haven
/s/ Monica Martinez, CEO, Encompass, Nonprofit Health and Human Services Provider
/s/ Julie Conway, Housing Manager (Retired), County of Santa Cruz
/s/ Joe Hall, Live Oak Neighbor/Veteran
If an asterisk (*) appears after a name, it means the person is signing on behalf of that agency/organization.
If no asterisk (*) appears after a name, it means the person is signing as an individual.