FAIRFIELD — Fairfield voters overwhelmingly passed the 1 percent sales tax, which city leaders claim has preserved the city.
Measure P had received 66 percent of the vote as of press time, which had all those that worked to pass it with a lot to celebrate.
“It saved this city,” Councilman John Mraz said after the first round of numbers were released. “It allows this city to serve the people. I want to thank the voters for having the vision to keep it safe and functioning.”
Measure P is a general purpose tax that requires a 50 percent vote. The city has said the $12 million to $13 million per year for five years would go toward police and fire services, seniors, after-school programs and parks.
Some City Council members have publicly stated that they would like to see some of the money put into reserves. Others said they would like to see it used for maintenance and hiring a finance director. The council has not had any public conversations about the use of Measure P money.
Councilman Rick Vaccaro continued to praise the fact that so many different types of people came together, no matter if they supported a tax increase or not. He said the fact that the city’s livelihood was on the line brought all sides together.
“The council pulled together. This had to happen. Everybody worked together,” Vaccaro said. “It was a fight for the soul of the city.”
When David James was tabbed as treasurer for the campaign, it was his first foray into politics. James said he wouldn’t have taken the gig if it wasn’t something he fully believed in. He said he was also surprised by the overwhelming support from residents that haven’t supported tax measures in the past.
“I figured we would be over 50 percent, but the numbers were a pleasant surprise,” he said. “The last one was so long ago people are having a hard time remembering what year it was.”
Mayor Harry Price said Measure P will keep vital services in place and will allow the city to keep functioning.
“First, I want to thank the community for being responsible in the most positive way to help us solve the great financial crisis that so many cities are facing,” Price said.
It will now be seen what happens to the lawsuit filed against the measure in Solano County Superior Court by Central Solano Citizens Taxpayers Group, seeking a disqualification, writ of mandate or injunction. The basis of the argument was the language in the measure wasn’t correct and the threshold for approval should have been a two-thirds majority.
Reach Danny Bernardini at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dbernardinidr.