Council ponders police funding options

archive_import

By JASON ECK

Sonora City Council members plan to see if any state lawmaker would consider sponsoring a bill that would allow the city to place a sales tax measure to fund police services before city voters.

The council on Monday agreed, in the meantime, to have the city Finance Committee explore other options for the Police Department if no new funding sources are found.

The moves are in response to a rejection letter the council received Nov. 21 from Assemblyman Dave Cogdill (R-Modesto), whom the city had asked to sponsor a bill to allow voters to decide on a police tax measure.

City Administrator Greg Applegate asked the council for direction given Cogdill's stance. The city is looking for ways to generate more money for police salaries, benefits, equipment and office space.

Mayor Marlee Powell has written to Cogdill stating her disappointment with his decision not to help begin the legislative process to allow Sonora voters to "make the decision of law enforcement in their city."

Powell also said she had contacted the League of California Cities for advice and was told the city was "absolutely, positively out of luck" with Cogdill's carrying any tax-related legislation.

Powell said she would like the council to look for other legislators or committee members who would be interested in sponsoring a bill. The city needs special legislation passed before a sales tax initiative can go before voters.

Four of five council members and Applegate held a private meeting with Cogdill on Oct. 9, at which officials first asked Cogdill to consider sponsoring such legislation.

Council members said they left the meeting without a firm commitment from Cogdill, but felt confident he would support the measure.

"He needs to watch what he says around election time," Councilwoman Liz Bass said Monday.

Cogdill won re-election in November.

Bass said she is not optimistic that any other lawmaker will sponsor a bill for the city.

Councilmen Ron Stearn and Hank Russell disagreed.

"I think it's worth a try," Stearn said.

11701592
The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Saturday December 10, 2016

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
Racism alive in Tuolumne County

12/09/2016

Dawn Warfield was going out for coffee about 9:30 a.m. last Sunday ... more

Cold, lost dog finds shelter in deputy’s vehicle

12/07/2016

Holly Britton lay her head on a pillow Tuesday night and said ... more

Streets of Gold Rush towns once lined with gold

12/08/2016

This happened in the “Good Old Days,” a beautiful and lavishly prosperous ... more