A local activist group that opposes the forthcoming new County Jail in Redwood City sent out a heated message condemning how San Mateo County Manager John Maltbie is proposing funds from the recently passed Measure A be spent.
Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) is upset that Maltbie is proposing that a portion of the funds be spent on the new jail.
In an e-mail to the group's followers, CURB representatives said:
"The fight against the new jail in San Mateo is heating up, and we need your help to keep the pressure on!
A recent article by the Mercury News highlights that, in a report to the Supervisors, County Manager John Maltbie offers a menu of spending suggestions to divvy up about $60 million of new tax dollars from Measure A. These include paying down existing debt and liabilities, funding capital improvements, financing a new jail, buying a new payroll system, keeping county parks open, or supporting services and programs for children.
Board Vice-President Dave Pine was quoted saying his top priority is to use the Measure A funds "to make sure our fiscal house is in good order" before he considers any new initiatives. That includes tackling the county's deficit, making sure the jail is paid for, and reducing the county's pension liabilities.
The Board of Supervisors said over and over last fall that Measure A wasn't a "Jail Tax." We need you to join us next week to make sure we call them out and ensure that no Measure A dollars are spent on building a new jail in San Mateo County!"
The e-mail also indicated that CURB members are planning on "all-out" at Tuesday night's Board of Supervisors meeting, "mobilizing" as many people as they can to speak out during the public comments period against using Measure A funds on the new jail. The e-mail urges members to bring "5-10 friends each" to support the effort.
What do you think of the idea of using Measure A dollars to help fund the new jail? Do you think San Mateo County needs a new jail, to be located in Redwood City? Tell us your opinion in the comments below.