Measure E: Municipal Election Date—City of Gilroy
The city of Gilroy has been holding local elections on odd-numbered years since its Charter was adopted in 1960. Measure E would amend that Charter, moving municipal elections to even years. Proponents hope that the change will streamline the city’s election process and help preserve tax funds for use on basic city services like police and firefighters. The measure would also extend City Council members’ terms by one year.
Opponents state that the measure could just as easily have shortened terms by one year, but pointedly chose not to. We are with those who believe Gilroy’s odd-year elections benefit the city by putting local issues front and center, not overshadowed by larger gubernatorial or presidential ballot issues.
Measure F: New Library Building—City of Gilroy
Gilroy outgrew its pubic library decades ago. The library was built in 1975 to serve a city of 15,000 people. Gilroy’s population has grown to 51,000. The library’s 147,000-item collection is crammed into an outdated building that’s no longer earthquake safe. Librarians are forced to be more crowd-control agents than aids to research when kids flood the building after school to use the Internet.
If the measure passes, the city would issue $37 million in general bonds to pay for a larger, safer modern facility to fit the demands of the growing South County community. Cost to the average homeowner would be about $140 a year.
Measure G: City Services Protection Measure—City of Morgan Hill
With a recent spike in crime and gang activity in Morgan Hill, it’s increasingly clear that the Morgan Hill Police Department has become overwhelmed. With the city’s population ballooning to more than 39,000 residents, Morgan Hill still has the lowest police-officer-to-population ratio in Santa Clara County.
Measure G would ensure Morgan Hill vital public safely services by increasing police staffing. More officers would be put on the street to expand the department’s anti-gang, anti-drug and crime prevention efforts. Costing around $120 per household a year, the measure would raise about $1.6 million in utility taxes annually for the city’s general fund. Taxes on services like sewer, gas, electricity and water would go up by 2 percent, with low-income exemptions included.
Measure H: Residential Development Control System Exemption—City of Morgan Hill
Measure H is a key component in bringing Morgan Hill residents the vibrant small town urban experience they’ve been striving for in their downtown since the 1980s. If voters pass the measure, it will amend the city’s General Plan and Zoning Code, allowing 500 new residential units to be built within the 20-block radius of downtown Morgan Hill. A great example of smart growth, the planned residential dwellings would be high-density, therefore reducing sprawl by building up instead of out. Supported by the entire Morgan Hill City Council, Measure H will also allow downtown development to occur simultaneously, speeding up construction and lowering traffic impacts.