Salinas Committee for Public Safety gathers 10,000 signatures for special tax measure

SALINAS, Calif. - More than 10,000 signatures have been gathered in support of a special sales tax to fund more public safety in Salinas.

The Salinas Committee for Public Safety is hoping to put more police officers on the streets, through a special vote on a 1-cent sales tax.

"The volunteers group right now is in the process of counting all the signatures and making sure that we have the right number of registered voters," said Amit Pandya the chairman of the Salinas Committee for Public Safety.

By law, out of the 10,000 signatures gathered - the measure needs 7,500 qualified registered voters before moving forward.

"It focuses its money and resources on police, fire, code enforcement, and the tools is uses are intervention, suppression, and prevention," said Pandya.

The committee missed the deadline to qualify for this November ballot, where a similar measure will go before voters. It's called Measure G, and that tax will go to the general fund, and is supported by the city of Salinas. It too is a 1-cent sales tax.

"We have a revenue problem. We cannot fund all the services and the capital improvement projects that need to be funded," said City Council member Jyl Lutes.

Lutes says Measure G will fund public safety and more.

"It would repair streets, sidewalks, and roads that are in dismal condition," said Lutes.

But Amit Pandya is not convinced. If Measure G passes, the city says money will go to public safety, and that's what this group's tax would focus solely on.

"There is no one who can deny that Salinas has a problem with crime," said Pandya.

Because the Salinas Committee for Public Safety missed the deadline, a special election will most likely be held. The exact date is up to the City Council.

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