I am a new reader of GV Wire, so it was with great interest that I turned to your Voter Guide. I was quite shocked to see the content of the “No” commentary on Measure P.

First, the opponents of Measure P are not giving Fresno residents much credit: They assume their motivations are based primarily on dollars and cents. Do they really think Fresno residents will leave town to buy a $1,200 washing machine because it saves them $4.50 on the purchase price? Would residents really prefer saving a few dollars over supporting clean parks, after-school programs, improved air quality, and increased livability for the entire community in which they live?

Portrait of Kirsten Honeyman

Opinion

Kirsten Honeyman

I think Fresno residents are more reasonable and civic-minded than opponents assume.

No Public Safety Measure on the Ballot

Second, a public safety measure having priority over Measure P is a moot point: There isn’t one competing with Measure P in this election!

If a public safety measure makes it on the ballot in 2020, the good citizens of Fresno can take stock of the situation at that time and vote accordingly. And besides, it’s not an either or proposition: Both parks and public safety are important approaches to reducing crime and increasing livability.

I would be willing to wager that if Measure P passes, it will make important progress toward addressing the desperation and hopelessness found in some of our more crime-prone neighborhoods.

Many of our parks are in such states of disrepair that they are magnets for crime. Cleaning up our parks and providing after-school programs could turn this situation around, giving young people recreational outlets they don’t currently have. With more residents drawn to well-maintained parks, with programs  providing healthy alternatives, and with rangers to patrol, Measure P is on track to improve public safety!

I would be willing to wager that if Measure P passes, it will make important progress toward addressing the desperation and hopelessness found in some of our more crime-prone neighborhoods.

It is also great news that a portion of Measure P funds will go to arts, job training, after-school programs and the San Joaquin River Parkway. The Parkway, adjacent Woodward Park, and Roeding Park are crown jewels in our regional park system. It’s hard to see how supporting and taking care of these community assets is a negative!

Mayor’s Appointees Will Make Recommendations

Lastly, the dark warning that Measure P creates an unelected commission to make spending recommendations seems disingenuous. The mayor, who is an opponent of Measure P, would get to select the members of this commission, so he can hardly complain that they might be unfit to do the job.

Many elected officials are incompetent to do their jobs, and many appointees are perfectly capable of doing theirs. Careful selection and vetting are key, whether one is elected or appointed.

So, opponents should think twice: This measure is about generosity of spirit, civic-mindedness, forward thinking, and making Fresno everything it could be — rather than consistently finding it at the bottom on so many rankings of cities its size.

Step up, Fresno: Vote ‘Yes’ on Measure P!

Dr. Kirsten Honeyman is a clinical psychologist and member of Tree Fresno.

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4 Responses

  1. jimmy

    Wow. How out of touch some people can be. Clearly thinking more than even half the cities residents can afford a $1200 washer – even washer/dryer set puts you out of touch with Fresno.

    Reply
  2. James Scoggins

    Fresno City Firefighters are asking voters to vote No on P!

    Measure P does nothing to address the major fire problem in the City of Fresno.
    What Measure P does do is lock in parks funding to 2017 / 2018 levels leaving essential services like Police and Fire vulnerable to budget cuts when the next recession comes.

    Our fire department has the same number of firefighters on duty per day as we did in 1980. Why is this important? Availability. When you or a loved one have an emergency, we may not be around to respond. Or, our time for a response will be greatly increased. As our city grows in population and our fire department staffing remains stagnant the demand for service on each individual firefighter is also increased leaving fewer available firefighters for the next emergency. That next emergency could be yours.

    Mayor Brand had a comprehensive plan to address the needs of the fire department, police department and parks, however this plan was quickly rejected by those closest to Measure P. Mayor Brand was elected by the citizens of Fresno to lead this great city. Let Mayor Brand lead.

    Fresno Firefighters strongly encourage the voters of Fresno to vote No on P.

    James Scoggins
    VICE-PRESIDENT IAFF LOCAL 753

    Reply
  3. Scott

    Well written; I agree that the opposition to the funding and continued deferral of all other priorities for public safety are wearying, as are the scare stories about the resulting tax level.

    As for the “locked in funding” argument against P — I suspect it’s there mostly because city leaders telegraphed stealing park funds as soon as a dedicated parks funding stream was established. (The same was obvious from the Mayor’s alternative to P proposal, where parks would have been used to sell the bond, but the bulk of the revenues would go to public safety.)

    I enjoy the protection provided by our public service professionals, and appreciate that they’re prioritized by the city administration. When the city leadership’s zeal for low taxes prevents funding anything but those professionals, however, they force us to the initiative process to fund the other services that a major city like Fresno deserves.

    There was nothing prohibiting the city from addressing parks comprehensively from their budget before this. Given the immediate attempt to co-opt P’s goodwill and funding stream with “everything else and maybe some parks” offerings, we have to vote to make the city we want — the administration demonstrates no willingness to acknowledge other priorities.

    Reply
  4. Brenda A Linder

    “If a public safety measure makes it on the ballot in 2020….” Seems like Measure A, that all opposition to Measure “P” appears to endorse, is a pretty hefty public safety measure. Measure A allows for 90% of the revenue from the proposed cannabis business tax to be allocated to “city services,” mostly going to law enforcement. The City Attorney projects the revenue stream to be up to 10 million dollars annually. So, why are all of the local politicians fighting so hard against money for the parks with fear-mongering, while they endorse a measure which will add millions to public safety through cannabis business?

    Reply

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