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Smart Voter
Alameda County, CA November 2, 2010 Election
Measure U
Temporary Fiscal Emergency Measures
City of Newark

Majority Approval Required

Pass: 5850 / 58.71% Yes votes ...... 4115 / 41.29% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Jan 6 2:56pm, 100.00% of Precincts Reporting (21/21)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text

To prevent closure of Silliman Center and elimination of school police officers and parks/recreation programs; restore public safety services,reopen the Senior Center; and prevent additional cuts to neighborhood patrols, crime prevention,anti-drug/gang-prevention programs, 9-1-1 emergency, and other city services, shall the City of Newark establish a 3.5% utility users tax for 5 years, exempting seniors and low-income residents, requiring independent audits, with no money for Sacramento?

Impartial Analysis from Newark City Attorney
Measure "U" is proposed by the Newark City Council to place a Utility Users Tax on the November 2, 2010, Election Ballot for voter consideration. The Utility Users Tax is a general tax required to be used to support local City of Newark services. If approved by more than fifty percent (50%) of the voters voting in the election, the Utility Users Tax Ordinance would impose a three and one-half percent (3.5%) utility users tax on telecommunication services (including landline telephone and cell phone services), video services (including cable television), electricity and gas consumption. The tax would expire on December 31, 2015. Water, sewer, and garbage utilities are not taxed. Internet service and satellite television are also not taxed.

Senior citizens of seventy (70) years old or more and lowincome persons of any age are exempt from the tax, upon application and approval by the Tax Administrator. Government agencies such as the Newark Unified School District and Ohlone College are also exempt. The definition of each utility service and a description of how the tax is calculated are more particularly described in the Ordinance. In general, utility companies would collect the tax from consumers as part of their regular utility bills and would remit the taxes to the City.

The measure would generate a reliable, protected revenue source to support and maintain Newark city services. Revenues from Measure "U" are legally required to be used in Newark for essential city services and under current law cannot be taken by the State of California or Alameda County.

The utility users tax is a general tax with its proceeds deposited in the City's General Fund. Such funds would be available to the City for all of its programs and public services, such as police services and patrols, crime prevention, anti-drug and gang-prevention programs, fire protection and 9-1-1 emergency services, senior services, youth programs, park maintenance and street and pothole repair and other general services, for the City of Newark. The Ordinance includes a requirement for annual financial audits of tax collection and expenditures to be performed by a qualified, independent third party. The results of the annual audits will be available to the public.

A "Yes" vote on Measure "U" means the voter is in favor of authorizing the City to collect a three and one-half percent(3.5%) utility users tax for five (5) years. A"No" vote on Measure "U" means the voter is not in favor of the City collecting such a utility users tax.

The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure "U". The full text of the measure which includes the complete text of the City of Newark Utility Users Tax Ordinance will be printed in the Voter Information Pamphle and also is available on the City of Newark website,

s/GARY T. GALLIANO, City Attorney City of Newark Date: August 5, 2010

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Arguments For Measure U Arguments Against Measure U
Vote YES on U - Save Our Services from more devastating budget cuts! Sacramento money grabs and the economy have led the City of Newark to a Fiscal Emergency. Just look at what's happened over the past year:

  • Police Staffing: REDUCED TO MINIMUM LEVELS, unable to respond to all calls
  • Newark Fire Department: CONTRACTED OUT
  • School Crossing Guards: ELIMINATED
  • High School Police Officer: ELIMINATED
  • Senior Center: CLOSED
  • Community Center: CLOSED
  • Sunday Library Hours: ELIMINATED
  • DARE Anti-drug Program: ELIMINATED
  • Mowing/Watering of Neighborhood Parks: REDUCED TO MINIMUM LEVELS
  • Street Maintenance: REDUCED TO MINIMUM LEVELS

Newark has been fiscally prudent, doing everything possible to save money, reducing staff by 30%, cutting salaries, and reducing our budget by nearly $8 Million.

YES on U provides TEMPORARY, emergency funding to maintain services.

YES on U prevents additional cuts to neighborhood police patrols and remaining crime prevention, antigang and drug prevention programs, and other school police officers.

YES on U prevents closure of Silliman Center and elimination of remaining senior, parks and recreation programs.

YES on U maintains our property values, quality of life, and economic health by protecting the core services so important to our residents and local businesses.

Every penny of Measure U is legally required to be spent in Newark. NO money can be taken by Sacramento.

Measure U expires in five years.

YES on U includes annual independent financial audits and reports to the community to keep the City accountable for how the funds are spent. Low-income residents and all seniors are exempt from Measure U.

Join Police Officers, Firefighters, Chamber of Commerce, youth, seniors and local residents from all walks of life in supporting YES on U.

s/David W. Smith Mayor, City of Newark
s/Patrick Smith President, Newark Police Officers Association
s/John Torres President, Alameda County Firefighters, Local 55
s/Linda Ashley President/CEO, Newark Chamber of Commerce
s/Mark Gonzales Parent and Community Volunteer

Rebuttal to Arguments For

The TAXES YOU NOW PAY support the State, the County, the City, the schools and many other governmental agencies. All these agencies are all looking for new taxes to support their spending.

HIGH TAXES you already pay are: 1. One of the highest State income taxes in the nation.
2. One of the highest sales taxes in the nation.
3. You also pay property tax, bond taxes, estate taxes, excise taxes and many other taxes.

This ADDITIONAL TAX will be spent any way the Mayor and City Council see fit because the TAX goes into the General Fund and the City Council controls how those monies are spent.

UTILITY TAXES discourage business from coming to Newark. We need to encourage new business that will generate sales taxes instead of creating this burdensome new tax.

THIS TAX WILL NEVER GO AWAY. Cities that have managed to get such a tax, continually ask that it be renewed because it becomes a vital part of their budget. The wise citizens of Fremont twice turned down a utility tax. So did you last November.

Newark says they need a utility tax, the school district wants a parcel tax, Ohlone College wants a bond sale which will be supported by more taxes. WHERE DOES IT END?

It WILL END at the ballot box when you VOTE NO on the UTILITY USERS TAX.

s/Stewart "Dean" Lewis
s/Gregory Philip Scott
s/Millicent Malliett
s/Mari T. Miller
s/Wayne W. Miller


Please vote NO on the User Utility Tax (UUT). This is an added tax to be placed on citizens of Newark in troubled times. Ohlone College and Newark Unified are also looking for new taxes. How much more can we pay? Increasing taxes is not the solution.

What utilities will be taxed? Cell and regular phone services, gas, electricity, cable...things you need on a daily basis. Exemptions are for seniors (70 and older) and qualified PG&E CARE recipients. What about others affected by the "Great Recession"?

Newark has the highest commercial vacancy rate in the county. Empty businesses do not create needed sales tax. We need to focus on and encourage businesses to locate and stay in Newark+a new utility tax will drive them away. In 2004, David Zehnder, Recreation and Community Services Director, said that we had $25 million in surplus revenue. Where has that money gone?

The City is loosing $3M per year on the Silliman Center. How much was spent on the new fire station? Both facilities were too costly for our small city. Now we are being asked to contribute more taxes.

The City has declared a large part of the city "blighted" and is putting it under redevelopment in order to take millions from other tax supported agencies such as our schools and County Health care. Is this fair?

Our utility costs will increase dramatically in the next few years - so will the proposed tax. The UUT is a percentage of our utility bills. In 5 years the City will ask that this tax be continued as the City will say it is now needed to support the budget.

Keep Newark politicians' hands out of your pocket! WE CAN'T AFFORD ANOTHER TAX.


Additional information:http://home.
s/Stewart "Dean" Lewis
s/Gregory Philip Scott
s/Mari T. Miller
s/Wayne W. Miller
s/Millicent Malliett

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
Opponents present NO solutions to Save Newark's Services! Citizens, parents, business leaders, and Newark safety responders urge a YES on U vote to preserve essential services:

Neighborhood police patrols, crime prevention,anti-gang/drug prevention programs, school police officers, Senior Center programs, parks, and recreation programs. Please don't be fooled by the opponents' many inaccurate and misleading statements.

Consider the FACTS:

  • Funding mechanisms like Measure U are already used by 150 California cities because this money can't be taken by Sacramento.
  • Opponents are living in the last decade when many cities--including Newark--had savings. In 2010, like other cities, Newark is in a fiscal emergency! Today we only have limited reserves in the event of a disaster.
  • Newark has reduced staff by 30%, cut salaries, closed facilities, and reduced our budget by nearly $8 million.
  • Opponents' statements about the Silliman Center are completely FALSE. YES on U keeps the Silliman Center and its programs for seniors and youth open.
  • Newark Chamber of Commerce and business leaders say YES on U.
  • YES on U restores school police officers. Newark school officials say YES on U.
  • YES on U expires in 5 years.
  • YES on U exempts seniors and low income residents. It's up to you to decide what you want for our community! Do you want to keep our schools and neighborhoods safe? Do you want City senior citizen programs? Do you want to keep our City parks and streets clean? If YES, VOTE YES on U!

s/Ray Rodriguez Board Member, Newark Unified School District
s/Mel Nunes Newark Senior Citizens Advisory Committee Member
s/Patricia "Pat" Danielson Board Member,Washington Hospital Healthcare District
s/David Benoun, Esq. Newark Parent and Community Volunteer
s/Luis Freitas Chairman of the Board, Newark Pavilion

Full Text of Measure U
Full Text of Measure

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