San Diego

Citizens Oversight Committee to Police Measure A Spending in Chula Vista

Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas said "That's the only way that these things work."

In October Chula Vista will begin collecting additional tax revenue generated by Measure A, a voter-approved measure that called for a half-cent sales tax hike promised to fund fire and police personnel hires.

Before the city starts taking in that money, it's putting a citizens oversight committee in place to ensure its citizens that the funds will go where they were promised.

Ahead of the June primary election, Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas and other city leaders said the city was in desperate need of more fire and police staffing and they asked voters to sacrifice.

"Nobody wants to vote for taxes," Chula Vista police Chief Roxana Kennedy said. "We completely understand that."

"It's extremely important that we make this a priority, that we get more people out there," she added.

Measure A's passing means that Chula Vista now has the highest sales tax in the county.

Chula Vista resident Russ Hall opposed Measure A. He told NBC 7 his big concern isn't the short term, but how the money will be spent years from now when a new mayor and council occupy city hall.

Mayor Salas says that the oversight committee will have policing power over the city and it will be the committee's job to make sure the city spends the money correctly.

"That's the only way that these things work in order to make sure that the public understands and that there's complete transparency and they see where the tax money is actually going," Mayor Salas said.

Salas said councilmembers will hear nominations for the committee at a meeting Tuesday night and expects all new members to be sworn in by September.

The committee will then have two orientation meetings where they'll gather a complete understanding of their responsibilities before Measure A's implementation in October.

Contact Us