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Final Push For and Against Measure A in Chula Vista

It's a battle to the end in Chula Vista over the highly contested Measure A.

Next Tuesday, voters will decide on whether to approve a half-cent sales tax increase that would create revenue for police and fire staffing.

Police officers and firefighters are going door-to-door on weekends, trying to drum up support for Measure A.

They’ll be out again this Saturday, June 2, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., beginning at Memorial Park.

However, not everyone in Chula Vista is in support of the tax increase, even though it's for public safety.

Russ Hall is the organizer of "Just Say No on A," a group of concerned residents hoping to stop Measure A from passing on Tuesday.

Hall told NBC 7 the city needs to be held more accountable for how they're spending taxpayer dollars.

"We don't think this is a crisis of public safety at all. This is a problem of Chula Vista not having their spending priorities in order," said Hall.

The city says both the fire and police department are severely understaffed.

In turn, it's hurting response times.

Both departments have failed to meet response time goals for several years in a row.

"When it takes the officers a longer period to respond because we're short-staffed, what happens is it builds this disconnect with the community," said Chula Vista Police Chief Roxana Kennedy.

In 2016, voters approved Measure P, a ten-year, half-cent sales tax.

That money was earmarked for city infrastructure needs, like fire stations and equipment.

NBC 7 reported in January that hundreds of park sprinklers were replaced with help from Measure P revenue. 

In March, a $15 million re-pavement project was underway with Measure P funds. 

Revenue from Measure A would go into a general fund, and that's a concern for many in Chula Vista.

There will be an oversight committee put in place to make sure the money from Measure A is only used for police and fire staffing.

If Measure A passes, Chula Vista will tie for the highest sales tax in the county, at 8.75 percent.

Fire Chief Jim Geering told NBC 7 he'll be able to add 36 firefighters with that extra money.

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