Chula Vista has money to spend on public safety. However, the South Bay city doesn’t have a consensus on how to spend that money.
Chula Vista voters approved Measure A in 2018. It created a half-cent sales tax increase that would be earmarked for hiring and improving public safety.
Chula Vista has an understaffed police and fire department compared to other cities in San Diego County and the state.
On Jan. 14, the Chula Vista City Council could approve an amendment that would use some of that tax-generated money to hire a paralegal and an investigator to work on the city’s new Neighborhood Protection Unit, which is charged with closing and prosecuting illegal pot shops.
However, there are groups, including the unions representing police and firefighters that think that money should be used to hire more police officers and firefighters.
Chula Vista Deputy Mayor Jill Galvez is one of those people.
She believes Measure A is meant for sworn personnel. Galvez openly campaigns for the half-cent sales tax increase.
“Our police and fire departments need to beef up, quite frankly,” she said.
Pedro Anaya thinks the city needs to hire more police officers and firefighters but also thinks the tax money could be used on any kind of staff that promotes public safety, which includes supporting the Neighborhood Protection Unit.
“In order for it to function and function well, we need to support all elements of it to make things happen,” he said.
The Chula Vista City Council will discuss the amendment on Jan. 14 during its regular council meeting.