Measure C sales tax

City leaders are pressing ahead with efforts to construct a new mid-Island fire station and emergency operations center despite local voters’ rejection of a sales tax hike that would have paid for it.

Public meetings to discuss the city’s goals in constructing the project and residents’ concerns and ideas will be held at 6:30 p.m. today and on September 20 and October 1 at Mastick Senior Center, 1155 Santa Clara Avenue.

“Just because Measure C failed doesn’t mean we don’t need this,” Deputy City Manager Alex Nguyen said, referring to the 30-year, half-cent sales tax measure the city had placed on the June ballot.

Gary the elevator mechanic voted no on the proposed Measure C sales tax increase because he didn’t think the city needed the money, and because he was concerned the increase would drive businesses off the Island.

The police just bought a number of new Dodge Chargers a few years back, said Gary, who assured me I didn’t need his last name as we chatted on the sun-dappled sidewalk outside the polls at Edison School on Tuesday evening. And he’s still frustrated about the millions in losses the city incurred when Alameda Municipal Power decided to get into the cable business, along with bait-and-switch ballot measures, U.S. foreign policy and poor parenting.

In what has become an almost perverse annual ritual, city leaders discussed how they plan to address a projected $5.1 million deficit in next year’s general fund budget and bigger deficits in the years to come.

City staffers on Tuesday outlined a series of cuts that included layoffs and plans to close the city’s jail. City Council members, meanwhile, sparred over the Measure C sales tax proposal, which voters will consider through Election Day on Tuesday.

“We’re going to do less with less,” Councilwoman Lena Tam said.

Welcome to the maiden voyage of our new Fact Check feature, which is designed to help you navigate the sometimes murky waters of political discourse in Alameda. Today we tackle the Measure C campaign and specifically, four claims posted on the campaign websites for and against the proposed 30-year, half-cent sales tax hike, which is slated to fund public safety vehicles and equipment and help pay for a new pool and renovations to the main library and the old Carnegie Library.

Updated at 3:49 p.m. Friday, March 23

Opponents of a proposed half-cent sales tax have filed a suit to try to get the measure yanked from the June 5 ballot after failing to hand in their ballot argument on time.

Measure C is a 30-year, half-cent sales tax increase to be considered by Alameda voters on June 5. Below are the text of the ballot measure, the ballot argument for the measure, and an argument against the measure.

Ballot language: