I notice some “powers that be” and public safety officials in Nevada City are sweating it out on Measure C, a 3/8 of a cent sales tax increase. They are turning to social media blitzes and a full-color postcard that we picked up today. “Let’s keep Nevada City safe,” it read.
A lot is a stake, including the possibility of higher homeowner fire insurance premiums for residents.
But I wonder if some of Measure C’s most vociferous proponents realize they’ve been their own worst enemies — and have lost some credibility in the community.
These are some of the same people who needlessly piled on and excoriated former mayor and community leader Reinette Senum at a City Council meeting for making some controversial statements about the Dallas police shooting. Senum — who has been widely honored for her community service — apologized twice for her words. (By contrast, 49’ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is still “taking a knee” for his own beliefs.)
But the hateful attacks and calls for a boycott of Senum’s restaurant didn’t cease — in some cases egged on by public safety associations. Now these same people need to muster community-wide support — a two-thirds majority is required to pass Measure C.
In addition, Measure C is only the latest in a series of tax increases on the ballot to maintain the “status quo” in city services.
Some residents point to a “business as usual” mindset at City Hall. I do notice that City Hall salaries no longer are easily found on the City website, as in the past. That fuels a perception of arrogance.
Many people are wondering if it inevitable that police and fire consolidation occur in the community because of a declining, aging population. Are the tax hikes just kicking a can down the road? Others wonder whether Nevada City can remain an independent incorporated city in the long run. The town faces some real challenges in the years ahead — and the festering divisive politics and personal vendettas only makes matters worse.