Lemoore leaders say council should place public safety measure on Nov. ballot

By Ed Martin, Editor
Lemoore Council Member Ray Madrigal
Lemoore Council Member Ray Madrigal

Three Lemoore City council members said they would prefer that Kings County voters take another stab at passing public safety measure, patterned most likely after Measure K, a ballot measure that failed to pass by the narrowest of margins. Despite the overall loss, Lemoore voters passed it overwhelmingly with 72.17 percent of the local electorate favoring the measure.

Another public safety measure, if placed on the ballot, could very well compete with a local Lemoore High School District bond measure, which board members, at their June 9 meeting voted to place on the November general election ballot. Trustees will ask voters to approve a $24 million bond measure. The district’s bond measure required only a 55 percent voter threshold to pass.

Councilmembers Billy Siegel and Edward Neal were absent from Tuesday’s regular meeting. Neal was mourning the recent loss of his father, the Bishop Glen Neal, who was laid to rest on Saturday.

Overall, county voters didn’t quite meet Lemoore’s expectations, collecting 66.37 percent of the vote from the unincorporated area of Kings County as well as vote totals in Hanford, Avenal and Corcoran. Measure K needed 66.66 percent of the vote to pass.

Kings County Sheriff David Robinson praised the council’s stance. “I think the Lemoore council is right on track,” he said. “We only came up a few dozen votes short. With the additional time to prepare and the overwhelming support, especially in the City of Lemoore, it’s the right decision.”

Councilmember Ray Madrigal was optimistic as well: “I believe the voters of Lemoore want to provide support for public safety and are willing to contribute a small portion of their sales tax dollars to keep our community safe, he said.  “The final vote count showed that 73 percent of voters in our city favored what Measure K will do to accomplish that. 

“We owe it to our constituents to bring this measure forward again in November,” added Madrigal.  “The committee worked very hard and will re-double our efforts in those areas we fell short.  Armed with the lessons we learned from this election, I think we can make the voters' desire to increase funding for public safety a reality.”

The plan was that Measure K would redirect the additional .25 percent sales tax revenue to a fund specifically earmarked for fire and police operations and infrastructure throughout Kings County, which includes the cities of Hanford, Lemoore, Avenal and Corcoran.  It is conservatively estimated that Measure K would generate up to $4 million annually. 

Measure K received 11,761 out of 17,720 votes cast. It would have needed just 51 additional votes to pass.

Of the 48,523 voters registered in Kings County, only 18,416 voted on election day. Most did so by mail, turning in 14,729 votes.Avenal’s voters passed it with 65.24 percent, while Corcoran was at 64.82 percent. Kings County unincorporated checked in the lowest at 61.44, which probably doomed the measure. Hanford would have passed it on its own with an impressive 67.38 showing.

Lemoore’s share of the more than $4 million expected to be raised by the passage of Measure K would have been roughly $675,000, all for public safety, to go to the police and fire department.

Comments powered by Disqus