When I first heard that the Lemoore City Council was considering a 1% sales tax, I showed up to council meetings with many questions. To me, it appeared the councilmembers were pitting our safety against their frivolous financial decisions - and doing this during Covid-19, when many are struggling to make ends meet.

There are many rumors circulating, so I want us all to get the facts from the source. I met with City Manager Nathan Olson, and he agreed to do Facebook Live Q&A's on the City of Lemoore's page to answer mine and anyone else's questions. You can view the ones we've done (& join future ones), along with:

The City has made the following budget reductions, cutting staff in:

The city also made cuts in the Lemoore Chamber of Commerce annual allocation, janitorial and more.

Most city staff did get a raise a couple of years ago. It was after a study was done to bring their salaries in line because many were underpaid compared to similar positions in other cities (this is public information too: https://transparentcalifornia.com). Still, our city manager has never taken a raise.

Also, a city can't have income-generating positions (like a business can when not making enough money). In most areas, whatever it costs the city to offer the service, it has to charge the residents.

Case in point: look at the landscaping and roads in certain parts of town, compared to others. Many residents voted not to give the City more to take care of it, so they can't (yet they have to hear our complaints after we tied their hands - and we often wonder why they're silent).

Study our water and refuse bills. We demanded better water. The State added new standards, and this means we pay more...yet many have complained.

Even with all the cuts and changes, Lemoore is still $2.9 million short this year. This will come out of savings, but with only about $5 million in the account, the city's savings won't last long.

The Lemoore Police Chief has stated at prior council meetings that he estimates he'll lose at least five officers if we don't pass Measure K.


 The department's budget is over 50% of the general fund. City officials will need to cut roughly $1.6 million from their department. If you look at the police department's budget, it has to come from the staff.

 A report I found on City-Data.com showed California has an average of 1.99 police officers for every 1,000 residents, while Lemoore already has less, at 1.24, yet crime is climbing.

Letter writer says she supports Measure K and offers several facts as voters decide

Governor Newsom's bid to change the law this year allowed for the early release of inmates and then incentivizing local hotels to house them through a program entitled Project Hope. This has already caused our LPD additional time and resources, resulting in hundreds of response calls: https://www.facebook.com/1436340466597083/posts/2783075025256947/?d=n

Measure K (on the November 3 ballot) is a 1% sales tax increase (temporary, for up to seven years). The sales measure is projected to bring in $1.8 million. Between this and the new business income, coming from cannabis dispensaries and likely cultivation operations, city leaders believe it will cover the $2.9 million budget gap - and hopefully more because we need to get the city back on track because personally, I'm embarrassed that our public safety officials are doing their own office and bathroom cleaning. Council members can vote to stop the tax at any time.

Simply shopping in Lemoore can help make this happen faster. Join the ISO at Lemoore Businesses Facebook Page to let Businesses know what you wish you could buy here (things you normally buy online or go out of town): https://www.facebook.com/groups/574383820116822/?ref=share

The tax money will go directly to public safety, and spending will be overseen by a committee of Lemoore residents and business owners. This ensures they avoid additional cuts.

Many want to place blame on how we got here. If you look at the whole picture, all the history (view the annual budgets, normally on the city council agenda in June), it's been years in the making, and it's not any one decision or one person's fault. We're all affected.

I'm frustrated to say that I would rather pay an extra forty cents when I get $40 in gas or go out to eat versus cutting police officers, or who knows what other cuts. So I will vote YES on Measure K.

How will you vote?

You can register and vote the same day at a polling place through Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

After November 3, a new council has a tough job ahead of them. I don't envy their position. Still, I won't stop here. I'll keep asking questions and staying involved - instead of complaining, I choose to be part of a solution to a problem I didn't create.

I choose to help those who have always helped in our worst moments.

What do you choose?


Jennifer Solis

Lemoore Resident