Measure A helps shelter
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By Mickey Zeldes  October 18, 2013 12:00 am

Our animal shelter is run by the City of Rohnert Park under the direction of the Department of Public Safety.  Whatever affects the city affects the shelter and the animals in our community.  Because we are funded through the general fund, any budget cuts would certainly hit the shelter, as we’ve seen in the last few years.

Please learn about Measure A so you can decide for yourself whether or not to support it based on the facts.  Here are some key points for you to consider:  Measure A is not a new tax and will not increase the taxes you currently pay; it is merely an extension of the existing one-half cent sales tax Rohnert Park voters approved in 2010; and this sales tax is what’s allowed our city to maintain public safety and other essential services for our community.

With the help of the voter-approved sales tax, the Rohnert Park Dept. of Public Safety (police and fire) has been able to lower crime rates to the lowest levels in the past decade. Measure A provides a critical source of revenue for the General Fund and can be used to maintain public safety and essential services such as  9-1-1 emergency response services, fire protection services, neighborhood police patrols, gang and sex offender enforcement, senior services, street paving and pothole repair and what’s dear to our hearts – animal services and our local animal shelter.

The city has worked diligently to improve financial stability, transparency and accountability.  Four years ago, the budget deficit was more than $6 million and through budget cuts, furloughs and reforms to employee pensions, it has been reduced to $1.8 million.  Measure A will ensure continued local funding that will protect our services without raising taxes.

Measure A has built in fiscal accountability provisions, such as annual independent financial audits, public review of expenditures and requiring that all funds remain local.  Sacramento has taken $1.4 million from Rohnert Park’s General Fund budget in the past year alone. This measure ensures our city continues to have a guaranteed source of local funding that cannot be taken by Sacramento and requires that our tax dollars are spent locally for Rohnert Park residents.

With the community’s help, the city has been able to reduce crime rates, reduce the budget deficit and keep open the Spreckels Performing Arts Center, the Community Center, the Senior Center and the RP Animal Shelter.

This city was founded to create a safe, middle-class community with in mind the care of all our residents, including our companion animals.  By funding local services, this measure helps maintain our quality of life and keeps Rohnert Park a safe place to live.  Please read the facts and keep all of this in mind on Nov. 5.  More information about Measure A is available on the city’s website at www.rpcity.org. 

Upcoming events

Come see us at the No. CA Pet Expo on Saturday, Oct. 19, at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds from 10-6 p.m. Admission is free.  This all-day expo will feature pet related vendors, adoptable animals, pet costume and talent contests, agility demonstrations and more.  Meet Shorty and Hercules from Animal Planet’s TV show “Pit Boss.”

• Bark, Brew & Boogie – for the animals is a fundraiser for the Shelter.  Join us on Monday, Oct. 28, at Lagunitas Tap Room in Petaluma from 5:30-8:30 p.m. for beer, Old Chicago Pizza (one slice included in admission) and music by Sad Tires and Sweet Water.  Tickets are $10 in advance (at shelter or online at animalshelterleaguerp.org), $12 at the door and $6 for kids under 12.  Dogs are welcome and can participate in a K9 costume contest.  There will be great raffle prizes too.

• Adoption specials for October : All bunnies and cats are just $20 to adopt.  And all bully breeds (we have all ages – pups to adults) are just $25.  Come on in and meet our wonderful animals.

Mickey Zeldes is the supervisor at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter. She can be contacted at mzeldes@rpcity.org.

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