Where Has the Measure Z Money Gone?

Since 2007, the City of San Bernardino has collected over $28 million through the voter-approved Measure Z.

The voters directed the Mayor and the City Council to spend the tax dollars generated by Measure Z to make San Bernardino’s neighborhoods and families safer.

But where has the money gone?

That’s the topic of a recent mailer sent by the San Bernardino Police Officers Association.

Although the City has been collecting millions of dollars in additional tax revenues, Mayor Pat Morris along with his rubber stamp City Council majority have made deep cuts to public safety that have resulted in San Bernardino losing roughly 30% of it’s Police Officers.Where’s the accountability at City Hall?

In 2006, the Measure Z tax was approved by 67%.

Measure YY was also approved by over 75% of the voters, instructing the Mayor and City Council to use the money collected by Measure Z “only to fund more police officers and support personnel, to fund anti- gang and anti-crime operations, including drug resistance education and supervised after-school youth activities.” 

Thanks to the passage of Measure Z, the San Bernardino Police Department was able to hire 40 more police officers between 2007 and 2008.

By 2009 violent crime in the City of San Bernardino had fallen by 4.5%.

But now thanks to the failed leadership of Mayor Pat Morris, those successes have all been reversed.

By 2012, Pat Morris and his supporters had driven San Bernardino into bankruptcy.

Funding for the Police Department was slashed, the DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Program was cut from schools, and Operation Phoenix was shut down.

Sworn Police Officer staffing suffered a roughly 30% reduction.

In 2012, San Bernardino witnessed a horrific 53.3% increase in homicide.

Where’s the Measure Z money that’s supposed to be used fund these anti-crime functions?

Measure Z revenues are not itemized in the City’s budget.

The tax is still being collected, but if it’s not going to fund public safety, where is the money going?

That’s a question that Mayor Pat Morris and his City Council allies – San Bernardino City Councilmembers Virginia Marquez, Fred Shorett, Rikke Van Johnson, and Wendy McCammack – need to answer.

The people of San Bernardino deserve and expect both accountability and transparency at City Hall – especially when it comes to how their tax dollars are being spent or squandered.