Aftermath of Saying NO to a Tax Increase “Dedicated to Public Safety”

Remember back in early 2010, when several members of the Gilbert Town Council (Linda Abbott, Dave Crozier, Les Presmyk, and John Sentz) sent Prop 406 to the ballot? This was a tax increase "dedicated to public safety."

The Unions, the above-referenced Council Members, Former Mayor Jo Albright, Former Presiding Judge David Phares, Gilbert Superintendent of Schools Dave Allison and other Gilbert Public School officials including Nikki Blanchard, Clyde Dangerfield, and Shane McCord, and various other "tax benefitted" citizens warned the Gilbert taxpayers that they should say YES to a tax increase, or their public safety would suffer! There "could be" massive lay-offs of police and fire personnel!

Remember that? Few Towns or cities ever defy that scare tactic, but Gilbert did.

What happened? Before Prop 406, Gilbert was the 11th Safest City in America.

One year after the defeat of Prop 406, Gilbert was the 5th Safest City in America.

Here’s an interesting statistic for you to think about:

In a study done by IBM of 100 cities across America, it was discovered that "the more a city spends on police services, the higher the crime rate." Here’s the reference: Smarter, Faster, Cheaper: Helping Cities Survive and Thrive in an Age of Increasing Demands and Shrinking Resources.

The question is: Why? It isn’t how much you spend; it’s how you spend it. It’s a matter of the choices we make. Strategic Choices and Operational Choices. Here’s another reference: An Operational Efficiency Benchmarking Study of 100 American Cities.

Think about that as you watch the Gilbert Public Schools Community Budget Committee grapple with "budget issues." Will they roll up their sleeves and seek the root causes of their budget problems and find solutions? Will they consider the strategic and operational choices they make? Or will they trot out the schools’ scare tactic "it’s for our children!" and browbeat the taxpayer into forking over more money? It won’t improve the education that our kids are getting, but it’s "the right thing" to do.