Active Claremont holds forum on measure SC
About 50 Claremonters got their first look at Measure SC during a spirited forum at the Hughes Center Thursday night.
The forum at Active Claremont featured presentations and a question-and-answer session from those in attendance. Betty Crocker and Jim Keith represented the pro-SC side, but moderator and former Claremont city councilwoman Jackie McHenry noted that she had asked six people who were against the measure to speak at the forum, but they were either unavailable or declined.
“It’s our time, it’s our turn,” Ms. Crocker said. “It’s our time to give our city direction, it’s or time to invest in the police department and build a station that will support its needs for the next 50 years.”
The plan calls for a $25 million general obligation bond—$23.5 million in bond issuances and $1.5 million in general fund money for furniture, fixtures and equipment—to be paid over 25 years. The proposed 26,000 square foot, two–story police station would be built on the site of the current police station on Bonita Avenue.
A video featuring Claremont Police Chief Shelly Vander Veen went into detail about the current conditions of the station—storage closets turned into offices, aging and non-compliant jail cells and a portable building that serves as the locker room for female officers.
Mr. Keith tackled the financials. He noted that the average payment homeowners would have to make is $30.33 per year per $100,000 of a home’s assessed value in the first year, and will drop to $24.47 over time.
Forty-six percent of Claremont homeowners, he said, would pay less that $100 per year in the first year of the bond.
Mr. Keith also tackled quotes from detractors straight from the readers’ comments of the Claremont COURIER. Some detractors, he claimed, were saying no just to say no.
While there were no official representatives against Measure SC, resident Donna Lowe briefly took the mic to argue her stance against the measure. Ms. Lowe took issue with Mr. Keith’s comments, arguing that it’s the city’s current financial situation—Measure G, the payments to Golden State Water Company from the failed water takeover bid and unfunded liabilities to CalPERS—that give her pause.
“I just think there are so many questions that are unanswered,” she said. “The police station absolutely needs some modifications and modernization, but to the extent that they’re asking, I don’t know I think it’s too big, too costly.”
Claremonters will go to the polls to vote on Measure SC on June 5. The measure needs a two-thirds majority to pass.
More on Thursday night’s forum will be available in next week’s edition of the COURIER.