How is Grass Valley handling Measure N funds so far?
With your passage of Measure N in November of 2012, the City of Grass Valley has begun to focus those new resources to address several of today’s as well as tomorrow’s challenges.
The City Council directed staff to ensure that Measure N dollars not just go to support public safety and road projects, but wherever possible, to develop a more strategic approach in order to help reduce future work demands.
For example, the police department has utilized some of the Measure N funds to establish a Strategic Response Team (SRT) to focus on chronic problems in the city. Recently, the SRT responded to a home in a Buena Vista neighborhood that had tough drug activity going on for months. As the neighbors complained officers quickly responded — dozens of times — and made as many arrests.
However, sometimes these chronic problems require far more time consuming work to solve than just responding to calls for service. Often, it requires a dedicated officer to work with property owners, mortgage companies, building officials, and county agencies to coordinate efforts and find solutions.
It’s a laborious process, but a worthy one. Just since February, the police department has addressed more than one complex property per month making life much better for the surrounding neighbors. With consistent application, this approach will contribute greatly to our community.
This is but one of several efforts moving forward with your Measure N funds through police, fire and public works operations that are letting us get a handle on long-endured quality of life issues. Over the coming months we will work with The Union to give you a more complete look at how these funds are being used and how leveraging them will pay big dividends.
So how are your Measure N dollars handled? The process begins by maintaining a very clear and separate accounting for the funds as they come in. Then, working with the police chief, fire chief, public works director and finance director we put together a spending plan with a specific purpose in mind. Once we’re in agreement at the staff level, we meet with the Measure N Oversight Committee which then reviews the City’s financials, spending requests and then conducts a complete review into any of the spending ideas brought forward.
Only after the Oversight Committee is in concurrence, do we move forward to the City Council for their review and final direction. This last process wrapped up at our Aug. 12 meeting of the City Council as they reviewed and adopted the entire budget.
The accompanying chart provides an overview of all Measure N revenues and expenditures from 2012 through June 2015. You can find a more complete reporting of Measure N funds on the city’s website at http://www.cityof grassvalley.com either in this year’s budget documents located on the Finance page or by clicking the “Measure N Reports” icon on the front page.
Bob Richardson is the Grass Valley City Manager.
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