Vote No on Measure A Riverside
On the June 2016 ballot, Measure A will ask citizens of Riverside to ratify the city charter to allow the City of Riverside to open a new Prosecutor's office. Currently, The Riverside County district attorney, under the leadership of Mike Hestrin (an elected position), handles all misdemeanor crimes for the county. The City of Riverside's city attorney, Gary Geuss, wants city lawyers to deal with minor crimes such as assault, prostitution, vandalism, domestic violence and animal cruelty.
The Raincross Group joins a growing list of associations, civic groups, and leaders against the measure and urges Riverside voters to vote No on Measure A for the following reasons:
Too Expensive: The costs for this endeavor remains unclear with Geuss estimating it would cost Riverside about $2.5 million per year to hire 12 attorneys and staff for the new “neighborhood prosecution unit” to prosecute an estimated 5,000 cases per year. However, other estimate costs could be $2.5-$5 million ($12 million over three years) when factoring in the necessary infrastructure and support personnel.
Unnecessary: The district attorney currently prosecutes around 6,000 misdemeanor crimes per year in the City of Riverside. Why should we duplicate this effort and add bureaucracy at a great taxpayer expense?
Takes Power from the People: Moves misdemeanor prosecution from an elected district attorney to an unelected city attorney.
Bad Timing. City management informed citizens Riverside faces an $8 million deficit this year and a $10-$12 million deficit in the coming fiscal year if service cuts and/or tax increases are not implemented.
Poorly Vetted: Section 1403 of the Riverside City Charter outlines the process that has been used as the preferred way to vet new initiatives. City Council can appoint a charter review committee which researches new ideas, looks at cost-benefit analysis, reviews case studies, and reports back to the council on recommendations. City management has skipped this important process which stifles public input. During the 2012 charter review, this issue was not one that was discussed.
Who is Voting No? Riverside County Deputy District Attorney Association, Riverside Police Officers' Association, Riverside Sherrifs' Association, League of Women Voters, Riverside Latino Network, The Group Riverside, Mike Hestrin, Ron Loveridge, Paul Davis, Andy Melendrez, John Burnard, Grover Trask, Virginia Blumenthal, Ofelia Valdez-Yeager, Joan Donahue, Tom Evans, Collette Lee, Valerie Hill, and Jennifer Vaughn-Blakley.
Want speakers? Speakers for discussion or presentations are available upon request. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Information & Resources:
- Mayoral Debate input on Measure A - Including current Mayor Rusty Bailey saying he would have vetoed the measure appearing on the ballot if he knew then what he knows now
- Connect to our Facebook Event on Measure A and please share!
- PE: "Voters to decide if city should join those that prosecute" (4/24/16)
- PE: "Riverside voters should reject Measure A power grab" (4/22/16)
- PE: "Budget cuts on council agenda" (4/18/16)
- PE: "Would city prosecutors help or harm?" (4/16/16)
- Joint No on Measure Letter (4/14/16)
- No to Measure A Facebook page
- PE: "Lawsuit challenges city prosecutor measure" (4/4/16)
- Summons: Lawsuit to keep Measure A off June ballot (by Grover Trask, Elaina Gambera Bentley, Kelli M. Catlett)
- Measure A 2016 City Prosecutor Office Ballot Language
- PE: "Two measures headed for June ballot" (3/6/16)
- Letter: Reply to Mike Hestrin Letter by Gary Geuss (3/1/16)
- PE: "EDITORIAL: Riverside has not explored all options" (2/22/16)
- PE: "District attorney proposes alternative offer" (2/19/16)
- Letter: Mike Hestrin Proposal to City of Riverside (2/16/16)
- PE: "Why the city attorney wants the power to prosecute" (2/5/16)
- PE: "Voters may decide who handles minor criminal cases" (2/10/16)
- Raincross Opinion: Move Issue to Charter Review Committee Process (1/22/16)
- PE: "City attorney wants prosecutor's powers" (1/10/16)