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November 7, 2017 — Local Elections

City of Montebello
Measure S - Majority Approval Required

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Election Results


1,650 votes yes (37.76%)

2,720 votes no (62.24%)

100% of precincts reporting (12/12).

Increase Sales Tax 1% to Preserve City Services
— undefined

To preserve public safety, community programs and prevent significant cuts to essential services, by funding general City services including hiring additional police and fire personnel, maintaining anti-gang and graffiti efforts, youth and after-school parks and recreation services, expanding and improving City parks, fixing City streets and public infrastructure, shall the City sales tax be increased by one cent with annual financial audits, expenditure reports, and financial oversight?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Montebello City Attorney

The City of Montebello currently does not impose a local sales tax upon purchases made within the City. This Measure has been entitled as the “City Services Protection Measure.” The voters of many cities in Los Angeles County have adopted revenue enhancement measures and approved a similar one cent sales tax. Among those cities that have approved a local sales tax include Pico Rivera, Santa Monica, Long Beach and Lynwood.

Measure S places before the voters the decision of whether or not to create a one percent (1%) tax to be imposed upon the sales of goods and merchandise sold within the City of Montebello.

If approved, the sales tax is expected to generate approximately $9 million annually for general city services and purposes. These revenues could be used for all City services or programs, including the hiring of more police and fire officers, the upgrading of public safety protection and crime prevention equipment, improved street lighting and signalization, fixing potholes and other street and sidewalk repairs, increased youth and senior citizen activities, repair and enhancement of City parks and facilities, and providing other essential municipal services.

The proposed Measure also includes a “City Services Protection Measure Oversight Committee” comprised of two members of the City Council, five members of the community, City staff and officials, and representatives of the various City employee groups, including members of the Police, Fire and Transportation departments. The purpose of the Committee is to oversee the City’s accounting, use, and/or expenditure of the revenues or proceeds generated in the event the Measure is approved by the voters of Montebello.

A YES vote would establish a 1% sales tax within the City and would expect to generate $9 million in general fund revenues to be made available for all City programs and services, and would establish the Oversight Committee to monitor and control the City’s use of the new revenues.

A NO vote results in the City not implementing the 1% sales tax and the City would not receive the estimated revenues for City programs and services. The Oversight Committee would not be established.

The City Council directed Measure S to be placed on the ballot at the Special Municipal Election to be held on November 7, 2017.

Respectfully submitted,

          City Attorney

The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure S. If you desire a copy of the ordinance pertaining to Measure S, please call the Montebello City Clerk’s Office at (323) 887-1367 and a copy will be mailed at no cost to you.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR



The voters of Montebello have an opportunity to take action which will secure the economic stability of our City. By supporting Measure S, you can insure that Montebello will have strong, fully staffed police and fire departments. Our streets and parks can be improved and kept clean and repaired. Our youth and senior citizen programs will be provided the resources to have a safe, healthy community.

Many cities in Los Angeles County, including Pico Rivera and Long Beach, have adopted a one-cent sales tax on goods and merchandise purchased within their city. Each of these communities has a thriving economic base which support the essential public safety and related services our residents deserve.

This Measure will not increase your property tax, rent, mortgages, cost of medical services, or utility expenses.

The Montebello Chamber of Commerce, Montebello Police and Fire Associations, local leaders, including Mayor Vivian Romero and Councilmembers Art Barajas, Jack Hadjinian and Vanessa Delgado all support a YES vote on Measure S.   

Here is what Measure S will do:

– Increase City revenues by approximately $9 million.

– Every new dollar generated will be available to enhance and improve our City’s police and fire services, upgrade our streets and sidewalks, repair our parks and community buildings.

– On every $1.00 spent by those shopping in Montebello, an additional 1 cent sales tax will be imposed on purchases

– The City’s spending will be subject to a citizen review committee – no wasteful spending will be allowed.

The future and safety of our residents, our children, our seniors depend upon your YES VOTE!

Join your neighbors, your City Council, the men and women of our Police and Fire Departments and VOTE YES ON MEASURE S.


          City Councilmember

          City Councilmember

— Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk

Arguments AGAINST


ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Every level of government is spending our money with no end in sight. The State of California has raised income, sales, gasoline taxes and car registration fees. Montebello property owners already pay $11 Million Tax for Employee retirement. Now City Council wants to raise sales tax because they’ve so BADLY MISMANAGED City finances that WE ARE BROKE. The Budget has NOT been balanced for 3 years with $10 Million in deficits.

Originally another $9 Million in sales tax would hire more Police Officers and Firefighters. Now they’re PROMISING EVERYTHING to everybody, far exceeding what $9 Million can actually cover. They’re promising repairing potholes, trimming trees, new parks and recreation programs, etc. HOW MANY TIMES can they spend these same dollars???

To predict how this money will actually be spent, just LOOK AT THEIR CURRENT TRACK RECORD:

Mismanagement includes settling a $4 Million, 10 year old Garfield Financial Corp. claim, with no lawsuit filed, to accommodate politically connected friends. They also paid a Contractor who submitted fake bids (a felony) $500,000 for City work, yet City did nothing to recover this money.

Contracts are regularly awarded to politically connected vendors with automatic renewals and price increases with no competitive bidding. NO WONDER WE ARE BROKE.

Mayor and other Council Members spent tens of thousands of our tax dollars on trips to resort destinations like Las Vegas, Palm Springs, Santa Barbara, Miami and other resorts. They also serve themselves restaurant meals at Council meetings.

In reality, this new tax money has already been spent! The current $5 Million budget deficit must be covered and City employees promoting this new tax, particularly public safety, have been promised raises.

If they won’t control spending on their personal benefits, how can we possibly expect them to properly spend another $9 Million???


          Former Mayor/Councilman

          Local Businessman

          Councilmember/Mayor Pro Tem

          CHARLES E. PELL
          Former City Treasurer

          Former Planning Commissioner

— Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

Measure S is necessary to Save Montebello and Secure our city’s financial future.

That’s why the Montebello Police Officers’ Association, Montebello Firefighters Association, Montebello Chamber of Commerce and your neighbors and local businesses urge you to vote Yes on Measure S.

Measure S contains tough accountability standards and a citizen review board, which requires annual independent financial audits and public review of expenditures. These fiscal safeguards will ensure funds will be used efficiently, effectively and as promised.

Our City Council has already started to cut expenses, including adopting a hiring freeze on all city departments except fire and police, reducing the city’s travel budget and making other cuts to help Montebello.

If Measure S does not pass, Montebello will face a $5,600,000 budget shortfall next year. This means cuts to police, fire, parks, senior services and other critical city services.

A No vote means closing local fire stations and increased response times for emergency responders, putting lives at risk.

A No vote means cutting more police officers, making our streets more dangerous.

A No vote means letting our parks fall into disrepair and forcing our children to play in unsafe conditions.

A YES vote on Measure S means:

- Hiring police officers to protect our families

- Hiring firefighters to keep our homes safe

- Repairing our streets and potholes

- Fixing city parks so our children can play in safety

Measure S is necessary to prevent further cuts to our police and fire departments, supporting crime, gang and drug prevention programs and reducing emergency response times to make our city safer.

Safeguard Montebello’s Future – VOTE YES ON MEASURE S

          City Councilmember

          City Councilmember

          ART BARAJAS|
          City Councilmember


— Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk
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