GLENDALE—According to final results, Burbank, Glendale, and Pasadena voters approved to increase the city’s sales tax to 10.25 percent from 9.5 percent through ballot measures endorsed by the Armenian National Committee of America Western Region chapters aimed at improving municipal infrastructure and to provide essential services.
In Burbank, Measure P, the “Burbank Infrastructure and Community Services Protection Measure” passed with 60.02 percent (16,039) in favor and 39.98 percent (10,685) opposing it. In Glendale, Measure S, also referred to as the “Glendale Quality of Life & Essential Services Measure,” passed with 53.04 percent (19,964) voting in favor and 46.96 percent (17,672) opposing it. And Measure I for Pasadena passed with 67.68 percent (22,291) in favor and 32,32 percent (10,645) opposing it.
The ANCA Burbank, Glendale, and Pasadena Chapters, who had all endorsed the measures in their respective cities, extend their gratitude to their supporters who voted in support of this measure. All three chapters held meetings prior to the vote with numerous city council members and city staff to thoroughly discuss the measure and its impact on the city.
In Burbank, the sales tax measure aims to protect essential city services and put Burbank elected officials in the decision-making position of where the money would be spent without interference from state, county or federal entities. The measure, according to officials, has strict accountability, including a Burbank resident oversight committee on infrastructure spending, a yearly accounting of revenue and expenditures and an annual independent financial audit to ensure the funds are spent as promised.
In Glendale, the City Council plans to allocate significant portion of the funds be used towards providing affordable housing to low-income residents, maintaining local parks, buildings, and community centers, and the implementation of youth programs. The ANCA Glendale Chapter Board also demanded to have a transparent auditing of the funds so that community will see how the funds are being accounted for.
Meanwhile, the Pasadena City Council expects to utilize the future sales tax revenue towards maintaining service levels, upgrading fire station, replacing obsolete 911 infrastructure, replacing 17,000 older street lights, repairing 670,000 square feet of damaged sidewalk and bringing 4,000 curb ramps in compliance with federal Americans with Disabilities Act standards.
In Burbank, Measure QS, the “Burbank Unified School District Local Education Funding Measure of 2018,” which was also endorsed by the local ANCA Chapter also passed with 61.88 percent (16,354) favoring and 38.32 percent (10,161) opposing it. Measure QS will enact a 10 cent per square foot of improvements parcel tax, which would generate approximately $9 million each year for schools. The funds generated will go toward attracting and retaining quality teachers and staff; maintaining low class sizes in grades TK – 3; expanding college and career courses; increasing mental health support; and expanding instruction in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math.
The ANCA Burbank, Glendale, and Pasadena Chapters all look forward to the upcoming improvements and developments that are expected to take place in their respective communities due to the sale tax increase and will make sure that public oversight and accountability are built into the passed measures.