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Measure K passes by wide margin

Measure K, an initiative that will implement a half-cent sales tax for the city’s first responders, has been passed by Madera voters with more than 80 percent of all ballots cast favoring the initiative.

Backers estimate it will create $3.5 million in stable funding, and will allow for the hiring of more personnel in the police department, as well as fund a fire station and a new ladder truck. Crime prevention services for Madera youths will also be funded by the Measure.

Measure K received the endorsement of Madera Police Chief Steve Frazier, Madera Mayor-elect Andy Medellin, and Madera County Supervisor-elect Robert Poythress. Madera County District Attorney David A. Linn also voiced his support for the initiative.

“Measure K is going to provide funding for public safety,” Poythress said, “which we desperately need.”

News of the measure’s passing comes with passage of Proposition 57 in California, which, according to Frazier, will mean more work for the Madera Police. Prop. 57 will mean the early release of prisoners, and has been openly and actively opposed by Frazier and Linn and other law officers throughout the state.

The taxes imposed by Measure K will not include essential items such as medicine and groceries.

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