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Guest Opinion: Why I’m supporting Measure M

By Bill Van Duker–
For more than a year, the senior city officials have studied the issue of revenue needs for the Citrus Heights going forward in the 21st Century. They recognized the need to do something about our streets, the need to continue to build and enhance the finest law enforcement organization in the region, and the responsibility to address in a new way the issue of homelessness in our community.

Measure M: Citrus Heights council votes 4-1 to put $12M sales tax increase on ballot

Further, they saw the need for the City to have the resources to invest in attracting businesses and restoring the viability of Sunrise Mall and build an economic base that would make us, once again, a commercial hub for the region.

They asked us, the citizens of the Citrus Heights, if we would support a measure that would give the City these resources. The answer was a resounding “yes”.

But there are those who oppose this measure. They have been early and loud in their opposition.

They say that politicians can’t be trusted. I would point out that the four Council Members who voted to put this measure on the ballot have collectively served you and me for an aggregate of 50 years total.

They have shown that they can be trusted to do the right thing. Have all their decisions been perfect? Of course not. I haven’t risen to the level of perfection either.

But they have done the right thing for our city. And Measure M is the right thing.

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The opponents say that Measure M will drive people to the Galleria. Perhaps the opponents haven’t noticed that the shoppers have already left. Measure M will help bring them back through the renewal of Sunrise Mall and the establishment of other centers of interest and activities in the community.

The opponents say that politicians have broken promises elsewhere. They are forced to go “elsewhere” for the examples, because our City Council has kept its word throughout the city’s history.

Let’s look at the seven official opponents to Measure M for a moment. Three of the seven don’t even live in Citrus Heights, and, I believe, one doesn’t even live in Sacramento County.

We fought for 12 years clear to the U. S. Supreme Court to get Cityhood on the ballot because those who lived outside Citrus Heights did not want us to become a city. It appears that those who live outside the city don’t want us to thrive.

I suggest that those three should go home and let us decide our own destiny.

Sacramento County Supervisor Sue Frost’s opposition is a puzzle to me. Her political career was born in Citrus Heights, and she was coached and nurtured by fellow council members in her time on the City Council and rose to hold the position of mayor. I am surprised she signed her name to the unfair and incorrect arguments of the opposition.

The question before us is whether we want our city to thrive, or whether we will allow it to drift down into mediocrity and decline.

For me, I want our city to thrive. I want to see a vibrant economic center at Sunrise Mall. I want to see a landmark development at Sylvan Corners, the geographical center of our city. I want our streets to be safe and well maintained, and greater safety for all our residents and guests.

That’s why I am supporting Measure M. I urge you to support it, too.

Bill Van Duker was an active player in Citrus Heights incorporation efforts and is the owner of All Star Printing.

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