The extra penny that those in Lathrop’s city limits pay on every dollar spent paid for quite a bit over the course of the previous fiscal year.
According to the year-end financial status report for Measure C for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2021 – which was reviewed by the Measure C Oversight Committee when they met on Tuesday night – the $8.4 million that was taken in during the fiscal year paid for the following:
*A total of 5.5 police positions including two community impact team deputies, an administrative sergeant, a school resource officer, a detective, and half of the salary of a traffic officer (the other half is paid for by the general fund).
*The operation, maintenance, and staffing of the Lathrop Generations Center.
*The installation of crime deterrent cameras, improvements at Sangalang, Crescent, Milestone, and Stanford Parks.
*The funding necessary to transition to an independent police department for the first time in the city’s history.
The Lathrop Manteca Fire District – which receives 40 percent of Measure C funding to help ensure a constant level of service across the sprawling district – used its portion of the revenue to pay the salaries of six firefighter-engineers, 1.98 battalion chiefs, and a staff rescue unit.
While the average annual financial report for Measure C often ends with a surplus, the 2020-21 fiscal year posted $8.4 million worth of revenue compared to $11.3 million worth of expenses – a gap that is attributed to the one-time transition costs needed for the city to move to its own standalone police department, and upgrades to Sangalang Park.
Currently Lathrop is paying the salary of its first police chief, who is working but has not yet assumed command of the agency he will represent, and positions existing under similar circumstances will grow over the course of the next several months while commanders, sergeants, and eventually police officers come online prior to the official transition on July 1, 2022. During the transition – which also required signing a contract with the City of Ripon for dispatch and evidence processing services – law enforcement services will be duplicated until the contract with San Joaquin County expires at the end of the fiscal year.
Even after spending more money than normal for the police department transition – something the city says will save tens of millions of dollars over the next several decades based on the rising cost of the contract with the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office – the city still had nearly $2 million in surplus funds after nearly $900,000 set aside into a reserve account.
The Lathrop Manteca Fire District currently boasts nearly $1 million in reserves.
The Measure C Oversight Committee is currently a four-person board that provides independent oversight of the revenue generated by the sales tax increase approved by voters in 2012. The Lathrop City Council had initially filled the currently vacant position when they appointed former Lathrop Manteca Fire District Chief Gene Neely to the position, but the appointment generated controversy that ultimately led to an incident after the meeting where he was appointed, and legal fallout ensued.
Neely ultimately removed his name from consideration before the appointment became official.
For additional information about the Measure C Oversight Committee or to see a copy of the agenda visit the City of Lathrop’s website at www.ci.lathrop.ca.us.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email email@example.com or call 209.249.3544.