July 4, 2020

Preserving Essential Services in Suisun City

Suisun City, along with many other cities across the state, has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and related steep downturn in economic activity. Throughout changing and challenging circumstances, Suisun City has been working hard to continue providing essential City services and to maintain the City’s long-term financial stability.

73% of Fire Department 911 calls are for medical emergencies, and for years Suisun City’s volunteer firefighters and emergency medical personnel kept our community safe. However, the City has one-quarter of the volunteer firefighter and emergency personnel force it had a decade ago, and there has been a 125% increase in fire call volume this year alone.

Investing in training and recruiting volunteer and professional fire and emergency medical staff would help ensure that first responders have the training, staffing and equipment they need to respond to emergencies and save lives.

Without additional funding, public safety services and staffing could be further impacted and Suisun City would have to make cuts to city services and programs, such as senior and youth programs, parks services and public nuisance code enforcement.

Local Funding to Address Community Needs

The City Council is currently considering placing a three-quarter cent emergency local sales tax measure on the November 2020 ballot to help prevent cuts to city services amidst the recession and coronavirus crisis. This would be a time-limited measure dedicated to addressing the City’s most urgent needs.

A measure would not just be paid by local residents, but also those who visit and shop in Suisun City, and would provide local funding for essential general services, such as:

• Maintaining fire and 911 emergency medical services and response times
• Retaining experienced firefighters and maintaining local fire protection and prevention services
• Maintaining and repairing local streets
• Maintaining neighborhood police patrols
• Addressing crime and public nuisances associated with homelessness
• Preventing elimination of senior, youth and pre-school programs

Fiscal Accountability Required

All funds from a measure would remain local and could not be taken by the State. Annual independent financial audits and public review of expenditures would be required. Groceries, prescription medicine and other essential purchases are exempt from sales tax, which would
help ensure the cost is not a burden to those on fixed incomes

More Information

If you have questions or need more information, please contact City Manager Greg Folsom at (707) 421-7300 or gfolsom@suisun.com.