By ONME Newswire
FRESNO, CA – The Fifth Appellate District which covers nine counties located in central California: Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Stanislaus, Tulare and Tuolumne, made a three-judge panel majority ruling to pass Measure P, reversing the 2018 election results, as written in a statement by Justice Mark Snauffer.
The sales tax initiative was on the ballot for Fresno voters in Fresno County, California, on November 6, 2018 according to Ballotpedia. A "yes" vote was a vote in favor of enacting a 3/8 percent sales tax for 30 years to fund city parks, recreation, streets, and arts.
It received 52 percent approval and was declared as defeated; the language in Measure P defining supermajority versus simple majority was the area of contention for the state appeals court.
The non-profit Fresno Building Healthy Communities originally filed a lawsuit against the city of Fresno on February 1, 2019, arguing that because Measure P was a citizen initiative, it did not require a two-thirds (66.67 percent) supermajority vote and should have passed with 52 percent approval.
On September 5, 2019, Judge Kimberly Gaab ruled that Measure P was defeated because it required a two-thirds vote for approval. Gaab had previously stated that the cases surrounding this issue were likely to be decided by the California Supreme Court, superseding her decision.
Mayor Lee Brand and Mayor-elect Jerry Dyer issued the following statements in response to the California Fifth District Court of Appeal ruling on Measure P:
“We normally do not comment on pending litigation, but today’s Fifth District Court of Appeal Measure P ruling is different. The City of Fresno will abide by the Court’s decision once it becomes final.” said Mayor Brand.
“It is time for us to come together as a community and support the results of Measure P. I look forward to working with the City Council and community members as we utilize these dollars to beautify our parks, and trails, and meet the needs of our youth for decades to come.” said Mayor-elect Dyer.