Information About Measure U

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Measure U?

The Petaluma City Council unanimously placed Measure U on the November 3, 2020 local ballot. Measure U would enact a one-cent sales tax to address community priorities with reliable, locally controlled funding that cannot be taken by the State.

Why was Measure U placed on the ballot?

If enacted, Measure U funding would stay local to address Petaluma’s local needs. It’s more important than ever to maintain fiscal stability and be prepared for any future wildfire, public health and safety, or other natural disaster. We cannot depend on the state or federal government to adequately address our local needs, recovery efforts, and community priorities for a safe, prepared, and well-maintained city.

How does Measure U address fire protection and emergency response?

Petaluma has been fortunate and spared from recent fires but calls for emergency response to the Fire Department continue to increase to record levels – an increase of 95% in the past decade which has also increased emergency response times. Measure U will ensure our firefighters can respond quickly to any emergency with adequate staffing and equipment that protects our city and residents.

Does Measure U impact road safety and repair?

Yes. Petaluma’s 396 miles of roads are rated the worst in the Bay Area and are pitted with potholes and cracks and in dire need of maintenance. Measure U will repair existing hazards and properly maintain our streets, which will only get more expensive to fix the longer they go without repair and repaving. Measure U will fix our streets and potholes and make our roads safer, including for first responders who need to reach people quickly that need help.

Is Measure U fiscally accountable and transparent?

Yes. In keeping with our tradition of prudent fiscal stewardship, Measure U requires Independent Citizen Oversight, spending priorities based on community input, financial audits, and public disclosure of all spending. All Measure U funding stays in Petaluma and none can be taken by the State.

What other community priorities will Measure U address?

Measure U was placed on the ballot after months of community engagement. Over 3,000 residents participated in workshops and survey responses. Residents identified top priorities, including:

  • Emergency public health, wildfire, and natural disaster preparedness
  • Maintaining 911 emergency response times and fire prevention and protection
  • Ensuring 24-hour police and fire staffing
  • Keeping public areas safe and clean
  • Repairing streets, roads, and potholes
  • Supporting local businesses through recovery

What does Measure U cost?

Measure U is a one cent locally controlled sales tax that would generate local funding for vital city services. Measure U is not applied to prescription medicine or food purchased as groceries, and out-of-town visitors to our City also pay the cost. Measure U is not a tax on your property or home.

When is the election?

Tuesday, November 3, 2020. To check your registration or get registered to vote, visit registertovote.ca.gov.

Where can I get more information about Measure U?

The City will continue to keep the community informed about Measure U. If you are a member of a community organization that would like to receive a presentation on Measure U please contact Ingrid Alverde at 707-778-4549 or ialverde@cityofpetaluma.org. You can also find additional Measure U background and voting information in the links below.

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