WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (BCN) — The Walnut Creek City Council on Tuesday may officially endorse Measure O, a November ballot measure seeking a 10-year, half-cent sales tax increase to fund “current and future quality of life needs.”

The council unanimously approved putting Measure O on the Nov. 8 ballot on July 19. A staff report for Tuesday’s meeting says conversations about the future needs of Walnut Creek “have ramped up over the past two years, with the city engaging in discussions with residents regarding their priorities and interests, and evaluating growing needs related to the vital programs and services provided by the city.”

The report says many of the facilities necessary for those programs “are several decades old and nearing the end of their useful lifespans after constant use by tens of thousands of individuals and families.” Since March 2022, the city has engaged in a community listening initiative consisting of stakeholder meetings, a mailed survey to more than 30,000 Walnut Creek residents, and an online survey to better understand the community’s needs and priorities for the future.

Measure O priorities would include “maintaining neighborhood and downtown police patrols, crime prevention programs, 911 emergency response, emergency/disaster preparedness, increasing pedestrian safety, and ensuring consistent crossing guards on school routes.”

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It would also address homelessness, maintain senior services and programs, art programs, and after-school programs for children and teens, including additional library hours and access to books/technology. It would support “small businesses and economic recovery, downtown improvements and attracting new businesses, jobs, and economic activity; investing in sustainability initiatives and parks and open space, including creeks and watersheds.”

The ballot measure would also replace the city’s aging Clarke Swim Center and Community Center at Heather Farm Park and improve other aging city facilities. The Walnut Creek City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the council chamber in city hall, 1666 North Main Street, in Walnut Creek.

The meeting can also be seen at www.zoom.us (webinar ID: 862 6390 8304 / passcode: 752322).

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