In 2013, residents were afforded an opportunity to shape the future of the city of Sterling Heights through Safe Streets, a ballot proposal providing six years of dedicated funding for police and fire operations and neighborhood street improvements. By an overwhelming margin, voters approved Safe Streets, which has been a catalyst for transforming Sterling Heights since 2013. Through your support of Safe Streets, the City has accomplished the following:
-The reconstruction and repair of over 152 neighborhood streets
-The retention of 45 police officers and firefighter/paramedics, which has enabled the City to preserve its status as one of the safest large cities in the United States and successfully implement Advanced Life Support (ALS) transportation services
-Implementation of innovative community policing programs, including:
- Community Outreach and Resident Engagement (CORE) that dedicates a police officer to the residents and businesses in five distinct sectors of the City
- Smart Moves that educates over 1,500 students annually at all nineteen elementary schools in Sterling Heights on the danger of drugs and alcohol,k skills for handling peer pressure, conflict resolution and bullying, and avoiding internet threats
- School Resource Officers that are assigned and dedicated to student safety at Sterling Heights High School, Henry Ford II High School and Adlai Stevenson High School
But for the Safe Streets dedicated millage, none of these public improvements, enhanced services or innovative programs would have been implemented. While these accomplishments are notable, the underlying financial challenges that necessitated Safe Streets remain. While the increase in property values in Sterling Heights since 2013 is extremely impressive, the City's revenue growth is capped by the rate of inflation. This revenue limitation is not conductive to maintaining the excellent public services at levels our residents and businesses have come to expect. Additionally, the state of Michigan seems wholly incapable of effectuating meaningful reforms to the system for financing road improvements. Consequently, the City's Police and Fire Departments are reliant on the Safe Streets dedicated millage to maintain staffing at current levels. Likewise, approximately 80% of the City's neighborhood streets budget comes from the Safe Streets revenues.
With the expiration of Safe Streets in 2019, the City is at a critical juncture. The City can either continue its amazing momentum or reverse the progress made to date. For its part, the City Council has elected to place a Safe Street Renewal before the cotes on the November 5th ballot. If approved, the Safe Streets Renewal affords the City with the revenue needed to preserve excellent police and fire services and continue with an aggressive program for improving our neighborhood streets. The Safe Streets Renewal is NOT a tax increase. It simply continues the dedicated millage for police, fire protection and neighborhood street improvements for an additional ten years.
This is your opportunity to shape the future of this great community. I hope you will take some time to read the information contained in this brochure and make an informed decision on the Safe Streets Renewal on November 5th. Your vote makes a difference.
Michael C. Taylor, Mayor of City of Sterling Heights