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Campaigning for Claremont’s Measure CR in full swing

The Yes for Claremont committee has hit the ground running in an effort to persuade Claremont voters to pass Measure CR, a referendum for a three-quarter cent local sales tax increase.

The committee filed its paperwork with the California Secretary of State (ID 1419897), but by law is not required to provide its first report of expenditures and contributions unless it raises or spends $2,000.

Shelley Desautels, Claremont’s city clerk, explained that Form 410, the statement of organization for any committee supporting or opposing a ballot measure, was revised in August 2018, setting the fundraising and expenditure threshold to $2,000. Once that mark is met, she said, the committee has 10 days to file.

Yes for Claremont filed its statement of organization—which was signed by Laura Roach and Simon Brown—with the city by email on Tuesday, September 3, according to Ms. Desautels.

“They filed ‘as-yet-unnamed measure’ and will need to provide an amendment with the name, including the letter designation,” she said.

On Wednesday afternoon, an amended 410 dated August 26 was sent to the clerk, indicating the group had reached the $2,000 threshold. Itemized contributions and expenses for the committee were not submitted along with the form.

Form 460, which will provide an accounting of individual contributions and expenses from July 1 through September 21, is due by September 26.

A few locals have questioned the legality of advertisements in the Claremont COURIER and paid for by private citizens that were published during the spring. One individual paid for five ads from May 21 through June 21 for a total of $345. A second individual paid $207 for one ad.

“It’s a gray area, but if no election has been called and no resolution of necessity filed, it’s just opposition to an idea,” Ms. Desautels said.

In the case of Measure CR, it was July 9 when the council voted 4-0 to pass the ordinance, which officially put the measure on the November ballot, according to a previous report by the COURIER. The city’s first step was on June 11, when the city council approved a resolution declaring a fiscal emergency, Ms. Desautels explained.

As of yet, no formal statement of organization from those who oppose the measure has been filed with the city clerk, she said.

In its rebuttal, the opposition stresses that sales taxes are regressive and that its passage will hurt-low income families facing higher rents and seniors on fixed incomes the most. Further, opponents argue that the city should focus on securing the financial future for small Village retailers, seniors and struggling families, “rather than administrators at city hall.”

The measure will need a simple majority, or more than half the votes cast, to be passed. Groceries, prescriptions, medical devices, services, utilities and fuel are exempt from the sales and use tax.

The endorsement list on the campaign website, yesforclaremont.com, already boasts nearly 300 names of locals who support the measure, including the Chamber of Commerce board of directors.

All five sitting city councilmembers are listed on the committee, with Mr. Brown, who served as treasurer for Jennifer Stark’s city council campaign, identified as the committee treasurer.

Other committee members include: Peter Alvarado, Rose Ash, Russ Binder, Bob Bowcock, Beatrice Casagran, Zach Courser, Bob Fass, Maury Feingold, Rachel Forester, Helaine Goldwater, Lee Kane, Deborah Kekone, Greg Lantz, Lynne Marsenich, Valerie Martinez, Emily Moultrie, Lissa Petersen, Tammy Phan, Isaac Rahmim, Diann Ring, Laura Roach, Jan Roselle, Lauren Roselle, Amanda Sabicer, Sonja Stump and Phalana Tiller.

The group has a Facebook page promoting a kickoff event, which is scheduled from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 8 at Walter’s Restaurant, 310 N. Yale Ave., Claremont. There is no cost to attend.

—Kathryn Dunn

editor@claremont-courier.com