How the Measure V Citizen Oversight Committee Helps Rebuild Paradise

For Measure V Oversight Committee Chair Sharon Simonton, being active in the community is essential to helping rebuild Paradise.

Shannon and eight other Paradise residents currently serve on the board of the Measure V Citizen Oversight Committee, which provides recommendations to Town Council and assists in monitoring and the reporting of the Measure’s tax monies in town.

What is Measure V?

Measure V is a local sales tax that helps fund the police, fire, animal control, and public works departments in Paradise. When the tax initiative was passed, it also established a 9-member oversight committee made up of Paradise residents to ensure the funds were spent according to the ballot measure.

Simonton first became involved with the committee in 2015, after campaigning for the passage of Measure C (Measure V’s first iteration).

She was first appointed an alternate and later became a permanent member of the committee. Nine years later, she now sits as chair, overseeing the committee’s quarterly meetings.

Role of the Measure V Citizen Oversight Committee

While Measure V is not a decision-making committee, it reviews what the Town Council plans to spend the money on and makes recommendations. The committee convenes quarterly at Town Hall to review Measure V’s proposed budgets and expenses.

A typical meeting begins with the approval of minutes and the report from the last meeting. It then moves to the Finance Department, presenting a review of the budgetary decisions made by the Town Council. If funds for a particular project, like a fire engine, can’t be spent within its original timeframe, the Finance Director will share an update on how the money is being held and set aside in the budget. 

After the budget review, the committee motions to accept or send back any questions to the Town Council for clarification. The agenda then moves to public comment, where representatives from the four departments may share updates. “The fire chief might express a need for new radios,” said Simonton, and then the committee would inquire about the utilization, timing, and other pertinent details regarding their intended use.

After department presentations, the committee approves any motions for the next quarter.

“It’s a pretty simple process.” noted Simonton, “The Town Council is doing a great job of using funds in the best interest of Paradise and its residents.

Additional Meetings

Because the Town fiscal calendar begins in July of each year, the Measure V Citizen Oversight Committee meets more frequently in the months leading up to the approval of the yearly budget. “This year,” said Simonton, “we’ll meet in March, April, and May to review 2024-2025 proposed budget.”

For the Future of Paradise

“I’m really proud of what Measure V has accomplished so far,” said Simonton. “I’m happy about all of it, police vehicles, you name it” and she advocated strongly for the Paradise Animal Shelter and its need for more help from the community.

“After the fire, I thought it was still vital to serve on this committee,” she said. “I wanted to continue serving and participating in the Town. Everyone should have the opportunity to feel like they are an active part of the community.”

Learn more about the Measure V Citizen Oversight Committee here, and view previous meeting agendas here.

Make it Paradise Newsletter

This newsletter is designed to keep you informed of the ongoing recovery efforts as we rebuild Paradise.  Each week you will receive a newsletter with events, current numbers (building permits, etc.), current topics and a weekly Q&A.

Occasionally, we may send out an extra newsletter pertaining to an upcoming event or important information.