Supporters of Measure P claim City of Fresno left out wording in ballot description

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno City leaders are scrambling to clear up a mess that is now showing up on ballots for next month's election.

Supporters of Measure P are crying foul after they say the city submitted incomplete language to the Fresno County Clerk when describing Measure P on the November ballot.

In fact, 75 words were left out of the description.

A special Monday meeting at city hall to address the issue was canceled at the last minute when council president Esmeralda Soria's could not confirm enough council members.

"We did have four council members confirmed for the meeting but unfortunately we had some last minute changes came up so we had to cancel the meeting," said Soria.

Measure P proposes a 3/8 cent sales tax that will raise about $38 million annually for 30 years to fund Fresno's parks and art programs.

The council recently approved to put Measure P on the ballot after a local organization collected 35,000 signatures to qualify.

"This is a billion dollars over 30 years. It'll cost you a Big Mac a month. It's informational it does things for Fresno that would never happen otherwise," said Larry Powell who represents Parks for Fresno.

Powell wants voters to have all the information they need when casting their ballot.

Among the language missing from the voter handbook:

"Improving park safety; improving accessibility for persons with disabilities; updating and maintaining playgrounds and restrooms; improving youth and veteran job training; improving after school programs and beautifying roadways."

"The meat of the measure got left out. We're not saying its intentional but you still find a way to mitigate what you can with only a few days left until the election," said Powell.

City leaders are now expected to meet Thursday to consider whether to mail out correction notices to the nearly 240,000 registered voters in Fresno.

A bill the city would be on the hook for.

"Because of the lack of quorum we will be discussing this issue Thursday because the voters deserve to know exactly what the council voted on when they vote on Nov. 6," said Soria.
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