The problem is compounded by declining tax revenues. The "Miracle Mile" stretch of RV dealerships off Interstate 215 — a long-time golden goose of sales tax receipts — has seen dealerships close as sales plummet. Also, a lucrative yet enormously unpopular utility tax tacked onto power, telephone water and cable television bills is set to expire in June.
In the face of such austerity, some residents fear for the city's future.
"Colton has had its troubles, that's for sure, and the money situation doesn't look so good now,'' said Arlan White, owner of Patriot Towing on the south side of town. "But I don't see how getting rid of cops on the street is going to make anything better.''
On a recent Tuesday night, White huddled with two dozen like-minded residents at the local pipefitters union hall and strategized on how to save the Police Department; a number of them credited officers with guiding them out of troubled teenage years.
"I don't want no sheriff here. He doesn't know my city. He doesn't know the parolees. He doesn't know the dope houses. He doesn't know the kids who depend on the [police activities league] officers,'' Colton resident Darrell Fisher said at a recent council meeting.
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