RP to vote on Measure E again
Tax measure to appear on ballot in November
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By Jud Snyder  July 12, 2013 12:00 am

Measure E, the half-cent sales tax boost approved by Rohnert Park voters in November 2010, was destined to be buried, or “sunsetted” as they call it in city hall, in five years. Instead, funeral shrouds destined for use in 2015 were removed and a ballot measure to keep Measure E in place as it is now written will appear on the November 2013 ballot.

The city council gave its blessing to putting it on the ballot after reading a report from Assistant City Manager Darrin Jenkins and watching a PowerPoint show and tell from Finance Director Cathy Orme. 

The Tuesday night vote was 4-0 with Vice-Mayor Joe Callinan absent.

“Since voters approved this sales tax, the police and fire department have been able to reduce crime rates to the lowest level in the past decade,” said Jenkins in his report. “The city has reduced the budget deficit from $9.5 million to $1.4 million today and has kept Spreckels Performing Arts Center, the Community Center and Senior Center open.” 

He also noted “Sacramento takeaways have reduced Rohnert Park’s budget by $1.5 million in the past year alone.”

Another factor in Measure E’s revival is a survey undertaken by the city, which showed 69 percent of residents, surveyed approved keeping the half cents sales tax measure alive for another five years, as long as taxes will not be raised.  

Orme gave the council three options to adopt and the second one, Forecast Model 2, the one she said was the “optimistic model,” was chosen by the council.

She added, a forecast is not a prediction. It is a snapshot based on various assumptions…it is a tool to assist in long term planning.”  The other two models “cannot keep up with the rising external costs of medical expenses, PERS rates and inflation that are out of the control of our policy makers.”

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