Measure E revival to appear on RP ballot
Half cent tax boost was to be eliminated in 2015
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By Jud Snyder  July 26, 2013 12:00 am

To the surprise of absolutely nobody, Rohnert Park’s City Council voted to continue the life span of Measure E, which was approved by RP voters back in 2010 but was supposed to be eliminated in 2015. 

The city, however, is in somewhat rocky financial waters with a $2.4 million budget deficit, and there are no reassuring signs of vigorous economic recovery from anywhere in the county, state or nation. 

The council was also cheered by a recent citizen survey that told them a majority of voters approved extending the one half cent tax boost.

The actual vote was 4-0 in favor. Councilwoman Gina Belforte was absent.

Mayor Pam Stafford noted the city “declared a fiscal emergency in a resolution,” and also praised City Manager Gabe Gonzalez’s staff report pointing out economies achieved by all city staff members. 

“I know we have the support of our residents in this,” she said. 

Councilman Jake Mackenzie said, “Our city taxes have not risen, not even property tax, sales taxes and transient occupancy taxes.

“And that giant sucking sound you heard from Petaluma this morning was the opening of a new Target store in a new shopping center next to the freeway.”

“We ask the citizens to tell us what needs to be funded,” said vice-Mayor Joe Callinan.

“The measure does not create a new tax but simply continues an existing tax that the city has relied on to maintain essential services,” said Gonzalez.  

He also mentioned the millions of dollars Gov. Jerry Brown and the state Legislature took from RP when Sacramento closed down all city redevelopment offices.

There was no comment from the sparse audience in city hall. Now it’s up to the voters this November to continue Measure E or simply send it down to defeat.

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