|Measure A OK with RP voters
Half-cent sales tax passes easily despite sparse turnout for single issue on ballot
Those from Rohnert Park who voted on Tuesday, Nov. 5, overwhelmingly approved Measure A, which is an extension of the half-cent sales tax measure which was set to expire in 2015.
The measure needed a simple majority and garnered 68.2 percent of the votes (3,840). A total of 1,792 (31.8 percent) voted against the measure. Measure A is merely an extension of Measure E, which RP voters approved in 2010, which raised the city’s sales tax rate to 8.75 percent.
“It’s ecstasy…I’m very happy,” Rohnert Park Mayor Pam Stafford said Wednesday morning. “If we had lost this vote, there would have been issues to maintain what we have.”
The sparse turnout was expected, given this was an odd-numbered year when elections usually happen in even-numbered years. Also, this was the only item on the ballot.
Stafford said those in support of extending the half-cent sales tax made an all-out push to get it passed.
“We walked neighborhoods, sent out mailers and talked to different groups,” she said. “People used social media to let people know about it to have have them be well informed.”
Measure A will be in place indefinitely, or at least until voters overturn it or the Rohnert Park City Council votes to suspend it.
Rohnert Park was facing a General Fund deficit of $5 million when voters approved Measure E. The deficit has been sliced to $1.4 million during a time when the city’s payroll decreased from 190 to 148.
Former City Manager Gabe Gonzalez, whose last day on the job was Nov. 7, said the remaining deficit and said the possibility of the city losing more than $3 million produced by Measure E would result in a negative impact on city services, such as road repairs, police and fire services as well as 911 calls and park maintenance. Gonzalez has accepted a city manager job in Kansas.