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Santa Rosa Snippets - September 2016 - Elaine Holtz

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Santa Rosa Snippets - September 2016 - Elaine Holtz

Measure O and Measure P on ballot in November 2016 Election 

The Santa Rosa City Council unanimously placed a pair of local measures on the November ballot to extend the existing voter-approved Measure P and amend the funding formula of Measure O. If approved by voters this November, these measures would continue locally controlled funds, allowing the City to address key infrastructure and service priorities without raising tax rates, and one would amend a public safety funding formula to reflect today’s budgetary standards. 

On August 3, 2004, the Council adopted Ordinance 3680 which imposed a special transactions and use tax to generate revenues to be utilized for specific Police, Fire and gang prevention and intervention programs, as set forth in the Ordinance. The special tax ballot measure, known as Measure O (M-O), was approved by over two-thirds of the voters and the election results certified on December 7, 2004.

For the past six years Councilman Gary Wysocky has been advocating adjustments to Measure O. He explained the allocation of city general funds in each budgetary year has been calculated on the Consumer Price Index. This calculation is specific in the 2004 ballot language and did not decrease during the recession of 2008 – 2010. The city general fund declined by over $20 million in one of those years alone, yet funding for police, fire, and gang-prevention increased. The Measure on the current ballot would change the funding allocation by calculating these programs to the projected general fund budget amount. This will allow for flexible should general fund dollars decrease in a future recession. The supplemental tax dollars for police, fire, and gang prevention are not affected by this change.

Measure P was approved by a majority vote of the City’s voters enacted a one quarter of one percent (0.25%) increase to the “Transaction and Use Tax” (commonly referred to as “sales tax”) on each dollar of taxable sales of goods within the City of Santa Rosa and on storage, use or consumption in the City of Santa Rosa of goods purchased from a retailer collected at the same time and in the same manner as other sales tax. This measure will expire this year and the ballot measure will extend it for another eight years.

Southeast Greenway Project Invites Public Input 

The city of Santa Rosa sponsored two planning workshops to help identify the land uses for the Greenway Project. In 2009 a group of nearby residents launches the Southeast Greenway Campaign to create a Greenway that would benefit the community.  Bringing together agencies and organization formed a Community Partnership to acquire, plan, develop and manage the Greenway. In 2015 the organization signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Caltrans that opened the door to purchase the land for a Greenway located on a fifty-two acre, two mile long corridor of undeveloped land in the Southeast area of Santa Rosa which opened the door for public comment.

The first workshop was held on August 6 and facilitated by PlaceWorks, the City’s planning consultant who provided background information on the Greenway and projected goals. Attendees were invited to suggest ideas for how the land should be used and to discuss guiding principles that can shape the development of the Greenway. Some of the issues discussed were making sure there were bicycle ways, picnic areas, playgrounds and community gardens. An overall concern according to Linda Proulx, and leader of marketing and communications team was “to keep the greenway green.” 

A second work shop will be held on Saturday October 8 from 8-12 noon at Montgomery High School in Santa Rosa. Workshop participants will receive feedback that was received from the community with Environmental and user groups, neighbors, developers of market rate and affordable house and local business people and they will present their conclusions. For those who cannot attend the work shop you can email suggestion to: Lisa Kranz lkranz@srcity.org.

AirShow Seeks Diverse Participation 

Sonoma County 4th District Supervisor James Gore teams up with Consulate General of Mexico (San Francisco) Mtro. Gemi José González López to co-officiate opening ceremonies welcoming Mexican, Latino and Spanish-speaking community to the 2016 Wings Over Wine Country Airshow (WOWC) 2016 - A World Beyond Borders!” A historic first for Sonoma County at the Charles M Schulz-Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa, Saturday September 24. 

Evelina Molina, a Santa Rosa consultant is assisting the organizers of the annual air show to reach the Latino/Spanish-speaking population of the North Bay area. She reports, “Traditionally there has been a minimal level of attendance of the Latino/Spanish-speaking community to this amazing event. “ This year the Pacific Air Coast Museum (PCAM), a non-profit organization is pulling out all the stops to make this otherwise traditionally Anglo-oriented event very inviting and inclusive to Latinos. 

 Joining the event will also be Mariachi Barragan, Miss Latina Wine Country. The Mexican American Vinter’s Association (MAVA) will be pouring their finest wines with authentic tacos from El Roy’s Mexican Grill. Sonoma County Leones en Accion Lions Club will be offering FREE Vision Screenings. Children under 10 enter for free! Tickets can be purchased at Costco and Mi Burrito Mexican Restaurant or online at wingsoverwinecountry.org.

Santa Rosa City Council Candidate Forum 

Join the League of Women Voters of Sonoma County (LWVSC) as it presents a forum for candidates for Santa Rosa City Council. The programs will be held on September 29, Santa Rosa City Council Candidates Julie Combs, Ernesto Olivares, Jack Tibbits and Chris Rogers. The event is from 6:00 to 7:30 PM at the Santa Rosa City Council Chambers, 100 Santa Rosa Avenue. Candidates will discuss important Santa Rosa issues and answer questions. 

The League does not support or oppose any candidate or political party. It tries to encourage citizens in civic engagement. Contact Chlele Gummer 707-292-0535 for further information. 

Veterans Housing Crisis Summit Huge Success  

Approximately 125 people attended the Veterans Housing Crisis Summit held at the Palms Inn where sixty veterans are housed. According to Jack Tibbit’s candidate for Santa Rosa City Council who facilitated a workshop on “Immediate Shelter for the Homeless”. According to Tibbett, “It is important to identify the homeless and recognize there is a need for people to have shelter, particularly a place to house their belongings when during the day.” For Tibbet it is also important to explore the idea of using private and public land to house the homeless.

One of the things I learned is that when Veterans return to their community often times they do not know where to go or what benefits they are entitled to. The organization, Vet Connect, Inc. provides a safe environment for veterans to get the information they need. For more information go to Vet-Connect.org.

Supervisor Shirley Zane spoke and beautifully summarized the event, attributing part of her feelings to her father, United States Marine Aviator Sergeant John Russell Zane: “Our Vets like my father fought for our freedom and they should not have to come home and fight for housing.”

Something to Think About  

“I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.” – Lucille Ball

Elaine B. Holtz is producer/Host of “Women’s Spaces” on KBBF 89.1FM Monday 11-12 noon & 11-12 midnight. Visit her website at: womensspaces.com Become a Fan on Facebook.