This article originally ran Friday, July 20.
The effort to increase Petaluma’s sales tax as a way to generate more revenues for the cash-strapped city died Thursday after council couldn't get enough votes place the item on the November ballot.
Council members Tiffany Renee, Chris Albertson and Mike Healy were in favor of such an initiative--which was estimated to raise up to $5 million a year for vital city services.
But others were opposed, saying that the public support was just not there to justify paying up to $30,000 to place the measure on the ballot.
Councilman Kearney said that while he personally supported a sales tax increase, he said that employee groups and residents opposed the plan.
On Thursday, the Peace Officers’ Association, the powerful police officers’ union, published a letter in the Argus Courier saying that it would not be supporting the measure because it didn’t prioritize on what the funds would be spent.
“These are tough times and we cannot endorse asking the public for additional funding without a cohesive and well established plan,” wrote Paul Gilman, president of the 70-member union.
“We applaud the leadership from some members of the council to conduct research into the desires of the community, but feel the citizens of Petaluma should say where and how their money is spent. If this process is rushed and it passes with no clear guidelines on how and where the money is spent, we have failed.”
What do you think of the decision? Share your thoughts in the comments below.