Measure U campaign picks up steam, support
by Joe Shreve
Oct 03, 2013 | 1508 views | 0 0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With slightly more than a month before the Tuesday, Nov. 5 special election, campaigning has begun in earnest for proponents of Scotts Valley’s Measure U — a proposal for an 8-year, half-cent sales tax increase that is designed to close the city’s budget deficit.

All five members of the city council have taken to the streets, visiting constituents and answering questions about the proposal.

“We started walking last Saturday,” said City Councilman Dene Bustichi on Tuesday, Oct. 1. “We’ll be doing that the next few Saturdays until the election.”

Bustichi said that the council members will reach out to local service organizations as and individuals to gather support for the measure that will help avoid a $1.2 million budget deficit that city staff forecast will begin following the 2014-15 fiscal year.

A steak dinner fundraiser event to support the Measure U campaign is scheduled at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11 at the Scotts Valley Community Center.

Bustichi said that the feedback the city has received has been largely supportive of the measure, and cited the city’s adherence to a promise to allow a similar proposal passed in 2005 — Measure C — to expire after five years as a large factor behind the goodwill.

“They appreciate that we’ve kept our word,” he said. “I think its paying dividends now.”

The measure is likely to receive a bipartisan endorsement from the Republican and Democratic parties of Santa Cruz County — a rarity, Bustichi said.

“I don’t know if (the local GOP has) supported a democratic proposal in decades,” he said. “It speaks volumes as to what we’re trying to do here.”

According to Gene Scothorn, a member of the executive committee of the Republican Central Committee of Santa Cruz County, a resolution to support Measure U will head to a vote at the committee’s Thursday, Oct. 3 meeting.

He said that the vote would likely be a mere formality, as support was nearly unanimous for creating such a resolution at the September meeting.

“I think it’s a foregone conclusion,” Scothorn said. “I don’t anticipate that there will be any difficulty in that passing.”

He said that although “there is some reluctance on our part to see more taxes,” Scotts Valley’s budget crisis was not one of its own making. Rather, he said, the state’s interference in local finances left the city in an untenable position.

“Seeing no other alternative, we are reluctantly supporting it,” Scothorn said. “It’s our party’s policy to avoid taxes, not increase them. But if there is a good reason for a tax measure, we will keep an open mind.”

Representatives of the Santa Cruz County Democratic Party could not be reached by the Press-Banner’s deadline.

Additionally, the Scotts Valley Chamber of Commerce voted to fully endorse the measure and no argument against the tax measure was filed with the county elections office.

 

If you go:

Measure U campaign fundraiser

When: 6 p.m.

Where: Scotts Valley Community Center, 360 Kings Village Road in Scotts Valley

Details: A steak dinner to support campaign efforts of Measure U.

Cost: $30 per plate.

Info: 212-1578 or 438-4187

 

- To comment, email reporter Joe Shreve at joe@pressbanner.com, call 438-2500 or post a comment at www.pressbanner.com.

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