The Wallace File
City Sales Tax for Road Repair
The South Tahoe Chamber of Commerce has some decisions to make. Our roads are in a mess and many of us have had the front end of our cars broken due to deep pot holes all over our community. For the last twenty years the need has been brought up especially at election time. My friend Councilman Tom Davis has campaigned for years for snow plowing, pot hole repairs and for economic development. Yet from its inception our Council has for the last forty-five years only spent a total of nine million dollars on our one hundred –thirty miles of asphalt.
Other things have come up. The constituents have asked for other things. The employees have wanted raises. In addition in the mid-1980s the Council gave the negotiation point of life time medical insurance upon retirement for their employees and their spouses. Many other cities counties and governmental agencies did the same as that became a part of what the organizations used to compare when their employee groups negotiated. I believe that our City has six groups that they bargain with. PERS the Public Employees Retirement System believed the economy was going to do well for a long time although California has always had large up and down swings since it is mainly based upon taxing the wealthy. There was a period where PERS told cities and counties that all was well and in some instances gave refunds. Now the PERS system is saying the opposite. Those organizations that didn’t set aside funds or gave away things in bargaining will be hit with heavy amounts as the state fund uses our money to save their bureaucracy. So in order to protect the funds the City now intends to actually set the money aside for repair. It needs to be an act of the voters. That is why the sales tax will be on the next ballot. Should the Chamber be for it since it is the result of a long list of councils that have not seen fit to budget properly? That is the decision we need to make. There is enough time as the election is Tuesday November 7th. We have encountered many opinions and have felt the pressure to make a decision. We are going to have a forum for our members to give us their opinions in early September. Many of our members still have Measure T on their minds and need ignoring that initiative by the City Council to have a resolution. Though the two ballot measures are not related to each other we are hearing it an way . So in early September we will be asking you our members to come give us your thoughts on whether the Chamber should endorse the ½ cent sales tax that will be dedicated for road repair. There are many other thoughts to be brought up. The City can’t campaign for a ballot measure like this. They can only give facts so they do have to be careful. That is why having endorsements helps. See you in early September.
As I begin to turn the reins over to Dir. David Borges D.C.M. and our other terrific Board members, I’d like to thank you for supporting this Chamber. We have such a dedicated group of Board members and members. I feel lucky to have been involved and look forward to filling the next need.
Duane Wallace, President
The Loop Road initiative
The Loop Road initiative was presented to City Council members last week. The measure cowrote by proponents of “Let Tahoe Decide” received well over the amount of signatures needed. The City Council voted 5 to 0 to put the measure on the ballot.
The Measure will be designated as Measure T. A lawsuit was filed by an employee of Barton Hospital to challenge and stop the initiative. The Council decided to basically become observers and not to defend the measure.
The trial is set for August 5th. The public may go to observe the trial. The time and location of the trial will be sent out once we know the details.