Measure G was on the ballot in the June 2006 Primary Election. It deals with the city of Davis' park taxes. The measure passed. A similar measure, Measure O, passed by nearly the exact same percentage in 2000.
From the City of Davis website:
"Shall Ordinance No. 2243, which extends for six years the existing Parks Maintenance Tax of $49 per year on residential units and on non-residential units in amounts specified in the Ordinance, to fund maintenance of parks, street trees, greenbelts, bike paths, medians, public landscaping, urban wildlife and habitat, swimming pools, and recreational facilities be adopted?"
Yes on G
From Stephen Souza:
In many ways, our parks define the best of what makes Davis a special place to live. When we visit Davis parks we see young and old alike enjoying these special treasures. It is no accident that these facilities exist; for years we have invested in our parks. We can sustain this investment by continuing to support the maintenance of our parks.
Since 1998, Mace Ranch, Arroyo and parts of Walnut Community parks and three new neighborhood parks have been added to our community assets. Costs of service have also understandably increased since this tax was initially passed 8 years ago. At the same time, the state has redirected millions of dollars of local revenues to state purposes. Despite these fiscal pressures, the City of Davis has made budget adjustments, including voter approval of a half cent sales tax increase. The City is asking only for a renewal of the same $49 approved 8 years ago.
Property owners pay this tax, not renters. Measure G will not add pressure to rents because it does not increase the tax.
Park maintenance costs increased from $3 million to $4 million since 1998.
Over this same time, the State of California took nearly $19 million in local City of Davis revenues for state purposes - $2.4 million in 2005 alone.
If Measure G fails, services will be cut. Parks, street trees, and greenbelts will suffer, but so will other services, if City dollars are redirected to parks.
Davis is a special place to live. We invest in what we treasure.
See also: http://yesonmeasureg.com - Yes on Measure G
No on Measure G
From Rob Roy
Davis does have a beautiful parks system that should be up kept (within the boundaries of the city's budget).
The problem with this tax is that it is regressive and can be done better. It should not be a flat rate parcel tax but rather a tax levied by square footage.
Do not fool yourself, you pay the tax if you are a renter. Even if the property owner signs the check - the bill trickles very quickly down to you. If the tax was based on square footage and scaled correctly it would have the capability of actually bringing in more revenue for the city.
There is something inherently wrong with levying the same tax rate on someone that lives in a run down studio apartment and someone that lives in a brand new mansion.
The voters should fail Measure G and the council should come up with a better option and put it on the ballot in November.
I think the gist of it is that it extends a city park tax. Interestingly enough, this may serve as an important issue in the upcoming City Council races seeing as it would be extending a service that would cost taxpayers money. Also, I think the Parks and Planning Commission (or whatever they're called, if someone knows feel free to correct), voted to extend this tax, but again I am not one hundred percent sure. It seems like if we cut this tax a lot of the parks and greenness of Davis will suffer, but then again there wasn't a ton of information on the city website about it.
2006-03-22 01:47:51 I love city parks, but the city spends way too much money keeping them looking a certain stereotypical way that people expect city parks to look like instead of something appropriate for the environment. The practical definition of appropriate for the environment is zero maintenance, but the parks now are carefully and expensively cut, watered and fertilized lawns perfect for soccer and other lawn oriented sports. What does soccer leave the city of Davis with? Trash! I know because I picked it up during soccer tournaments. Parks with lawns are a lose-lose and what is really needed are many more native and other drought tolerant plants from similar climates as Davis. There are many alternative sports to soccer that don't require a lawn or other facility, such as walking, hiking, running, biking, and swimming (not in a pool). At the same time as being low-impact, these sports provide an opportunity to learn much more about geography and ecology than do sports like soccer and baseball which only occur in one place at a time and to which people often drive their cars instead of exercising. Good examples of the kind of park I think there needs to be more of are the West Area Pond, parts of Arroyo Park, and Putah Creek Greenbelt, besides elsewhere.—NickSchmalenberger
2006-03-22 12:32:58 The main problem I have with Measure G is its inequality. All residential units are taxed the same way, be it a million dollar home or a studio apartment and whether it has one resident or 20. I don't think I'll be voting for it because it places most of the burden on the backs of the students. —BrentLaabs
2006-03-23 11:08:09 Why can't the City of Davis utilize folks doing community service to do basic maintenance of parks, greenbelts, etc. instead of paying city workers? The other day, I saw and talked to some community service folks wearing bright orange vests cleaning litter in a park off Lake Blvd. Must have been twenty in the crew. Kind of overkill for the few candy wrappers and beer cans littering the small park. The whole concept of "parks" could be re-thought as well...maybe let "open space" like NorthStar just go native. Who needs mowing, fertilizing, leafblowing. Just let the natural area around the pond slowly re-establish itself and see what develops. Maybe more birds for birdwatchers to watch, rabbits to procreate in the tall grass...well, I'm getting carried away. The point is, instead of spending thousands on maintaining a 1950s style lawn scene in our parks, why not encourage, by cutting back on the parks budget, what comes naturally?—WilyFerret
I strongly agree. -NickSchmalenberger
- What you probably observed was a crew from the Yolo County Probation Work Program. The Work Program can be used to help maintain parks, etc. but the City would have to pay the program for the labor anyway. - SharlaDaly
- Yes lets use more forced labor like China and other dictatorships. -JimSchwab
- Here, in America, people on probation are paying back debts to society. They could be picking up litter, like I saw them doing, or planting drought-resistant native grass which wouldn't need mowing. Or pulling weeds instead of spraying herbicide. Am not sure, but I bet their work is compensated at a much lower amount of money than what city workers get paid to "take care" of the parks. Wily Ferret
2006-03-29 19:24:50 I think Nick has a strong idea, why don't we create easily sustainable parks. As Measure G points out, parks devour lots of resources from a city. Why not take advantage of sustainable landscaping and lessen the costs of the parks? I would rather see a more natural looking greenbelt rather than a neatly trimmed, controlled one. —JamesSchwab
Steve Souza asserts, "If Measure G fails, services will be cut. Parks, street trees, and greenbelts will suffer, but so will other services, if City dollars are redirected to parks." I ask him to define how parks, street trees and greenbelts will suffer if Measure G fails. Are these items of a higher priority than police and fire protection? Will money actually be diverted to keep the parks looking as they are if Measure G fails? Are Davis's finances that desperate? But no, Souza also says he and the city government are only asking for a renewal of the 8-year-old $49 tax. Rather than threaten with diverting resources from absolutely necessary city services to maintain acres and acres of bright green, massively irrigated, uncost-effectively fertilized and otherwise pampered lawns, let Mr. Souza and other politicians open a creative dialogue with native plant experts, tree experts, and others more knowledgeable to figure out a less expensive and alternatively attractive way to maintain Davis's parks, greenbelts and trees. Ned Ludd