Council approves guidelines for Measure T sales tax oversight committee

November 30, 2016
Santa Paula News

By Peggy Kelly

Santa Paula Times 

The City Council voted 5-0 to approve guidelines for the creation of a citizens’ oversight committee charged with making recommendations and monitoring expenditures of the money generated by Measure T, a one-cent sales tax.

The measure to benefit police, fire, youth and roads, was approved by voters on November 8 with a solid majority. 

Critics of Measure T had argued that as a general tax funds generated would be at the mercy of council priorities and could be directed away from stated needs.

In response, a citizens’ committee will be formed consisting of five members to represent the whole community. The committee will include one member of a business organization, one senior, one member of a civic organization, a youth organization member and a citizen-at-large. 

Several members of the City Council questioned the committee guidelines at the November 21 meeting.

Vice Mayor Jenny Crosswhite wanted to clarify that seniors appointed to the committee did not have to belong to a senior organization while Councilman John Procter questioned if all public employees were banned from serving or just if they worked for the City of Santa Paula.

“All public employees” no matter where they are employed will not be allowed to serve said City Attorney John Cotti.

Terms of committee members will be two-years and Crosswhite asked for clarification that they can reapply when their term is expired.

According to the resolution: “The Measure T Oversight Committee will convene at least twice annually to review and report to the public and the City Council on the revenue and expenditures generated by Measure T. The Committee shall confine itself specifically to its obligations under Measure T. All monies from other sources shall fall outside the scope of the Committee’s review.”

To be a committee member applicant must be a U.S. Citizen, ?18 years of age, city resident and not a public employee. In addition, committee members must submit an annual statement of financial disclosure in ?compliance with the Political Reform Act.

Committee members will be recruited through an application and interview process.

Councilwoman Ginger Gherardi asked that the process of selection be clarified in the final document. 

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