October 8, 2018 - When it comes down to the passage of the TOT, for me it’s about 2 things: safety and trust.
We have had 2 devastating wildfires: Detwiler that came extremely close to town and the Ferguson that threaten Yosemite. Both were emotional and frightening for our residents: the actuality of losing your home and animals is very distressing. No one wants to go through this again. We need to know that our community and our homes are safe. The funds from this tax can go a long way toward both prevention and protection.
The other question revolves around trust. Do we trust our elected officials to be true to the guiding principles of Measure M? I say: yes. Have you ever gone to a budget hearing and experienced how the Department Heads have balanced their internal budgets, allowing for needed programs and ways to trim expenditures? We all have the opportunity to present our thoughts at those meetings. The fact the Board of Supervisors have promised to track the TOT dollars for the public to see, makes these funds clear and obvious. And they know we will be watching and participating.
The County is limited in its ability to increase funds. A sales tax increase does not add significant revenue. Property tax is governed by the State. The State took away the DMV fees from the County. An increase in fees hurts those who want to make improvements. This TOT is one of the only ways to effectively help pay for safety measures and road maintenance.
Yes, tourism is the elephant in the middle of the room. I support business diversity and adding more needed visitor accommodations. There is no reason why we can’t work on all of these opportunities by focusing on economic prospects.
I believe in the three main tenants of fire protection, road improvements and community safety. These along with our rural hospital and our solid school district make for a place I am so glad to call home. Please join me and vote Yes on Measure M.