The streets in Williams are terrible and the City has no plans to fix them.   Similarly, the City has no plan for the proposed sales tax Measure B. 

On the November election ballot is the City of Williams’ proposed sales tax Measure B.  The City has placed this on the ballot ostensibly “to help maintain City services and make improvements to City infrastructure”.

This is the same measure the City tried to get on the ballot last March by claiming a financial emergency.  

At that time the City had over $10 million in the bank, generated over a million dollars a year profit, and its fiscal health was rated in the top 45% of cities by the California Department of Finance (auditor.ca.gov).  Williams sales tax revenues are over a million dollars more per year than they were eight years ago.  

There was no financial emergency then and there is no financial emergency now.  The tax Measure did not make the March primary ballot.   

But here it is on the November ballot - why? Now the City is saying it’s because of the coronavirus. 

Consider the City’s handling of its major issues the past few years. 

Four years ago the City raised the sewer rates 13 percent.  When this raise came to Council for approval a council member requested a spending plan and questioned this raise.  The response was there is no plan and “because we need the money”.  

This past summer the City gave away for thirty cents on the dollar nearly half a million dollars of road construction credits to another city. Why?  Because there are no plans to repair E Street.  

And now, there is no plan for this proposed Measure B sales tax.

The City estimates that Measure B will generate about $600,000 a year and that it will pay for streets, police, fire, and recreation.  Given that other programs like police and fire get their share, that leaves about $400,000 a year for streets.  

This is tossing pennies at a problem that requires millions.  The streets in Williams need tens of millions of dollars of repair.    The City knows this and knows that this tax increase will not address the streets problem.  Yet they want us to vote for this tax.  This is the City again saying “because”.  

There was no plan for the sewer rate increase.  There  was no plan for the street construction credits give-away.  There is no plan for repairing E Street, and there is no plan for this Measure B tax. 

This Measure will only make goods and services more expensive to our residents and will give the City more money to stash.     Why?……...... “because”. 

The streets in Williams are terrible.  Williams has no plan for its streets and has no plan for this tax measure. “Because” is not the mark of responsible government.   

Vote No on B.  

 

Sincerely, 

 

Chuck Bergson

Eighth Street, 

City of Williams

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