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City Council Comments - Agenda Item #11 Supplemental Sales Tax Oversight Committee Formation

City Council Comments - Agenda Item #11 Supplemental Sales Tax Oversight Committee Formation

RE: Agenda Item #11 – Supplemental Sales Tax Oversight Committee Formation Honorable Councilmembers:

The Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce would like to thank you for following up to ensure this item is included on your February 2, 2021 regular meeting agenda. The passage of Measure J-20 was an important decision by the voters/residents of Paso Robles and delivering on one of the provisions of Measure J-20 is important to retain the support, interest, and trust of the community.

While disappointed with the decision to combine the previous Measure N-12 oversight body with a new Measure J-20 committee, we understand the City’s desire to be efficient and effective with the community’s time and interest in serving on an advisory body.

As you consider the proposed action for Agenda Item #11, we would like to extend the following recommendations/observations for your consideration to integrate into your action:

  1. Exhibit A Article I - Section 3.c. – Grandfathered Membership: consider defining what “good standing” means that allows those members of the Measure N-12 committee to apply for re-appointment to the new Supplemental Sales Tax Oversight Committee.

  2. Exhibit A Article I - Section 5 – Termination of Membership: consider adding an option for termination that applies to attendance at oversight committee regular meetings. It has been previously reported by City staff that the current Measure N-12 committee had trouble reaching a quorum for meetings and therefore regular meetings weren’t held. An attendance requirement may address this issue.

  3. Exhibit A Article III – Section 1 – Regular Meetings: consider changing the months of the proposed regular meetings to align with the City’s budget planning process. For instance, it would have been helpful to have had the new oversight committee meet in January/February of this year as the City was preparing reports/projections for the coming fiscal year budget and to actively engage with and provide insight for the City’s goal/priority setting sessions. It would also be important for the new committee to provide more regular updates to the City Council and the community in order to maintain a record of accountability.
  4. ​Draft Expanded Ethics Code: the proposed expanded ethics code covers several important topics that deserve review and insight by all of the City’s commissions and advisory bodies. We recommend using the current code of ethics for the initial appointments to the new Supplemental Sales Tax Oversight Committee and then consider the expanded ethics code at a separate time with input and feedback from all of the existing advisory/oversight bodies. This would provide a holistic approach to this important topic and ensure that all bodies are informed and aware of the expanded code.

The most important item related to the proposed Supplemental Sales Tax Oversight Committee is to operate with transparency to the community and define accountability of the City Council on matters and/or projects or expenditures related to both Measure N-12 and Measure J-20 funds. Both of these measures were investment decisions by the voters of Paso Robles and as such the community has an expectation of clear oversight and reporting. The Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce believes the proposed structure of the new oversight committee with some slight adjustments will meet the community’s expectations.

Thank you for ensuring an oversight committee is formalized and seated. We look forward to the opportunity to participate in the work of the committee.

Respectfully submitted:

Gina Fitzpatrick
Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce

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