Now is time for change in Grass Valley
As the Nov. 7 voting day approaches, by now you have received your Voter Information Packet and your absentee ballot if so registered. Perhaps you have already voted via absentee ballot and I trust that you voted in favor of Measure T, the City of Grass Valley’s 1/2 cent (0.5 percent) sales tax for Transportation Improvements. This measure requires two-thirds approval by the voters to become effective.
Although Grass Valley voters did receive the impartial analysis of Measure T and the arguments for and against in your Voter Information Pamphlet, the Nevada County Elections Office unfortunately omitted the Sales Tax Expenditure Plan for Measure T from the Packet and mistakenly placed Grass Valley’s Sales Tax Expenditure Plan in Nevada City’s Packet, thus creating much confusion for Nevada City voters and leaving out critical information for Grass Valley voters. The Elections Office stated that this error only affects the Voter Information Pamphlets, not the ballots.
The Expenditure Plan, which is required by State Law, is crucial in considering this Measure. It restricts how these monies will be spent, provides for community involvement on project priorities and requires public hearings, annual reports and mandatory audits with a citizen oversight committee to ensure that the funds are spent pursuant to the adopted expenditure plan. The Expenditure Plan cannot be changed without concurrence by the voters.
Though the City has been assured that the Elections Office will soon mail out Grass Valley’s Expenditure Plan as a Supplemental Voter Information Pamphlet, it is crucial that all voters have the opportunity to review it. Many thanks are extended to The Union for publishing Grass Valley’s Sales Tax Expenditure Plan. Please review this information before casting your ballot so that you can be assured where the monies will be spent.
For those of you who have not yet voted and are undecided or perhaps thinking “no,” let me offer this piece of advise: The transportation and infrastructure issues we are facing today are not going to go away and will come at even greater costs in the future, and you will once again be faced with the need to attend to the these fixes. Again, new development will pay its fair share and legally that’s all that can be required. The new development funds cannot be used on existing infrastructure problems, only new construction, and we all know that the state is not going to kick in any additional funding unless we, as a community, are willing to help fund some of the costs.
The Sales Tax measure is the most benign way to raise the necessary funds as anyone who purchases goods in the cities, pays. I urge everyone to support the Sales Tax Measures whether you are a Nevada City voter casting your ballot for Measure “S” or a Grass Valley voter casting your ballot for Measure “T”. It is crucial that both measures pass to ensure the needed transportation fixes now and for the future. Now is the time! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact any of your elected officials. Thank you.
Gerard Tassone is the mayor of Grass Valley.
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From all the residents of Grass Valley Senior Apartments, thank you to the firefighters, police department air support and everyone who responded to the Bennett Fire. God bless you all. You are all heroes.