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FROM: INTERIM CITY MANAGER
DATE: FEBRUARY 20, 2007
SUBJECT: STORM DRAIN USER FEE BALLOT ALTERNATIVES
Place on a future Council agenda a discussion of possible storm drain user fee alternatives.
At their September 5, 2006 meeting, the City Council received and filed the City Clerk’s Certification that the Petition to Repeal the Storm Drain User Fee had qualified for the ballot for the City’s next regular municipal election, which will be held on November 6, 2007.
Also at the September 5, 2006 Council meeting, Councilman Gardiner suggested that he would be interested in bringing back a proposal for an alternative to the existing storm drain user fee.
At the September 19, 2006 meeting, Mayor Long indicated that he and Councilman Gardiner had discussed the idea of exploring alternatives to the current storm drain user fee and were interested in working together to develop a proposal for consideration by the City Council.
On October 6, 2006, the City Council authorized the City Attorney to research legal issues related to election law and the legality of fees and parcel taxes in response to questions from the Mayor and Councilman Gardiner. The City Attorney’s Office provided a confidential memorandum to the Subcommittee in response to their questions.
The deadline for submitting a measure to be placed on the November ballot to the County is July 17th. While some time is available to the Council to consider this issue, the deadline will be here before we know it , so the Council should move ahead soon to make some decisions about whether to place another measure on the November ballot or whether to propose a measure that would be considered at a mail ballot election or special election that would be held before November 6th.
While not intending to limit the discussion of options that the Council could consider, below are several options that the have been raised previously:
1. Place a measure on the November 6th ballot that would shorten the sunset of the existing storm drain fee and create an oversight committee. (The Council already directed that an oversight committee should be formed, and Staff has initiated a recruitment for membership on that committee.)
2. Place another competing storm drain fee on the ballot for the November 6th election.
3. Call a special election to propose a different storm drain fee, which could be held by mail ballot prior to the November 6th election.
4. Do not propose either an amendment to the existing storm drain fee or the adoption of a new storm drain user fee.
Staff is seeking direction from the City Council regarding whether the Council would like to place this issue on a future agenda for further discussion.