Nevada City Manager David Brennan and City Council Member Robert Bergman came over to our house yesterday afternoon to discuss Measure L with myself and some of our neighbors who had expressed concerns about it.
Robert and I set up the meeting. Since there has been no meaningful public debate on the issue — at least in my view — I was glad to help create one over coffee and Calistoga water.
Neighbors who were Democrats, Republicans and “decline to states” were all at the table for this nonpartisan discussion.
There was a good “give and take” dialogue for about 1 1/2 hours about transparency at City Hall, customer service, accountability, more direct collaboration with community members and a “right sized” City Hall for a town as small as Nevada City.
We also discussed whether the tax was more of a “band-aid” approach than a long-term solution — and even whether the City could stand on its own as being incorporated.
It was good to hear everyone’s views, as well as a commitment for City Hall to be responsive to citizens with constructive concerns.
If Measure L passes, I am hopeful for a Citizen’s Oversight Committee to help pinpoint where the money will be spent in a more democratic fashion. It will be important for the City to choose a diverse group.
Nobody at the table was opposed to the taxes per se, they just were more supportive of a “special” tax that would specifically identify the needs. They key words were trust and transparency.
Thanks to all who participated!
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