Santa Paula: Measure T Oversight Committee Approved

By Sheryl Hamlin

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Official Measure T Logo

 

With the anticipated, successful passage of Measure T, a 1% Sales Tax Increase, in November 2016, the city council of Santa Paula has been crafting an Oversight Committee for these monies. Previous reporting can be read here.

The ordinance was approved with a slight modification and is reproduced at the end of this article.

The success of this committee is in the hands of the city staff. Note Section 7 of the ordinance:

The City Manager’s Office and members of the Finance Department will provide technical and administrative assistance to the Committee.

As Council Member Gherardi said in the 2016 Candidate Forum, the Measure T monies must be segregated in the budget, so that those wishing to avail themselves of these funds will understand what is available.

This should be a simple matter of adding another line to the Budget under Sales Tax Revenue.

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The budget and the G/L must be expanded to include another line to the above showing Measure T revenue. The council and the Oversight Committee should be given a quarterly update of the sales tax revenue, which is not currently done, although Council Gherardi had recommended it, but the Finance Department said it was too time consuming. See report on this meeting. There has been no attempt since this 2015 meeting to provide council with quarterly updates, so they are essentially running blind at the dais.

Furthemore, there may be requests which occur mid-year that could be address with the Measure T funding, which both the council and the Oversight Committee should consider. It was clear during the discussions of this committee that the Mayor favors less involvement of the Oversight Committee in the budget, but the language in section 5.1 allows for the committee to set its own schedule of meetings, which should be quarterly at a minimum after the sales tax numbers for the quarter are sent to the city and posted.

Santa Paula should see its first revenues by April 2017, so there is time to prepare the financial reporting.

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From: SP POA Facebook Page

Santa Paula Oversight Committee Ordinance

CITY OF SANTA PAULA

MEASURE T OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE GUIDELINES

Section 1. Committee Purpose

On November 8, 2016, Santa Paula voters enacted the Santa Paula Local One-Cent Sales Tax (“Measure T”). Measure T required the City to establish an oversight committee to make recommendations to the City Council on the expenditures of revenues generated by the sales tax measure and inform the public and the City Council to ensure that such revenue is expended in accordance with the intention of the voters and State law. These Guidelines are intended to implement the oversight provisions of Measure T.

The Measure T Oversight Committee will convene at least twice annually to review and report to the public and the City Council on the revenue and expenditures generated by Measure T. The Committee shall confine itself specifically to its obligations under Measure T. All monies from other sources shall fall outside the scope of the Committee’s review.

Section 2. Composition and Qualifications.

A. The Committee shall consist of five (5) members appointed by the Council.

B. To be eligible to serve on the Committee, members must be:

  • A U.S. Citizen
  • 18 years of age
  • A resident of the City
  • Not a public employee
  • Must submit an annual statement of financial disclosure in compliance with the Political Reform Act, Government Code §§81000 et seq.

C. The Committee shall be composed of members from the following organizations:

  • One member active in a business organization representing the business community located in the City of Santa Paula.
  • One member active in a senior citizen organization located in the City of Santa Paula.
  • One member active in a civic organization located in the City of Santa Paula.
  • One member active in a youth organization located in the City of Santa Paula.
  • One resident at-large.

Section 3. Appointment Process.

The City Council will appoint members based on an application and interview process.

Section 4. Term of Membership.

Terms of the members will be staggered so that the terms of the three members end in even-numbered years while the terms of the other two members end in oddnumbered years. Each member will serve a term of two (2) years. Members will not be compensated for service on the Committee.

Section 5. Committee Procedures.

1. The Committee shall select a Chairperson and a Vice-Chairperson from among its members and establish the frequency of their meetings;

2. A simple majority of the Committee shall constitute a quorum;

3. The Committee shall meet at such times as the Chairperson of the Committee deems appropriate in order to fulfill the duties of the Committee;

4. By majority vote, the Committee may remove members who are not in attendance for two (2) consecutive meetings or are not present at 50% of the Committee meetings over a 12-month period;

5. All Committee meetings will be held in compliance with the Ralph M. Brown Act, Government Code §§54950 et seq.

Section 6. Duties of the Committee.

The Committee shall act in an oversight capacity to review revenues and expenditures generated by the Santa Paula Local One-Cent Sales Tax in order to ensure conformance with the budget allocation approved by the City Council. The Committee’s specific duties are as follows:

  • Report annually by May1 on the recommended expenditure of the Santa Paula Local One-Cent Sales Tax revenue;
  • Annually review revenue receipts and expenditures of the Santa Paula Local One-Cent Sales Tax;
  • Annually review the status and performance of programs and services funded wholly or in part with proceeds from the Santa Paula Local One-Cent Sales Tax;
  • Annually prepare an independent report to the City Council regarding the revenue and expenditures of the Santa Paula Local One-Cent Sales Tax.

Section 7. Staff Assistance.

The City Manager’s Office and members of the Finance Department will provide technical and administrative assistance to the Committee.

Notes: italicized words in Section 2.C. were deleted

For more information about the author, visit sheryhamlin.com


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