Read summary reflections below.
Watch the Zoom recording here. >Passcode: ^9#YCAHJ
Local Ballot Measure K
After inhouse business and announcements, our meeting focused once again on the upcoming fall election. We heard first about Benicia ballot measure K.
A yes vote on the ballot measure will extend the duration of our Urban Growth Boundary Measure:
- Continues existing protection – preventing urban sprawl
- Preserving agricultural land and open space
- Extension until December 31, 2043
“The language of the renewal measure is exactly the same as the current measure except for the expiration date. But remember: two previous City Councils have determined that specific renewable energy projects not requiring public services (one a wind turbine project and one a solar project) were consistent with the language of Measure K.”
Check out Bob’s introduction, comments and our conversation with him on the meeting recording. You can fast forward to 00:17:19.
For further study: Ballot Measure K, an Impartial Analysis, and the argument in favor can be found on the Solano County Registrar of Voters website.
Local Ballot Measure R
Erik Upson, our Benicia City Manager, gave us some insight into the Benicia budget and why Measure R was put on the ballot.
Check out Erik’s introduction, comments and our conversation with him on the meeting recording – you can fast forward to 00:37:05.
Erik clarified first that his position is such that he is not speaking to advocate for or against the measure, but only to provide information, understanding and context.
He explained that our small city is a “full service” city – we have our own police, fire, water and wastewater services, library, parks and recreation department, a marina and a federally recognized dam and reservoir, a refinery, a deep water port, two State parks, a historic district, etc. “It’s monumentally challenging for a city our size with 211 employees.”
Our greatest challenges include retaining and attracting staff, and the issue of deferred maintenance. Measure R is directed at resources that will assist in both. Once we have spent money to improve the roads it will be cheaper in the future to maintain them. More money spent now on improvements means less money spent in the future.
Measure R would adopt a transaction & use tax:
- Adding 0.75% tax on retail sales price
- Increases retail sales tax to 9.125%
- Current retail sales tax is 8.375%
- 7.25% – State
- 0.125% – Solano County
- 1% City of Benicia
For further study: The official Ballot Measure R, an Impartial Analysis, and arguments for and against can be found on the Solano County Registrar of Voters website.
Voting whether to endorse Measure K and Measure R – YES ON BOTH!
Following the presentations, members in good standing voted to endorse Measure K and Measure R.
Tonight’s Action Items
Kathy Kerridge highlighted tonight’s action items. All are encouraged to make a quick phone call to our legislators about “Joe Manchin’s dirty side deal.” For links, phone numbers and a script, scroll down to page 4, September action at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1HQ2_r5aOZ255jl277ODmcr1vfZ2GPwoU/edit . https://docs.google.com/document/d/1HQ2_r5aOZ255jl277ODmcr1vfZ2GPwoU/edit
- Benicia Mayor Steve Young – At Council on September 20, we will hear a report on citizens’ water conservation. We were asked to conserve 20% a couple months ago. We will also hear from Equity and Diversity Manager Dr. Maliika Chambers, to update us on her work and the work that the Committee United for Racial Equity (CURE) has been doing. We will also consider three requests: one from Councilmember Strawbridge on soccer fields, another from Vice Mayor Campbell on a pride sidewalk, and another from Councilmember Largaespada on vacant First Street properties.
- Maggie Kolk (for Bart Sullivan, not present) –
- Candidate forum, Wednesday, September 14, 7-8PM, Rancho Benicia (for Rancho Benicia residents & guests only).
- Candidate forum, Wednesday, October 12, 7-9PM, Benicia Senior Center, (open to the public), sponsored by the League of Women Voters, AAUW, and Benicia Voice Podcast.
- Benicia Voice Podcast is now live, with podcasts available on Spotify and Apple Podcast. So far, episodes include Clean and Fair Elections in Benicia and An Interview with Terry Scott, Candidate for Benicia City Council.
- Lisa Reinertson – Kari Birdseye & Terry Scott Artist Sign Auction. Many artists from the Benicia community have painted campaign signs for our candidates Kari Birdseye and Terry Scott. Deadline for bids is tomorrow night, 8PM sharp, August 14th. (NOTICE: AUCTION EXTENDED TO 8PM ON THURS. AUG 15.) All proceeds go to the campaigns. https://www.runmyauction.com/kariterry.php
- Maggie Kolk – Solano Pride Fundraiser, Saturday Oct 1, 6-10PM, at the Dan Foley Cultural Center, 1499 North Camino Alto, Vallejo. eventbrite.com/e/roaring-20s-casino-night-tickets-405424785447 or facebook.com/events/455389029827571/
- Terry Scott– Election day is only 56 days away! My campaign for City Council is looking for volunteers. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the website https://www.terryscottforbenicia2022.org/.
- Terry Mollica (for Kari Birdseye) – Ballots will go out in the mail on October 10, so we have less than a month before voting will start! It’s crunch time now, lots of ways to contribute as volunteers for Kari in big ways and little ways. Kari’s website is https://karibirdseyeforbenicia.com/ Go to the How Can I Help page.
- Kathy Kerridge – Please consider becoming a member of our Steering Committee. We will be losing Maggie, our secretary at year’s end, and it would be great to have a few more people to participate. If interested, and for any questions, email me email@example.com.