Saturday, May 30, 2009

‘MINUTES’ for Two Noteworthy 27 May 2007 Special City Council Agenda Items

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

IV. Resolutions
B. Consideration of a Resolution finding a severe fiscal hardship will exist if additional City property taxes are seized and additional unfunded mandates are adopted by the State of California.

An estimated $395,000 based on 8% of city property tax revenues could be “borrowed” by State of California per 2004 law to assist close State's FY 2009/10 deficit.

V. Orders of Council
A. Study session and public hearing to review/adopt Fiscal Years 2009/10 – 2011/12 Triennial Budget.

City Administrator Rich Guillen presented Proposed Revenue Enhancements and Items not included in Fiscal Year 2009/2010 Draft Budget, as follows:

Proposed Revenue Enhancements:
Paid Parking Program
Construction Truck Impact Fee
Property Assessment (Public Safety Services, i.e. Ambulance, Fire, Police)

City Council consensus to further explore all three proposed revenue enhancements. Interestingly, during deliberation about paid parking, the concept from a previous parking study of creating an island of paid parking is a sea of unpaid parking potentially creating an incentive for tourists to venture to shops and restaurants in areas without paid parking, such as the Barnyard, Crossroads and other locations throughout the Monterey Peninsula, was not addressed by City Council Members or the City Administrator.

Items not included in Fiscal Year 2009/2010 Draft Budget:
Trolley Service: $54,000
Chamber of Commerce (Guide to Carmel): $7,000
Library Services Funding (1/3 of 80,000; 1/3 from Library Foundation & 1/3 from Board of Trustees): $26,700
SCC (10% reduction of FY 2008/09 City subsidy): $71,300
MCCVB: $18,280

City Council consensus to add $26,700 for Library Services Funding and $38,300 for SCC per original Three-Year Contract of a FY City subsidy of $680,000.

At the Budget Meeting, City Administrator Rich Guillen stated that the revenue enhancements were the “cost of doing business.” This “cost of doing business” mentality is imitative and reveals an indifference to the qualities which make Carmel-by-the-Sea a unique and desirable destination for visitors and place to live for residents. Moreover, the adoption of “cost of doing business” policies could adversely impact Carmel-by-the-Sea’s community character; a community character which distinguishes Carmel-by-the-Sea from other destination cities.

City Administrator Rich Guillen’s advocacy of imposing additional fees and taxes on tourists and residents is unwise and imprudent during an economic downturn. To wit, a better budget policy would be to scrutinize the allocation of limited taxpayer dollars in a city with one the highest per capita expenditure levels of any California city.

NOTE: The City Council will next consider the 2009/2010 budget at a Special Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, June 9, at 4:30 P.M.

Archived Videos
Special City Council Meeting, May 27, 2007 @ 5:30 P.M.


Anonymous said...

The city likes to scream when the state proposes taking away $400,000 in tax revenue, but that amount is less than the city has spent to so far unsuccessfully to sell Flanders and no one from the city has said they regret spending the money on selling Flanders when that amount of money could have been better used for public safety, our fire department in particular.

Anonymous said...

The notion that paid parking is somehow detrimental to the supposedly unique experience of living in Carmel is absurd. Numerous cities charge for parking in their core business area, including Monterey. It does not cause business to suffer. A tourist going to Ocean Avenue is not going to suddenly decide to go to the Barnyard or the Crossroads because of paid parking. That ignores the fundamentally different natures of the businesses at both locations and shopper behavior (the primary motivation of the shopper is not whether parking is free).

One might argue that having city services that work properly and efficiently would also be part of Carmel's charm and community character. But then it's whatever one defines it to be, I suppose.

VillageinForest said...

With regard to paid parking, Carmel-by-the-Sea has traditionally been an area of No Paid Parking; therefore, residents at the very least desire to have a comprehension discussion of the pros and cons from residents and business owners before a City Council vote to change the status quo. Also, because Mary Ann Carrigg, Carrigg’s of Carmel, Ocean Av., was largely responsible for defeating the concept of paid parking last time, it would behoove you to talk with her about paid parking in Carmel-by-the-Sea.

VillageinForest said...

An interesting read is the following from the CRA Newsletter, November 2002.

Paid Parking under Attack
So far, the proposal to put 135 parking kiosks in downtown Carmel has not fared well. At a special Oct. 10 City Council meeting, comment was decidedly negative. Two council members and 17 citizens said they did not think this was a good plan for Carmel. No one spoke in favor of it. Issues on peoples' minds were harm to community character and to business district vitality as well as concern about whether the added revenue, if spent unwisely, could hurt rather than help the city.

There was universal agreement, however, that the city staff member, Greg D'Ambrosio, assigned the development of this plan, had done a thorough and professional job in preparing the material and presenting it to the community.

Mary Ann Carrigg, who owns three stores and two residences in Carmel said this: "Many customers said they won't come back if we have paid parking. I am extremely concerned and never would have opened my stores had I known. It will kill us." Window-washing service owner Greg Cole told the council that it would cost him an additional $200 to $300 per month for employee parking and "that, on top of a 100% increase in workers' comp, is asking a lot." Business owner Don Wiese felt that "The parking shortage is overblown. This isn't San Francisco or New York. You can always find a place." Jim Genone was concerned about the walking traffic being disrupted by the pay station in front of his business during the parking demonstration and afraid the stations would adversely impact people coming into stores and buying.

Resident Carla Ramsey stated that having employee-only parking in front of her house would lower her property value. Although employees already park on the streets which would be marked "employee only," the new plan would prevent residents from parking in front of their own homes until after 6 p.m. Allan Paterson pointed out that Carmel "would be an island of paid parking in a sea of free parking at Carmel Rancho, the Barnyard and the Del Monte Shopping Center." Peggy Purchase stated, "Although I am familiar with this type of parking in European cities, I do not see it in a village like Carmel."

A visitor to Carmel approached the mike saying, "Carmel is unique in the entire world and its uniqueness comes from a lack of electronics. I was impressed with the presentation but it makes me want to cry. I can always find a parking place. If I lose the feeling I have when I come here, I'm not going to come back."

When it came time for the council to weigh in, Dick Ely said, "We have to be able to sell this to residents of Carmel. They have to be convinced there are no better alternatives." Paula Hazdovac scolded the audience for not "coming up with solutions," and was unhappy about the negative comments. She sees this as "not about a revenue source," but rather a method to keep employee cars off the streets. "Most business owners are rather selfish. They want to park where they want." Gerard Rose said, "The people I talk to are universally negative. Forcing people to pay for parking will hurt business." Saying he favors a parking garage, Rose also questioned how Carmel's elderly who have trouble with credit cards at the Shell station pumps would fare with the parking pay stations. Barbara Livingston was concerned that "we are giving the public the impression that there are no other means of raising revenue" (i.e. raising the Transient Occupancy Tax). She pointed out that "No marketing money can bring back lost ambiance. It's what Carmel doesn't have that sets us apart. We shouldn't ruin Carmel by cluttering the streets." Finally, Mayor Sue McCloud said that with the amount of time spent on this project it is only fair to give it a complete airing.

(Source: CRA News November 2002