The council members consist of Mayor Adam Sanchez, Mayor Pro Tem Russell Beets and council members, Joe McKee, Jan Rye, and Scott Mats. Eric Johnson s a consultant with Revenue Cost Specialist; he discusses his company and matches costs with revenue. Within twenty-five years he’s worked in over two hundred agencies and five different states. It started with two city managers after the passage of proposition 4 and 13, in which they saw the need for cities to be able to match up the cost with their revenues.
Proposition 13 limits what can be done with taxes, compared to Proposition 4, which allows fees. “You are not going to stay in business very long if you don’t know what revenues you are bringing in verses what cost you are bringing’ said Johnson ruing his brief presentation. In his introduction, Eric mentioned questions such as ‘What services are being provided to the public? ” Who’s providing those services? ” and “What does that cost? ” With that being said he went through and made adjustments to public fees and some have gone up as well as down.
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Although, I am not too aware of what exactly was being discussed, these questions definitely made me think about how money is being spent. I may not be familiar with certain topics, however I do pay taxes and I should make it a priority to be involved and know exactly where my money is being invested. It’s up to the city council to decide how fees are paid, but it is our tax money that is being used so it is important to be aware of these decisions. Another topic that was brought up was the mural; the public does not agree that it takes eight hours to approve a mural.
The city manager Martin States the benefits, salaries, and overhead cost are included, then a staff report along with an agenda that is published by the adman assistant is sent to the commission. The city council claims it is the true cost for the current staffing that they have to process one application to go to the commission. Larry Ken has complained several times about the meeting taking to long to process a mural, as he is talking he is cut off and does not appreciate that he is being rushed as he states his concerns.
The council uses the “save a pet mural” to demonstrate the steps that take place, for example sometimes a meeting with the chair is necessary and furthermore the artist themselves to discuss numbers etc. Another topic that was brought up was the cost of business license, so many people work out of their homes and many are complaining that they are not being paid due to high prices. Currently, if you do not have a business location in the city and your business is in Palm Springs and your doing landscaping in Desert Hot Springs it is double the business license fee.
A city council member is concerned to whether this is reasonable and how it is being monitored. Some cities do not even require a business license, however DISH has a business license tax per ordinance. In closing, it was brought up amongst the council that city matters are better off handling administratively to avoid public hearings. As council members or mayors they eve a tendency to get over involved in city business instead of referring to staff, which would make it much easier to conduct city business.
Council member McKee feels it is necessary to be friendly to the people that live there as well as the businesses. There are several things that need to be reduced such as the event fee, mural fees, and possibly get rid of the garage sales fee. However it is argued that if the garage sales fee is removed perhaps residents will try to make it and everyday event, then again it should not be a fee everyone has to pay. Business licenses need to be simplified and made a lot heaper so it will encourage people actually to get them rather than avoid them.
As a city council, a policy should be made every three years compared to seven years, this is for good management and to be aware Of where money is being spent due to current budget issues. I’m glad we had this assignment it gave me a different perspective to how important I am as a resident. I pay taxes yet I am not even aware fatwa they are being used for, that alone is a main concern of mine. I’ve become more interested in what goes on in my own city, and plan to go to the next council meeting that is held.
Some of the arguments that were brought up were reasonable but some also did not have enough evidence to back up their statement. It is important to do research before you speak because council members are not afraid to cut you off based on how much information that must be covered in such a short period of time. It is not in a sense to be rude, however with so much to discuss it is important to Stay on track and take more time on the bigger issues going on. As a city we should all be more involved and voice our opinions that is one of the reasons why these meetings are held to begin with.