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Revenues Not Cuts

The City of Ventura has recently had a significant amount of turn over in some key positions, including but not limited to, the City Manager and the Finance and Technology Director. 
It would be prudent to hire a full time Finance and Technology Director and increase treasury staff in order to complete monthly reconciliations in a timely fashion so projections can be more accurate and so we can better plan for Ventura’s future. This is important, so that there can be a clear picture of city finances from an accurate perspective.

I would make it a priority to get reports from Jeffrey Lambert, Community Development Director in order to get a comprehensive understanding from his point of view, of the financial sustainability of our current budget from an economic development standpoint. I would then ask them what their ideas have been to increase revenues. There will definitely be some hard choices to make.

The cities focus should be on increasing revenues in order to continue balancing the budget because I do not believe that another sales tax increase would be favorable at this time. We have cut severely and to cut anymore may damage our ability to provide basic city services and reverse years of work to bring economic vitality to the city. We have made incremental steps to avoid this by getting the ballot approved Measure O in 2016, but more needs to be done

I believe that if we as a city had to choose between layoffs and furloughs – I would choose furloughs. I we had to choose between less services and no services, I would choose less. And if I had to choose between eliminating positions and temporary freezes, I would choose the freezes. I want working families to remain employed and I want the city to continue to balance their budget because a budget in the red is not able to sustain anyone.

As a former project management lead I have always believed in the economic engine of small business and Net-zero retail development. These are proven methods to revitalize a city. With business, new jobs, special districts, and the right development fit come revenues, sales taxes and increased spending. Then this is coupled with wages that allow for affordable housing for working families.

Lastly, I must add that, although I have no strong preference either for or against dispensaries in general however I believe that medical dispensaries should be permissible and it is worth it for the City of Ventura to take a second look. The truth of the matter is that Cannibis is legal and although the City of Ventura does not allow the sale of this product in Ventura, many residents purchase it else where. I believe that the City of Ventura may be missing an opportunity to create policy that allows the City to Collect taxes to fund city services This product is lucrative and would not only produce jobs but significantly increase sales tax revenues. This would in turn allow for more police officers to be hired and more city services to be funded. I understand, there is a study that expresses that there is a cause and effect between dispensaries and crime however we have the ability to define the perimeters of this business venture, thus guiding the growth. We have the ability to determine where dispensaries can exist, which areas of the city would be zoned for it, how many can be allowed per district, the hours of service, the list of Cannabis products allowed – and the list goes on. Under the close supervision of an oversight committee that consists of members of the businesses community, members of the medical community and members of the recreational community as well as members of the police department – this could prove to fund the city well.

Committee to Elect Lorrie Brown
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