Town Finances

Almost five years ago, when I first became a town council member the Town’s finances were very shaky. We were in a deficit situation and barely able to pay our bills. We had laid off a number of employees and through attrition had shrunk the size of our staff considerably. Paradise has a unique tax structure that makes providing services with a balanced budget very challenging. Most of our income comes from Property taxes that don't grow and we have very little in the way of sales tax. Police and fire services are 78% of the budget.

Today, we have a balanced budget and an 11% (a little over $1 million) reserve. We have right sized our staff, so that we are lean, but able to provide the services our citizens need. The Town is a 24/7 emergency provider and public safety is our highest priority. The passage of Measure C (our local 1/2 cent sales tax) has enabled us to provide the equipment and tools that our police and firefighters need. We’ve been able to adequately staff our police department and fund our contract with Cal-fire. We’ve been able to match significant grant funds to improve our streets and we’ve been able to staff and improve our animal control services. I’m very proud of the disciplined work that our Town Council has done to get our Town to this position.

Measure V

Measure C will expire in 2021 and although our financial health is much better than it was 5 years ago we are not yet able to afford our police, fire, roads and animal control services without the help of this local sales tax. Measure V would extend the Measure C 1/2 cent sales tax for 10 years, until 2031. At that time we will pay off our PERS Obligation bond and we will be able to continue our critical public safety services without this extra revenue. All Measure C and Measure V money stays local!  The State cannot take it. Therefore, I support Measure V.

A Sewer for our Business District

The major reason that the owner cited for the recent closing of La Comida was the high cost of pumping his septic system and the lack of a sewer system. This problem affects all of our business owners, but particularly restaurants. Paradise’s residential areas can safely stay on septic systems into the future because we have a robust monitoring system. But our businesses need a sewer to thrive, grow and attract new businesses. I have been diligently working on this project since I was elected.  We have obtained grant funds, completed a feasibility study and chosen two alternatives to take into the next phase of the project which is environmental approval and preliminary engineering. We are currently looking for grants to go to the next step. We need a sewer in our Business District and we must find an affordable way to accomplish this project.

Skyway Project

The project on Skyway was a safety grant meant to eliminate the fatal pedestrian and other severe accidents. The project has met all safety objectives. The severity of all accidents have been greatly reduced and pedestrians are much safer. We have a two way left turn lane that makes left turns easier and much safer and we have more and better parking. Drive times in the peak afternoon are 28 seconds slower. It's not a high price to pay for safety.  Turning Skyway back to a 4 Lane road would require paying back the $3 million safety grant that the Town received.

Business License

It’s free if you apply before December 31st. Annual renewals are $25. I don't think you’ll find another town offering such a deal. The purpose is to provide our first responders with critical information they need during emergencies. Public safety is our top priority. Businesses get to be part of a very cool business directory!  The marketing is worth way more than $25. Virtually all cities and towns have business licenses and now Paradise has the information they need to respond to emergencies. The business license process is automated on line and very easy for a business to use.