Measure I would help city of Lompoc maintain public services

Posted at 6:24 PM, Feb 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-26 13:49:06-05

The City of Lompoc will have the chance this March to vote on a one percent sales tax increase called Measure I2020.

According to the city, the one percent sales tax increase could generate about $4.8 million a year for Lompoc to help cover public service costs.

"We are asking the community to consider how they feel about supporting this and vote the way they would like to see the community's public services be maintained that we can't cost recover with," said Jenelle Osborne, mayor of Lompoc.

Mayor Osborne said the measure would also help the city pay off the outstanding $5 million bill it has with the California Public Employees Retirement System of CalPERS.

Leslie Robinson-Stone has lived in Lompoc for about 30 years and said she initially wasn't in support of the measure.

"Originally I wasn't in support of it just because I feel like every year we are having a penny added... and another penny added and another added," said Robinson-Stone.

She said after learning about the impact it could have on the city's public services, she changed her mind and voted yes.

"I realize from living here as long as I have that it is changing around here and from my perspective it looks like there is a little bit more crime and there is definitely a little hike in the population," said Robinson-Stone.

Mayor Osborne said she hopes the measure will also aid the city in addressing other issues.

"Hopefully with visitors paying into this as well as residents- we will see some excess funding that we can utilize for those important projects we really need to be tackling," said Osborne.

According to the Santa Barbara County Clerk, in 2018 the City of Lompoc had about a 62 percent voter turnout rate, but Mayor Osborne said she hopes that number will go up.

There are several public information community meetings taking place in the coming days where the public can speak with city leaders.

The first one is taking place Saturday, February 15, at the Grossman Gallery inside the Lompoc Public Library at 5:30 p.m.

The second one will take place on Thursday, February 20, at the Hilton Garden Inn and is being hosted by the Lompoc Valley Chamber of Commerce.

According to Mayor Osborne, six percent of the city's current seven and three-quarters percent sales tax goes to the state with the city only receiving one percent.