Sales Tax Message #5 from Jerry Williams

Friends, Colleagues and Fellow Citizens:

As I continue to speak to many groups around the community, I am still heartened by the strong feelings of support for renewing our ½ cent local sales tax.  People often talk about a desire to “set the table,” as one person told me, for our future.  He’s right because renewing this very small tax will allow the city to continue moving forward in a positive direction and not merely stand still waiting for the future to just happen.

My very dear friend said to me recently, “Okay, Jerry, what’s the elevator speech?  I’m very supportive of the renewal but give me the short version about why I should vote ‘yes.’”  Let’s try this:

The City has demonstrated over the past years how beneficial the local sales tax has been with the completion of exceedingly successful projects.  That success has paved the way for future projects that benefit our community, relieve pressure on property taxes, has up to 50% of the revenue paid by visitors, and going forward creates a strong part of the vision of this growing and maturing City.

I could, of course, add comments about that vision helping to address the needs of our seniors and our youth, improving transportation infrastructure, higher education and K-12 education, public safety, jobs and economic development and importantly, this City being willing to re-invest in itself.  As the complexity of our community increases, our vision of the future also becomes more complex and thus broader.  That’s what progressive communities do; they recognize that change and progress are an important part of looking to the future because we’re either moving forward or we’re not.  There is no middle ground.  What kind of city do we want to be?

The public safety project is an example of a needed improvement.  We want a good public safety system citywide and to do that, we need to broaden the coverage.  In this case, that means closing down the Silver Lake Fire Station (that area will be covered by station #1 on Broadway) and moving the equipment and personnel to a new facility in the northeast at the corner of Viola Road and East Circle Drive.  It also means decentralizing a part of law enforcement by combining with the new fire station a police precinct station.  This new station will also in the future be a 911 dispatch center for the region.  As the City grows in different directions, adjustments will need to be made.  Perhaps there will also be in the future a need to establish a police precinct station somewhere in other parts of the city.

New: Check out this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49w4m6fK9ZI  for an outstanding You Tube video especially prepared for our Common Cents campaign.  Those of you who have lived around here for a number of years will definitely recognize the voice and face of the narrator.

For more information, check out our website: www.commoncentsrochestermn.com .  Spread the word, feel free to forward this email to others, and ask them to support this effort by voting ‘yes.’ My next message will talk about investing in our future, including economic development initiatives.

We have less than forty days left in the campaign, and we continue to work hard.  If you need some information, want a presentation or a yard sign (we have very few left), please let me know.  In the meantime, thank you for supporting this effort and encouraging your friends and colleagues to also support it.  It’s Common Cents! Please Vote ‘Yes!’

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