Thursday, December 7, 2023

Willits City Council Proposing Emergency Sales Tax to Save City Services including Police, Facilities, and More


Willits citizens have received a letter signed by Mayor Gerardo Gonzalez explaining that due to “a major fiscal challenge,” the city could face cuts to services including police, park maintenance, local street repair, community facilities, and more. To address this budgetary depletion, Gonzalez said the Willits City Council “is proposing a temporary emergency sales tax to provide funding for those essential services until our local economy recovers.”

This is the letter received by Willits citizens explaining the economic situation of their community.

Gonzalez explained that “the reality is, without additional revenue, our city is on the verge of closure. We have cut all we can, and based on current projections, our operating reserve will be depleted soon.”

Gonzalez provided a list of the services that could be cut from the local community:

-We won’t have our own police department. Police services will be provided by an already stretched County Sheriff’s department out of Ukiah;
-All neighborhood road and street repair, including maintenance of Main Street will stop and will be left to the County;
-Community facilities will be closed, including the Willits City Pool and Willits Community Center; parks and playfields will not be maintained;
-Local government services such as Building Inspections and Permits, and Planning Department Applications, will be handled through the county offices in Ukiah over 23 miles away. 

Speaking to the economic insecurity of Willits, Gonzalez wrote, “you hear a lot in the news about small businesses needing to close given the struggling economy and health crisis. Like these small businesses, or small city is struggling too.”

This article’s featured image is from WikiCommons submitted by Tony Webster entitled “Willits Mendocino County Northern California”

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  1. We pay gas taxes so u should not be allowed to cut road maintenance? How is this even legal? And our state taxes cover other things like the police and park maintenance so how r u cutting things already paid for? Where is our taxes going if they r not going to what it was supposed to be for?

  2. Mr Gerardo Gonzalez is the former Chief of Police for the City of Willits. I enjoyed knowing and working with him for many years!! He did an OUTSTANDING job as Police Chief!! And, I am happy to hear that the reins of that town are back in the hands of a good man like Mayor Gonzalez!

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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