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Half Cent Sales Tax Measure on the November Ballot a Possibility

May 01, 2016 12:49PM ● By Jennifer Neys

Library Update

Half Cent Sales Tax Measure on the November Ballot a Possibility

Last year, the Pleasant Hill Library Task Force recommended that the City of Pleasant Hill conduct a survey to determine community support for a possible revenue measure to finance the construction of a new library. The City Council Budget Committee approved the recommendation at its meeting last January. Staff asked the polling firm, Godbe Research, to conduct the poll. 

The survey was designed around an 18-20 minute interview with each Pleasant Hill voter, using a hybrid module involving phone and Internet surveys. The survey was a mixture of both specific questions about a revenue measure for a library and more general questions about the types of services and programs the city provides. There were also ranking questions for a library in comparison to other items, such as infrastructure improvements.

Results of Survey

At the April 18 city council meeting, a presentation of the Revenue Measure Feasibility Survey Results was provided by Bryan Godbe. The survey reached over 15,000 likely November 2016 voters in Pleasant Hill. The fielding dates were March 24 through April 3, and the sample size was 427 (226 online and 201 phone), with a 4% margin of error.

The poll showed that 84% of the residents polled are satisfied with city services, with strong support for a local funding measure. Top priorities were: fixing potholes and repairing neighborhood and city streets and roads; repairing and maintaining sidewalks; maintaining neighborhood police patrols; and providing a library building that meets current health, safety, fire and seismic standards. “There is solid support we feel for a general purpose funding measure at that ½ cent level for 20 years, and we think that you should consider that measure,” said Bryan Godbe.

Patrick Remer, Pleasant Hill community library manager, spoke during public comment and reminded the council that there is a $10 million deferred maintenance expense on the current library, including a leaky roof, a gravel parking lot, a poor HVAC system, and other serious needs. “We are doing a lot every year to spend on the building we already have to make sure it is safe for our families to come to. Every year that we wait, I think is a year that we waste. I want to see all of these dollars go towards an extraordinary facility for future generations and not just be money that’s spent plugging holes and keeping the dam intact,” he said.