Members of Richmond City Council have been asked to follow this bit of wisdom from Dr. Seuss: “I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful one hundred percent!”
The famous quote appears in an agenda item for Tuesday’s council meeting and aims to convince the council to declare that half of the proceeds from Measure U be used to repair Richmond’s crumbling streets.
Measure U, a half-cent sales tax that averages to about $2.93 per month per Richmond resident, passed on Nov. 4 on the promise that a significant portion be used to repair roads. The tax is expected to generate $7 million in its first year.
Funding sources for road repair have run dry, threatening to reverse improvements on roadways, according to city officials. Wary the measure wouldn’t receive two-thirds voter-approval needed for a specific purpose tax, the council opted to place a general tax on the November ballot, which passed. That means proceeds from that tax can be used for a wide variety of other city purposes other than road repair, such as plugging the city’s $7 million budget deficit.
To help ensure road repair remains funded, Councilmembers Jim Rogers, Tom Butt and Jael Myrick are encouraging council to declare an intent to use 50-percent of the Measure U proceeds for road repair, roughly $3.75 million annually.
The councilmembers hope to negate pre-election accusations that council would renege on its promise. Rogers, Butt and Myrick said this is the right time to “show how serious we are” about road repair.