We the people of Paso Robles are missing chances for joint workshops between the city council and the planning commission on a Saturday, when people could participate in a town-hall forum about one of the most important Specific Plans in years. Fact: The city council debated for 30 minutes whether to start the meeting at 3 or 4 p.m.—on a Wednesday afternoon!
The Uptown/Town Center Specific Plan would change Paso Robles for decades to come. It would alter residential living, commercial and business use, transportation and circulation, parks, downtown parking, and the flow of the community. The council knew Saturday workshops were needed in December 2009. The city’s consultants have been paid more than $1.5 million for the plan.
In addition, I wonder why are we paying the same rate for home water as such commercial users as Firestone Walker Brewery pay? A one-size-fits-all rate doesn’t work. Commercial users can raise prices to compensate for increased fees but families can’t. We the people must either cut back on water use, or get penalized by an astounding rate structure. And just wait until sewer fee hikes get released: Yes, hikes are coming our way. What has the elected city council done to prepare us for this shock? Are they even talking about the sewer rates publicly?
The fact is Paso Robles desperately needs an economic development manager to bring businesses to our community. Economic development works to provide jobs for the city’s tax and revenue base, relieving higher taxes and increased fees. There should be no more increased taxes, higher fees, more regulatory codes, or costly consultants. The city council should reduce burdens on local businesses and lower building/development fees to help the housing market recover.