By Carolyn Barbre
Recently the 210 members of the Lindsay Improvement District (LID) received ballots in the mail. Per the bylaws establishing the Lindsay Improvement District, a "protest" election is conducted every five years, in April, to determine if LID fees should continue.
Of those receiving ballots, six voted against continuing the fees, 18 voted in favor of continuing the fees and 186 ballots were not returned.
Also according to the bylaws, uncast ballots carry an "implied consent" or a yes vote. Fees vary, depending on the size of the business so, to be fair, the value of a vote is also predicated on the amount of LID fees payed. Percentage-wise, 5.9 percent were opposed to keeping the fees, 9.5 percent were in favor and 84.6 percent did not vote so were counted in favor.
At the Lindsay City Council meeting on Tuesday, May 11, City Manager Scot Townsend said, "The votes were rather overwhelmingly in favor." He said this was true even if only the small number of returns were counted. Townsend said total LID fees run between $50,000 and $70,000 per year.
The next vote will come up in 2009.
Resolution 04-26, accepting the 2004 Lindsay Improvement District results as certified by the office of the city clerk was approved.
In other council business:
Initially Councilman Steve Velasquez expressed doubts. "I'm not sure I want to see a bunch of stands all over town. I just came from Cutler/Orosi and they're all over the place," he said.
Public Safety Director Bert Garzelli replied, "This will be like the shaved ice stand [by Action Video], not an eyesore like so many are."
Mayor Ed Murray agreed. "She [Rosa Lopez] has cleaned up over there by herself and is going through the process [of getting a permit]," he said. "I personally like the atmosphere [of outdoor stands]."
"You may revoke the permit at any time if it doesn't meet the requirements," Community Development Analyst Bill Zigler reminded the council. He said staff was in favor of the project.
The permit will expire in November.
<$>On one-day events such as Valentine's Day and Mother's Day, a lot of outdoor displays are set up selling holiday specific merchandise. Some are done in conjunction with local businesses and others are independent. However, now that Sweet Brier Plaza is host to a farmers market and other merchandising, the city wants better control on outside sales efforts.
Townsend said it was a matter of presentation. "Done right it is good," he said, but added that the question was whether the city wanted people coming from outside to merchandise on other one-day events. The city has the option of requiring temporary use permits. He said a staff study session would be scheduled. "We need to be proactive and reactive," Townsend said.
He told the council that trash was becoming a problem. "It's a good problem that we are trying to keep on top of as the market expands." Townsend said he envisions the market going east on Samoa Street, south down Elmwood Avenue and west on Honolulu, all the way around the block. "Not just a one-time event on Friday - I see vendors wanting to open a store in Lindsay." Townsend said having 3,000 to 5,000 people in town on one night a week was enough to carry certain business such as restaurants.
"We want it safe, clean, an environment we're all happy with," he said.
Murray said it was necessary to get there early to find a place to park.
"All in all, it's a wonderful set of problems to have," Townsend responded.