COACHELLA – The news of the night was supposed to be the vote on the 5% utility tax. Instead, it was the bombshell surprise resignation of City Manager Tim Brown.Right before the council was about to debate the utility tax, Brown told the mayor he was going to have surgery on Monday and would not be returning to work.
A stunned crowd took several minutes to assess the surprise announcement.The City Council will meet at 7 Thursdaynight to discuss finding a news City Manager during an open special session.
The council members finally got to the issue at hand, the 5% utility tax.In order for itto be put on the November 3rd ballot, the entire board had to vote in favor of the general tax.The money would be used by the city for public safety, amongst other things.They estimate it would bring in $1.2 million to $1.6 million.Gas, power, water, phone, Internet and other utilities would be hit by the tax.An average families would feel a $150 to $225 tax burden each year.
In the end it was only one member of the council that voted against it.Council member Jesse Villarreal says, “I can’t vote on it because I think the residents want to know specifically what the taxes are going to be used for. They don’t want to allow the city council to decide for them.”
The council is expected to come back and vote on a “specific tax” which will likely be passed by a 5-0 vote.