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Citizens to help Paso spend new tax revenue 

With Steven Martin freshly seated at the table, the new Paso Robles City Council’s first act on Dec. 4 was to adopt the bylaws and begin the recruitment process for a seven-member advisory committee that will guide the council on how to spend revenues generated by a 12-year, half-cent sales tax increase voters approved in November.

Known as E-12, the measure takes effect on April 1, 2013, and is expected to generate $3.5 million in additional annual revenue. Citizens passed a companion measure stating their united hopes that the money be spent on road improvements, but the general use funds could technically be spent on anything the council sees fit.

“I would encourage the public to speak because this is an important component of this tax measure,” Mayor Duane Picanco said before opening the issue to public comment.

No attendees took him up on the offer.

Council members voted unanimously to accept nominations from four community organizations: the Chamber of Commerce, Main Street, Travel Paso Robles Alliance, and the Senior Citizens Advisory Committee. Councilman Ed Steinbeck encouraged the organizations to nominate citizens at large as opposed to internal staff.

Council members will themselves select the three remaining committee members. All will serve overlapping three-year terms and be required to disclose any conflicts of interest. City Manager Jim App said that he expects the city generally to follow the committee’s recommendations.

Those interested in joining can contact city hall at 227-7276.

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