Ballot initiative, survey on agenda

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By MIKE MORRIS

A proposed ballot measure aimed at keeping state legislators' hands off local cash will be discussed by the Angels Camp's City Council tomorrow night.

Supporters of the Local Taxpayers and Public Safety Protection Act believe the measure, which they are working to place on the November ballot, would help wean state government off local dollars.

"It's really critical to make sure we protect our funding," said Angels Camp City Administrator Tim Shearer said.

The Sonora City Council last month passed a resolution supporting the ballot initiative.

Debbie Olson of the League of California Cities said the proposed initiative is the result of a decade of frustration on the part of city and county officials, who claim the state has long used local government revenues to solve its own financial problems.

Olson will discuss the initiative which would require voter approval before state government can take local tax funds at tomorrow's meeting and ask for the council's endorsement.

Also among items on the busy agenda:

Survey Council members must also decide whether to pay a consulting $15,000 to conduct a citywide survey on the future of Angels Camp.

The survey would be used by officials in drafting Angels Camp's general plan, which would outline the city's next 20 years of expected growth. Currently, the plan proposes three commercial districts: historical, community and shopping center or "heavy."

Three firms were contacted about the survey. Planning officials are recommending the council hire JD Franz Research Inc. for $15,000. They support Franz because of its "extensive experience conducting public opinion and public policy research."

The firm would conduct a survey by mail to all city residents and call at least 340 residents to make sure all demographics are covered.

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