A Ballot Initiative (PET-01) has been filed by a group of Ashland citizens referred to as, “Friends of Ashland Parks, Trails and Open Space.” The initiative recommends allocating 100% of Food and Beverage Revenue to Parks and Recreation.
Currently, there are two versions of the PET-01 ballot initiative and a third similar version by the City Attorney that support a City ordinance to allocate additional Food and Beverage Tax revenues to the City’s Parks and Recreation Department. One version of PET-01 was filed for the November 8, 2022 election by the “Friends of Ashland Parks, Trails and Open Space.” The second version was voted on by the Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission at a Special Business Meeting on June 23, 2022. The two versions are not consistent with each other and contain inaccurate ballot language.
To clarify and correct the inconsistent language, the Acting City Attorney, Doug McGeary, has drafted a third, new version of the ordinance to allocate the Food and Beverage Tax to Parks and Recreation. This language was drafted to be consistent with the City Council’s direction and the Parks and Recreation Commission’s original intent. Also, the new version proposes language that broadens the use of the tax funds to include all of Parks and Recreation’s current programs, including city parks, open space, recreation and senior services. Finally, the language allows the tax funds to be used for capital and operating expenses of the Parks and Recreation Department.
APRC (Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission) is asking the Ashland City Council to place PET-01 on the ballot for the May 16, 2023 Election. This item is in the agenda for the February 7, 2023 City Council Business Meeting. View the Council Communication, "Food and Tax Ordinance Amendment Ballot Measure Language for the May 16, 2023, Special Election."