Wildomar residents are willing to pay $28 a year to fund city parks.
That’s what the experts told city council members Tuesday night during a special meeting at City Hall.
The research company of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates -- otherwise known as FM3 – presented its findings to city council members and the public during the meeting. The firm was
According to the survey, 77 percent of Wildomar voters would say yes to a $28 annual tax to fund city parks if the measure were put on the November ballot.
The percentage was “unusually” high, said FM3’s John Fairbanks. As far as community willingness to back a potential ballot measure, he said “[it’s] the highest level of support I’ve seen in the last 10 years.”
Wildomar City Council members were encouraged by the numbers.
“Yes, yes. We knew it!” said Councilwoman Bridgette Moore, an avid proponent of city parks.
After hearing the presentation by FM3 and the consulting firm The Lew Edwards Group, council members voted unanimously to direct staff to move forward on putting the $28 tax on the November ballot. The issue is scheduled to come back to city council Aug. 8 during the next regularly scheduled meeting. At that time, it’s expected that staff will have a ballot measure drafted for council consideration.
Mayor Ben Benoit said data gleaned from the July telephone survey will help the city craft a sound initiative, noting that last time around Wildomar probably didn’t get the wording quite right.
Tuesday night, The Lew Edwards Group and FM3 provided the city with a rough draft of how a parks ballot measure might read. The draft language stressed that tax dollars collected from Wildomar property owners would not go to Sacramento and that annual independent audits would be conducted.
Survey results showed Wildomar voters feel “accountability is almost as important as [park] safety,” Fairbanks said. When it comes to government, “voters are very distrustful,” he added.
An overview of the survey results presented by Fairbanks and Dave Mason of The Lew Edwards Group showed that support for the parks was nearly the same across all demographics, including political parties, gender, and family-versus-childless households.
The telephone survey interviews were conducted July 17-22 with 300 registered voters who were “likely to cast ballots in November 2012.” The margin of error for the full sample was plus or minus 5.7 percent, according to Tuesday’s presenters.
Wildomar Assistant City Manager Gary Nordquist said the city has spent $22,500 to date on this current parks initiative. In order to get the measure on the November ballot, the city will be required to spend more money, he said, adding that a final cost estimate will be provided during the Aug. 8 meeting.