Mayor asks voters to invest in Ventura to fix sidewalks and build a park

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It doesn’t get more local than fixing cracks in the sidewalks. Photos: City of Ventura

In his State of the City this year, Ventura Mayor Erik Nasarenko’s main point was clear: raising the city’s sales tax will allow the government to address some major infrastructure issues.

“We’re balancing our budget, and we’re living within our means,” he said. “However, we continue to have unmet needs that we simply don’t have the revenue for.”

He’s proposing a half or full cent sale tax increase up from its current 7.5 percent, which could bring the city at least $10 million a year.

Nasarenko wants to use that money to repave streets, hire more police officers, complete the 88-acre Ventura Community Park and restore library services for the east side. Similar proposals to raise the sales tax have come up twice in the past 10 years, but were rejected both times.

“It’s going to be a congested, crowded ballot, but what we know is when people can make an impact locally in their own background, they’ll support it,” he said.

The proposal to put the measure in the ballot now goes to a public meeting and City Council vote.

Clockwise from top left: Ventura Mayor Erik Nasarenko would use money from a sales tax increase to secure funding for the city’s fire department building, fix failing infrastructure on the roads and along the coast and finish creating the 88-acre Ventura Community Park. Photos: City of Ventura