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Santa Clara County, CA November 2, 2004 Election
Smart Voter

Increase Local Revenues

By Barbara Spector

Candidate for Council Member; Town of Los Gatos

This information is provided by the candidate
The town must work with its business community to increase revenues.
In the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attack and the economic downturn, Los Gatos' revenues have decreased. Initially, the town was able to balance its budget through relatively transparent cuts such as purchasing fewer and less expensive supplies. However, those cuts have become more visible this year: The town has lost two parking patrol officers, other staff have had their hours cut from 40 to 32, and the library has been forced to reduce its hours. The capital improvement account, historically funded by excess revenue, has been reduced from $15 million to $7 million.

Los Gatos must increase its revenues, a significant percentage of which is generated by business sales taxes. The town and its businesses have a symbiotic relationship: businesses need revenue to survive; the town needs the taxes on business revenue to support its services. To enhance this relationship, Los Gatos has an economic vitality program in place and is currently in the process of recruiting a director.

For existing businesses, I will work with that director and other resources to attract visitors to our town who will eat in our restaurants, buy in our stores, spend the weekend in our hotels. For exiting businesses, we must make new contacts and be prepared to bring to Los Gatos successful replacements that serve the needs of our local residents. We cannot afford to have commercial space remain empty. In searching for those replacements, we must seek a diversity of establishments so that Los Gatos is not dependent on any one sector of the market.

I bring to this challenge a breadth of experience and training that includes operating my own business for 26 years during which time I:

  • Tracked the amount, source and diversification of revenue.

  • Prepared and updated financial projections.

  • Used negotiation virtually on a daily basis on behalf of my clients.

  • Used mediation to obtain information, educate myself, identify interests and options with the objective of obtaining a "win/win" solution for the parties involved.

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