The Gazette covers City Hall, now a flood-damaged icon on May's Island in the Cedar River

From 71 applicants, nine are chosen: City Council names Local-Option Sales Tax Oversight Committee

In City Hall, local-option sales tax on March 30, 2009 at 6:16 pm

The City Council on Monday named the nine members of the city’s Local-Option Sales Tax Oversight Committee, a group picked from 71 who had applied for the job.

The members are Markell Kuper, Elizabeth Hladky, Heather Schoonover, Charles Watkins, Jeff Palmer, Sandra Skelton, Gary Ficken, Jeffery Beer and Stephen Hammes.

The council will formerly appoint the committee members at its weekly Wednesday meeting, which falls on April 1, the day the one-percent local-option sales tax starts to be collected in the city.

The tax will be in place through June 30, 2014, and is expected to raise between $17 and $18 million a year for the city.

The oversight committee’s mission is to review how the council spends the tax revenue to make sure it is in accord with the March 3 referendum that put the tax in place.

Ninety percent of the money is to go to flood relief, and more specifically, to housing buyouts and rehabilitation. Ten percent is to be used for property-tax relief.

Ficken, a local business owner, led the citizen campaign, Vote Yes! For Our Neighbors, that promoted the local-option sales tax. Hammes, an accountant, led the city’s Twin Pines Golf Course Task Force that recommended in 2008 that the city not sell 20 acres of the 150-acre course for a commercial development.

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  1. What a shock! Gary Ficken has been chosen!

  2. Gary Ficken is a good man. What the Council fails to realize is that percetion is reality, and many of their choices just don’t look good to the average person who doesn’t keep informed.

    Maybe this is good news. The Council has taken one more step to insure that they aren’t re-elected.

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