Paso Robles City Council dealt with two big issues at last night’s meeting – COVID-19 and the city’s budget.
Paso Robles Fire Chief Jonathon Stornetta reported on the county’s reduction in cases, and moving from the purple tier to the red tier. Councilman John Hamon said he thinks it’s unattainable. Hamon asked the city manager if the city can push back against the state, and what could happen if the city were to do so. City Manager Tom Frutchey said other cities and counties feel the same way, and he’ll keep Paso Robles City Council informed about the state response to push back and non-compliance from other municipalities.
The other issue before Paso Robles City Council last night was the budget. About 50 people demonstrated along Spring Street last night to show support for the city’s recreation department and library. They held signs and chanted “Save our Library” and “Save our Rec Department.” Inside the Library Conference Room, the council discussed cuts to the budget during their virtual meeting. Councilman Fred Strong argued that the county needs to give the city a greater share of property taxes. Mayor Steve Martin asked the city manager how things look for the next fiscal year. City Manager Tom Frutchey said it depends partly on the passage of Measure J-20, the proposed 1% sales tax in Paso Robles. Voters will decide that issue in the November General Election.
Ultimately, Councilman Steve Gregory made the motion to ask City Manager Tom Frutchey to meet with department heads to discuss potential cuts and the council will revisit proposed budget cuts in January. The motion passed 3-2, with Mayor Steve Martin and Councilman Fred Strong casting the dissenting votes.