After Measure W failed on Tuesday, people started suggesting ideas on how to improve the Eastside without the redevelopment funds. Ideas include raising taxes, creating improvement districts or redistributing grant funding.
Lodi rejected redevelopment with a vote of 54 percent, or 4,403 "no" votes on Measure W, with 46 percent, or 3,731 votes, for the measure, according to unofficial results.
In light of Measure W failing, City Manager Blair King said the city will have to continue with "the status quo."
"Status quo is that there is a geographical area that has a greater call for services than the tax base can pay for," King said.
Two possibilities to fund Eastside improvements, King said, include tax increases to build specific projects, or a benefits assessment district in which property owners pay to improve services.
Councilwoman Susan Hitchcock said one of the reasons Measure W failed is because Lodi residents have lost trust in their council.
"I think as a council it's disappointing and sad we are not trusted," she said. "It's something I heard, that 'I'm not going to trust the council with all this debt.' It's given us a reason to maybe look at our decisions."
Contributions at a glanceYes on Measure W had raised $10,119 by Feb. 14, which was the most recent filing deadline.
Committees are also required to disclose donations of $1,000 during the last days of the election. When including those donations, Yes on W raised at least $26,619. No on Measure W raised a total of $6,644 by Feb. 14 but did not receive any last minute donations of more than a thousand dollars. Total donations will be included in the final statements that will be released later.
Yes on Measure W: (Contributions of a $100 or more from
Jan. 18-Feb. 14)
Northern California Carpenters Regional Council Issues - $3,000
Good Earth Farms - $250
Kautz Farms - $250
Margaret McKenzie, doctor - $250
LangeTwins - $100
Also, Yes on Measure W received the following late contributions of $1,000 or more:
Issues Mobilization - $7,500
PAQ Inc., the group that represents Lodi Food-4-Less - $7,000
Building Industry Association - $2,000
No on Measure W (Contributions of a $100 or more from
Jan. 18-Feb. 14)
Friends of JoAnne Mounce - $499
Land Utilization Alliance - $100
Richard Neuharth, retired - $200
Jack Flockhart, retired - $100
Carol Canepa, retired - $100
She said the council's support of the Wal-Mart Supercenter project, despite residents' opposition, and the inclusion of Reynolds Ranch in the General Plan are two reasons voters may have lost trust in their elected council.
Hitchcock said it was tough to educate the voters about redevelopment in a short election, but on the other hand, she also thinks if voters don't trust the council, it might not matter how much time supporters had to educate citizens about the benefits.
She is interested in Phil Katzakian's suggestion to put the measure back on the ballot as soon as possible because she agrees there might be better voter turnout in a November general election. The only other solution she can see to improve infrastructure, like streets and sidewalks not covered through utility fees, is through higher taxes.
Councilwoman JoAnne Mounce, who has opposed this redevelopment plan, said she believes if repairing the Eastside is important to Lodi, there are other ways to fix it besides redevelopment.
"It's all about what you want. We certainly came up with the money to build Hutchins Street Square," Mounce said. "It's all about what you make a priority. The Eastside has never been a priority."
Mounce said she is not opposed to redevelopment but objected to this specific plan. She said the plan was too broad and did not have enough specifics on how the money will be spent.
"If in fact we are going to buy an animal shelter, tell me when and where it will be built and give me an oversight committee," Mounce said.
The city could use more of the Community Development Block Grant funding it receives to repair infrastructure instead of giving it to nonprofits like the city has been doing, Mounce suggested.
Another option which Mounce said she suggested previously and will recommend again, is forming improvement districts where landowners pay for maintenance on infrastructure.
Mounce also mentioned that money is already being collected from utility bills to fund some projects, including repairs to water and wastewater and the PCE/TCE groundwater contamination cleanup.
Redevelopment opponent Phyllls Roche said she is opposed to the city taking money away from other agencies. Another reason she was against redevelopment is the council has already put the city in the hole on other projects.
"The city owes a lot of money," she said. "So we should tighten our belts and work our way up."
She said she hopes what money the city does receive from Eastside property taxes will be used to start some of the infrastructure repairs that have been suggested.
"It will be a little bit slower, but over the years, it'll get done," she said.