The City Council has decided against adopting a citywide assessment plan that would have required private property owners to help pay for the cost of lighting and landscaping public areas.
In the 4-1 vote Monday, the council also decided to put the issue before the voters. It directed the city staff to study such questions as when to schedule an election and whether the assessment should be described as a fee on the ballot.
Councilman Chris Lancaster, who cast the dissenting vote, said he agrees with residents opposed to the assessment fee and believes that it is unnecessary to put the issue on the ballot.
“The people don’t want (the assessment plan), and they are going to vote it down,” Lancaster said. “It’s just a waste of money.” He said the vote will cost the city $17,000 to $20,000.
Lancaster, who initially favored the assessment plan to help balance the budget, said he changed his mind after residents vehemently objected to it.
“The message was totally clear,” Lancaster said. “They don’t want more taxes. They want us to live within our means.”