News-Press Editorial: The revenue may justify the spending

Glendale voters have not approved a new tax since 2009. In April of this year they were skittish about other items they were asked to consider and turned down three ballot measures that would have determined how the city would issue bonds, how it would account for an annual transfer of millions of funds from Glendale Water & Power and even how it would hire a city treasurer.

Mindful of local voters’ reluctance to support measures at the polls, and in need of raising some more cold, hard cash to maintain various services during a time in history when state and federal monies continue to evaporate, the majority of the City Council would like to tag on one or more tax measures to the special June election being held to fill the expiring council seat currently held by Frank Quintero. It’s a reasonable consideration, as they’ll be paying for that election anyway, so they may as well ask the voters to weigh in on other items as well, rather than waiting for another election cycle.

But with each measure the city adds to a ballot, the costs ratchet up at $20,000 per measure, boosting the overall cost of the election, which already carries a $300,000 price tag. So it behooves the city to find out what voters are thinking. Are they in the mood to approve one or more new taxes? Or would such measures have a high likelihood of failing?

After some wrestling over whether or not to hire a consulting expert — at a cost of about $80,000 — to take the temperature of voters, the council decided this week to move ahead with that plan.

Of course it all remains to be seen, but we believe that since the city has no choice but to capture additional revenue streams, the cost to hire the consulting firm, Cerrell and Associates, will be money well spent.

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