Months after voters strongly approved a one-cent sales tax to fund specific city functions, the Crescent City City Council approved a five-person board to oversee the tax revenue.
By a 3-2 vote, the council approved Mayor Jason Greenough's choices for the board. Greenough named Cindy Cruse, Heidi Kime, Emery Mattz IV, Ernie Perry and Kelly Schellong as the first members of the Measure S Oversight Committee.
The five were chosen from eight applicants, all that were qualified, according to City Manager Eric Wier.
"Measure S came with huge support from our community, but it also comes with a huge responsibility," Wier said.
The tax measure will fund the police and fire departments, streets and the city pool. The committee will be responsible for looking at how the revenue was spent and presenting a report to the community. In addition, the city will ask the committee to assist in the budgeting process.
By a 5-0 vote, the council approved the bylaws for the committee. After Greenough presented his choices, council members discussed a variety of things. Most of the discussion was about naming the three applicants not chosen as alternates in case of a vacancy.
After discussing the issue, City Attorney Martha Rice said no vote was necessary. She explained the applications could be kept on file, and if there was a vacancy, they could be used.
Greenough said narrowing the list to five was not easy.
"All the people who applied were qualified, and I really appreciate the fact we had more people apply than there were seats on the board," Greenough said. "Generally, we have a very difficult time getting people involved. I was trying to find people who were business owners, I was trying to find people from different walks of life."
The bylaws say members will have two-year terms, but as the first members, some will have shorter terms. The committee will decide how to decide terms so new members can be chosen every year.
"It was really an in-depth group of applicants," Wier said. "However, the mayor can only choose five."
After the discussion, Councilman Blake Inscore made a motion to approve the candidates and Isaiah Wright seconded the motion. Inscore, Wright and Greenough voted yes while Councilman Beau Smith and Mayor Pro Tem Alex Campbell voted no.
Wier said the committee would first meet this month to get a close look at the police department and would meet in March to look at streets.