What is Measure M - Parks for All?
On November 6th, 2018, Sonoma County voters approved Measure M-"Parks for All", a one-eighth cent sales tax that will help support Sonoma County’s regional and city parks. Approved by 72.6 percent of voters, the “Sonoma County Parks Improvement, Water Quality, and Fire-Safety Measure” provides dedicated funding for parks for 10 years.
Measure M-"Parks for All" will help support Sonoma County and its cities with their long-term needs to maintain, protect and operate parks. The tax will generate an estimated $11.5 million annually, with an estimated $7.6 million a year going to Sonoma County Regional Parks and an estimated $3.8 million a year total going to the nine cities within Sonoma County.
An integral part of the proposed measure is its County-wide expenditure plan, which details how the revenue can be spent. The county and cities will individually determine how best to prioritize their funding projects, and a citizen oversight committee will ensure funds are used as intended.
What is Petaluma's allocation of revenue?
As the second largest city in Sonoma County, with just over 17% percent of the county-wide population, Petaluma will receive an estimated $659 thousand dollars per year, and a total of $6.6 million dollars over 10 years, to help support the City’s 46 community and neighborhood parks.
How may the funds be used in Petaluma?
The revenue that is dedicated to the nine cities, including Petaluma, must be used to support local city parks and recreation needs, and may not be used to reduce existing funding for parks and recreation. The revenue is to be used within one, or all, of the following seven categories:
- Maintain parks and recreation facilities to ensure safe, clean, accessible visitor experiences
- Improve and develop athletic fields, playgrounds, restrooms, picnic areas, and visitor amenities
- Create and expand parks, trails, bikeways, public art, and recreation & historical facilities
- Plan and develop bike paths and trails with connections to schools, community spaces, and regional trails
- Provide recreation, education, and health programs for the community
- Decrease future fire risks, fuel loads, and invasive plants on city-owned open space parks
- Improve trails along waterways and riparian areas to benefit fish, wildlife habitat, and water quality
What outreach has the City done to engage the community?
The Measure M-"Parks for All" discussion item was first presented to the Recreation, Music, and Parks Commission on February 20th, 2019. Since then, the City has engaged the community to ask for their input in the following methods:
- In August of 2019, a special meeting of the Petaluma Recreation, Music, and Parks Commission was held to provide an overview of Measure M parameters of use and spending allocations designated in the 2019 and 2020 fiscal years.
- In October of 2019, a Community Workshop was held at the Petaluma Community Center and attended by over 170 members of the public. Participants joined staff in facilitated group discussion centered on gathering input on prioritizing parks and recreation related investment.
- Also in October of 2019, a comprehensive Parks and Recreation online public survey was made available, collecting data points from over 800 participants who shared information on park usage, amenities, facilities, programs, maintenance, and services.
- In November of 2019, the preliminary results from both the community workshop and parks survey were presented at the Petaluma Recreation, Music, and Parks Commission Meeting. Based on written statements collected during the workshop, survey results, public comments, and Commissioner feedback, City staff proposed a lens that upcoming proposed projects and investment of Measure M funding could funnel through in the form of seven (7) prioritized investment categories.
Those categories can be seen below.
A. Walking Paths, Bike Trails, Park Connections and Access
B. Playgrounds, Sports Courts, Active Recreation Spaces
C. Natural Areas and River Enhancements
D. Enhanced Maintenance Activities
E. Recreation and Aquatic Facilities, and Park Amenities
F. Creating New Park Spaces or Expanding Recreation Opportunities
G. Special Events and Community Programming
What are the City’s plans going forward?
City staff will be developing and updating a comprehensive Parks and Recreation Needs Assessment that correlates to each of the prioritized investment categories. This assessment index is intended to monitor progress as well as provide staff with an evaluation tool for which to keep the community informed throughout the ten-year lifespan of Measure M- "Parks for All".
They will also be providing updates to the Petaluma Recreation, Music, and Parks Commission on a regular basis to review.
How can I get more information or additional resources?
We encourage community members to attend the monthly meetings of the Petaluma Recreation, Music, and Parks Commission. You can find more information about the Commission by clicking here.