Parks, Open Space and Neighborhood Quality of Life
Keeping Our Community Safe and Healthy
We’re proud to live in Watsonville, a thriving community with a rich history. The City of Watsonville is committed to providing residents a high quality of life, including parks, playgrounds, libraries and access to safe, clean open space.
Watsonville parks have been underfunded for years, with residents of similar-sized cities having up to 12 times more park space. Access to quality parks is essential to personal and community wellbeing and mental health. Our seniors, families and kids deserve the same access to open space and recreational opportunities as those in other nearby cities.
Additional funding is also needed to help maintain after-school programs, anti-gang activities, and recreation programs that keep youth and teens off the streets, out of trouble and away from drugs and gangs.
Potential Funding Measure to Address Community Needs
To address these needs and keep Watsonville safe, clean and healthy, the Watsonville City Council is considering placing a half-cent sales tax measure on the November 2022 ballot. The measure would add .50¢ to a $100 purchase and generate approximately $5 million annually. Funding from a potential measure could be used to:
Fix potholes and maintain streets
Keep the Watsonville Slough Trails safe and clean
Create safe places for kids to play
Maintain after-school and summer programs serving at-risk youth and teens to keep them safe and out of trouble
Create employment opportunities that help sustain the local economy
Repair, maintain and improve aging parks, fields, playgrounds and trails
Maintain library hours, services and access for seniors and people with disabilities
Mandatory Fiscal Accountability and Transparency
The City of Watsonville is committed to transparency and a potential measure would include strict fiscal accountability protections, including:
Every penny must stay local here in Watsonville
Out-of-town visitors would pay their fair share and no funds could be taken away by the State
No funds could be used for administrator salaries or pensions
Independent citizens’ oversight and annual audits are required
Essential purchases like groceries and prescription medicine are exempt from sales tax, which helps ensure the cost is not a burden to those on fixed or limited incomes