Keeping Our Community Safe and Healthy

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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.

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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
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• Potential Measure Fact Sheet 

• Frequently Asked Questions

• Survey on Community Priorities

• Watsonville Strategic Plan Report

• Community Survey Report 2021

 Parks and Recreation Strategic Plan

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Your feedback is encouraged as the City continues to explore options to improve services for Watsonville residents. Please share your priorities by completing our survey.


We welcome your feedback and questions. For more information or to share feedback on local priorities, please contact us at (831) 768-3010 or at citymanager@cityofwatsonville.org.


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