The Bakersfield sales tax oversight committee approved the vast majority of the city’s $56.5 million spending package at a meeting Monday. The spending is designed to vastly reshape city government over the next year.
Despite not voting to recommend several items in the package, city staff will now take the full package to the city council for final approval.
The oversight committee did not have the authority to directly approve a project proposed by city officials. It could only make recommendations. The city council has final authority, but it will take the committee’s recommendations to mind when it votes on the projects.
Although the committee approved all public safety and homeless mitigation projects, it chose not to recommend improvements to Rabobank Arena and Convention Center, slated to cost around $1.5 million.
The committee also chose not to recommend a $1.5 million master plan update for the Kaiser Permanente Sports Village.
“On this committee, we’re supposed to represent everyone,” said Committee Chairperson Beatris Sanders. “I just don’t think the vast majority of Bakersfield citizens use those facilities.”
The committee is not scheduled to meet again, and could conceivably go through the rest of the year without reconvening. The next time it does meet will likely be to review the city’s spending from its 1 percent sales tax increase and to consider spending proposals for the next fiscal year.