Santa Cruz County Supervisors are considering reductions to the County Parks Department budget this week. The expected 20% budget cuts, which park leaders say come in the wake of years of budget reductions affecting the parks department, are expected to affect nearly every service and most of the 34 parks in the system, resulting in reduced services, increased fees and park closures. General admission at Simpkins Family Swim Center is said to increase by $1 to $6, and organizers say the pool must be closed for 14-days out of the year. Other venues affected include community carnivals at Brommer and Mesa Village Parks, as well as popular Pooches in the Park event in Aptos. Board members are said to approve the cuts Thursday.
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No injuries were reported after a fire in the Live Oak area in Santa Cruz was quickly extinguished today. Fire crews were on scene at an apartment complex on the 1,000 block of Maciel Avenue after the blaze was reported to have been started by a stove. The apartment unit sustained minor damages. Investigations continue.
STAFF MEMBERS IN BOTH MONTEREY AND SANTA CRUZ COUNTY ELECTIONS DEPARTMENT HAVE BEEN FIELDING CALLS FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHERE (OR IF) THEY SHOULD VOTE IN TOMORROW’S 15TH SENATE DISTRICT SPECIAL ELECTION. THE 4 CANDIDATES RUNNING FOR WHAT USED TO BE ABEL MALDONADO’S SEAT ARE SAM BLAKESLEE, JIM FITZGERALD, MARK HINKLE, AND JOHN LAIRD. IF NONE OF THE 4 CANDIDATES RECEIVE MORE THAN 50 PERCENT OF THE VOTE TOMORROW, THERE COULD BE A RUN-OFF ELECTION AUGUST 14TH.
Pacific Grove leaders are expected to consider several policies during their meeting this week. On Wednesday, city officials will look at participating in a regional fire services joint powers authority that would consolidate Peninsula fire agencies into a single department by incorporating the cities of Pacific Grove, Monterey, Carmel and Seaside. The proposal follows the joint fire services agreement made with the city of Monterey in 2008 in an effort to cut costs. Other policy considerations include sharing police services and ballot measures for the November 2nd election, which would include an annual parcel tax, an amendment to a 1997 ballot measure, Measure C, and a measure amending city employee retirement funding. Council members will convene in it’s chambers at 6 p.m.
A regulation on vacation rentals is expected to be proposed during a Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors meeting tomorrow. Supervisor, John Leopold will propose the new regs, which would cap the number of rentals between Capitola and Santa Cruz as well as introduce new restrictions. In an effort to regulate unincorporated vacation properties in the beach communities of Pleasure Point and The Santa Cruz Harbor and everything in between, Leopold will propose the ordinance including a permitting system for rental properties, a ban on events like wedding receptions and business retreats, required stays of at least a week and mandatory signs that let neighbors know whom to call should problems arise. Supervisors are set to meet at 9 a.m. tomorrow to discuss Leopold’s proposal.
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