Pro Measure A: Hotels will help fund city services

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By Rich Constantine

Measure A affirms the unanimous decision of the Morgan Hill City Council and Planning Commission to allow construction of two new mid-size hotels on vacant land in the Madrone Village Business Park.

I respectfully ask that you examine the facts and Vote “Yes” on Measure A.

With the input of over 400 Morgan Hill residents, the city developed an” Economic Blueprint” for Morgan Hill to address a potential looming fiscal deficit, which could be in the millions of dollars.  Without smart and careful action, this deficit might force drastic cuts to city services like fire, police, libraries, parks and road repairs.

One major solution recommended in the Blueprint was allowing the construction of additional hotels to generate new hotel tax revenue, partly because it did not burden Morgan Hill residents; only hotel patrons pay the hotel taxes.

The city then accepted an application to build two mid-size hotels on vacant land in the Madrone Business Park. The proposals were thoroughly studied, reviewed publicly and examined for environmental impacts and fiscal benefits. Financial experts projected new taxes of up to $1 million. That’s a big chunk out of the potential deficit.

The planning commission and city council both voted unanimously to approve the hotels.

Who has objected to Measure A and why? During public hearings, a couple of current hotel owners objected. These hotel owners were worried that new hotels would only spread around existing lodging demand demand. They claimed there was no need for more hotels.

The city took the concerns seriously and commissioned an independent marketing firm to determine if there is unmet demand for new hotel rooms, or if the existing supply was sufficient.

That study definitively showed there is unmet hotel room demand in Morgan Hill, and two new mid-size hotels would generate new hotel tax revenues.

The objecting hotel owners were still not satisfied and hired professional signature gatherers to place the measure on the ballot. Morgan Hill voters now get to decide if the hotels are approved or not.   

I hope you join me in voting Yes on Measure A. Why Vote Yes?

• Independent studies concluded there is unmet need for more rooms, and new hotel taxes will generate up to $1 million annually to help fund city services. Hotel patrons pay the taxes, not residents.

• These two hotels will be on vacant land already approved for a strip mall. They’ll average 70 guests per night and generate less traffic than a strip mall. Traffic objections are not factual.

• Hotel guests will also frequent Morgan Hill restaurants and shops, helping our local small businesses.

• The Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce, our Morgan Hill Police Officers Association, members of our city council and Santa Clara County Supervisor Mike Wasserman are among many who have endorsed Measure A.

Measure A is appropriate. It helps protect the funding of city services. It doesn’t cost Morgan Hill residents, and it has broad support. I hope you agree. 

I believe it’s just right for Morgan Hill: Yes on Measure A.

Thank you. 

Rich Constantine is the mayor of Morgan Hill.