St. Helena City Council has joined a handful of cities nationwide which are acting to balance the needs of citizens with the growing stresses of tourism economies. Why spend more money on marketing tourism when your roadways are clogged with traffic and there is no affordable housing for our children and workers? Does St. Helena-- or Napa County-- really need to spend more on destination marketing when the local community takes the financial hit?
Since the change in the St. Helena City Council in November 2016 election, council members are questioning the sanity of renewing the Chamber of Commerce's current $210,000 for marketing. Given the impact tourism and the wine industry has had on the local residents, isn't it time to invest more or all of this money in community programs?
We applaud this forward thinking. It is time our TOT (transient occupancy tax charged to hotels) revenue is used to support community borne expenses versus marketing to get even more tourists. And it is time our county governing officials take a few lessons from the St. Helena Council Members and go to bat for residents.
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