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Vallejo Asking Public For New Spending Ideas

VALLEJO (KCBS) - We all have our opinions - even about big things like how to spend millions of dollars.

And, if you live in Vallejo, you actually have a chance to weigh in on how you'd spend a big wad of cash in the city's coffers.

On Monday, the city kicked off an experiment to put revenue from last year's one-percent sales tax hike in the hands of its residents.

"In 2012, the Vallejo City Council established the first city-wide Participatory Budgeting (PB) process in the United States. Through PB, the community is helping decide how to spend over $3 million of revenue from the Measure B Sales Tax. Vallejo residents and stakeholders will propose spending ideas and develop project proposals, residents will vote on projects, and the list of projects that receive the most votes will be submitted to City Council for approval," the Participatory Budgeting Vallejo website announced.

"I've heard some really very cool ideas," said Joey Lake, chairman of the Citizens Steering Committee, which was helping to coordinate the process.

The Committee planned to meet nine times over the coming weeks to discuss what ideas would be formally present to the Vallejo City Council for consideration.

"I think they would be hard pressed to veto those ideas once they've gone through this rigor of a process," Lake reasoned.

KCBS' Tim Ryan Reports:

The first public assembly was scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Vallejo Adult School, 2833 Tennessee St.

Subsequent public assemblies were scheduled for Nov. 1, 7, 14, 15, 17, 18, 29; Dec. 5, 2012 at various locations around Vallejo: time and location of those meetings was available online.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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