Monterey County Hospitality Association
Government Affairs December 2018 News Letter
It has been another very busy year for Government Affairs. November brought us a very contentious election that produced many victories, but several disappointments as well. In the spirit of the Holidays, we would like to share a few of MCHA’s accomplishments in 2018.
Regional Water Supply:
Approval and implementation of a long-term sustainable water source remained hospitality’s number one priority in 2018. The GAC worked closely with the Coalition of Peninsula Businesses in supporting their efforts to achieve this goal. The CPUC on the verdict of seven Administrative Law Judges voted unanimously to issue a CPCN permit allowing Cal Am to move forward with the construction of a 6.4 capacity desal plant. The ruling also included 500 AF for Hospitality bounce back.
Tourism Marketing and Promotion Funding:
In 2018, MCHA worked closely with the MCCVB to maintain full funding for tourism marketing and promotion. The joint effort was successful, and the Bureau did receive full funding from both the County and City of Monterey. The Tourism Improvement District tax was also renewed. MCHA and government affairs fully supported the newly formed TID advisory committee, as well as Monterey Conference Center advisory committee.
In 2018, MCHA maintained its firm position opposing short-term rentals and continued monitoring the process of drafting a County STR ordinance as it worked its way through the Monterey County Planning Commission. The final version of the ordinance will be presented to the Board of Supervisors in early 2019.
2018 Political Action/ November Elections:
- MCHA and government affairs continued its individual work for candidates and issues and its active collaboration with, and participation in, the Monterey County Business Political Action Committee, the Monterey Bay Issues PAC and Monterey Bay Candidates PAC. Through our endorsements and contributions, we were able to help elect.
- Mayor, City of Seaside: Ian Ogelsby
- Mayor, City of Pacific Grove: Bill Peake
- Mayor, City of Carmel: Dave Potter
- Mayor, City of Salinas: Joe Gunther
- Monterey City Council: Ed Smith
- Salinas City Council: Steve McShane & Christine Cromeenes
- State Senate, District 12: Anna Caballero
MCHA endorsed the following measures that passed:
- Measure S (originally passed as Measure P): Continuation of the street structure rehabilitation tax in the city of Monterey.
- Measure M: Prohibits short-term rentals in residential areas outside the coastal zone in PG
- No on Prop 6: A measure to rescind the 11% gas tax targeted for road infrastructure repair. MCHA along with the Cannery Row Business Association was successful in negotiating a major traffic congestion relief plan with the city of Monterey. The plan will be funded by grant money and if necessary, bonding future Measure X funds.
Special Events Task Force:
The County special event task force continues to meet monthly and GAC is in attendance. This group is made up of County staff, Department heads, Fire, Sheriff, Highway Patrol, Health and Building. Event managers and Coordinators mainly from hospitality attend as well. The meetings are open to the public and well attended. County staff continues crafting a special events ordinance. It was due to be presented to the BOS in mid-2018. As of this writing it still has not happened. GAC will monitor this process closely and report out as necessary. MCHA continues to oppose a formal special events ordinance.
The current FORA agreement expires in 2020. There are two schools of thought on how future governance should move forward. The first known as FORA Light, would employ a regional approach similar to what is currently in place, but on a smaller scale. This is the preferred method of the majority of the board and MCHA. The second option, favored by the city of Marina, Land Watch, and keep Fort Ord Wild is to let each jurisdiction self govern. GAC continues to monitor this process and will report back to MCHA.
GAC will continue to monitor events and issues as they occur and will react and advise the board of directors on all important issues that arise affecting hospitality. We will continue our policy of being more proactive and to anticipate upcoming issues and events rather than only working in a reactive mode. The GAC will continue to meet on the first Thursday of each month at 8:30 AM (except when rescheduled to avoid event or holiday conflicts). Periodically guest speakers will be invited to better inform the committee on issues of interest.