The following letter to the editor was published in The Beach Reporter newspaper (TBRnews.com) on Thursday, March 27, 2014 in the Letters section. The Beach Reporter has a strict 250-word limit excluding the title.
Not happy with Measure A
Mayor Fisher is threatening to contract out our fire services to county if we don’t approve his Measure A tax hikes. These are empty threats. There’s no advantage in outsourcing. It would reduce services – not save money. Ninety percent of voters rejected Measure P to outsource fire services. Clearly, we can do a referendum against an ordinance to outsource services.
Last year City Council raised Chevron’s taxes by more than $8.5 million on average per year for 15 years. And the council can save many millions of dollars per year by getting the employee compensation and pension cost increases under control.
All residents will pay much more of the $6.6 million annual Measure A taxes than the “Yes on A” campaign mailer claims. We will pay the new business taxes that are passed on to us as customers, in addition to the new taxes on our electricity, water, gas, landline and cellular telephone, cable TV, satellite and Internet bills.
The money won’t go for schools or infrastructure. The city attorney said the resolution on how to spend the money is not binding, and only language in the ballot measure can be binding. Fisher chose the nonbinding route – he refused to put language in the ballot measure for money to schools and infrastructure.
The new taxes will go for huge past and future fire and police union pay raises and resulting pension cost increases, as in the past. That’s why the fire union donated $5,000 to the “Yes on A” campaign.