Chula Vista big wig Earl Jentz, who has the ear of everyone of influence in town, is pushing two initiatives that would somewhat gut the emergency 1 percent sales tax increase the City Council is asking voters to approve.

I asked him via e-mail today to confirm. Here’s his response:

We are collecting signatures to put a measure on the ballot that would allow voters a choice.

First the imitative would modify Prop A, if it passes (see Section 2 A). It would reduce the term from 10 years to five years, reduce the rate from 1 percent to 3/4 of 1 percent (0.75 percent) and adds several specifics about a Citizens Advisory Committee including the ability to recommend whether the tax shall be continued.

Second, in the event Prop A does not pass (see Section 2 B ), the voters will be able to vote yes or no on a Sales Tax as modified in 2A.

I’m pretty sure these are votes that would occur in the May 19 special election (Update: I had “June” in here before as the date of the special election. That was wrong).Update II: I was really wrong about this. Jentz’s initiative wouldn’t make it to a ballot until at least October. See my correction here.

Remember, Chula Vista was so freaked out about its financial position that city officials decided they had to mail ballots to residents because they simply couldn’t wait until the next election to hold a vote. They didn’t know, or weren’t certain, that the state would also be asking voters to approve a sales tax increase and other measures in a June special election.

Jentz, of course, knows how to get a ballot measure passed in Chula Vista. He was the architect of the measure that will put an elected city attorney in charge of the city’s legal department.

We’ll see what happens.

SCOTT LEWIS

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