Wednesday, April 15, 2009|There are three strong reasons why voters need to reject Proposition A.
It’s Too Long: Ten years is a long time. By the time it ends, economic recovery probably will have occurred. Employees are under contract until 2012 and 2013. The city is asking the taxpayers to commit to a tax increase until 2019. Salaries and benefits account for 80 percent of the budget. Where will the additional sales tax money likely go after 2013 when the current employee contracts end and the unions exert pressure on the majority of the council they helped elect?
The impartial ballot analysis says “The city would not be legally bound in any way to use the tax revenues for any special purpose or for any particular service, facility or program.”
Voters need to reject this Prop. A and send the city a loud and clear message to live within their means.
It’s Too Much: The city is asking for an additional 1 percent sales tax or over $20 million a year. Their own data shows a deficit projection of approximately $15 million. They are asking for too much. It is roughly $1,000 per person over the life of the tax.
There is an alternative: We have an initiative in process to modify Prop. A, if it passes. It would reduce the term from 10 years to five years, reduce the increase from 1 percent to .75 percent and add several specifics about a Citizens Advisory Committee including the ability to recommend whether the tax shall be continued.
Instead of a $200 million dollar commitment over 10 years, the taxpayers will be making a $75 million dollar commitment over five years. This should give the city enough time and money to get their house in order without cutting services.
In the event Prop. A does not pass, the initiative will give voters the chance to vote on Prop. A as modified above.
This alternative gives the city a transition period where they can make changes and reduce costs by improving efficiency, outsourcing work, contract negotiations or any combination of these efforts.
Judging by their actions since January 1, city leaders (council and managers) act like they are putting employee’s interests over those of city residents. We need to keep informed and let them know that we are watching and what we are thinking.
If this makes sense to you, we need your help and a lot of signatures. We can be reached at 619-422-6000.
Earl Jentz is an active Chula Vista community member and property owner.