Wed. Dec 7th, 2022

By Samuel Strait – Reporter at Large – March 10, 2022

It is stunning when one hears someone who works for the County
vehemently oppose the repeal of the County 1% increase in the sales
tax.  Sure the County’s bureaucracy will make every effort to “gaslight”
those that work for the County into believing it is in their best
interest to vote “No” when the repeal vote “FINALLY” comes before the
voters.  Aside from the fact that the voters were LIED to about the
County’s intent to not use the income from Measure “R” to pay for
additional salaries and benefits, that is precisely what they have done
with nearly half the new income to date.

Contrary to providing a higher level of training and professional skills
to its current staff, or cough up the money for specialized equipment
which would aid officers, the board has elected to fund several “new”
positions three of which have nothing to do with police, fire, or
emergency services.  The remaining three will join the long list of
unfilled vacancies currently plaguing the Sheriff’s department.  At
least they are doing something that “sort of” resembles what they
promised is a typical response by some County employees, conveniently
forgetting the promise that “NO MEASURE “R” MONEY WOULD BE SPENT ON
SALARIES OR BENEFITS”.

Unfortunately that is only one of the lies being told by County
Administration, the employees union, and our delightful Board of
Supervisors.  The message has already gone out, “vote “NO” on the repeal
vote or loose your hard earned raises as well as some will loose their
jobs.  The County cannot function financially and pay the salary
increases without Measure “R” money”.   The only problem with that
message, is that the 1% sales tax increase has already been robbing
local citizen’s wallets for nearly a year. The County’s workers are
among the victims by having money in the form of raises come in one
pocket and go out the other every time a taxable item is purchased.   No
raise in 2021 means County workers are already at a loss.  Now that the
raises have taken effect surely County workers are ahead, not so fast.

Over the past eight months the Federal Government has created inflation
not seen for a half century.  Nearly all goods and services have
increased some by as much a 100%.  Along with those increases are the
tag along increases of sales tax.  Price of goods goes up, more sales
tax is collected.  Gasoline having increased by nearly 100% will
certainly fatten that bank account for “Measure R” taking an increased
amount out of each local person’s pocket.  Groceries, you name it will
wipe out that raise County workers recently received and then some.  
Soon those few pennies paid for sales taxes increase to dollars, then
tens of dollars, then hundreds of dollars, and finally thousands of
dollars out of each local taxpayer’s pocket.  Still feeling righteous
about continuing to pay for Measure “R” sales tax, or now maybe a little
ridiculous when it comes out of your pocket in substantial amounts.

The sad part of this is that while County workers will sustain only
minimal loss, those at the bottom of the government heap a bit more, the
pain will still be there no matter what your union rep says, the
County’s CAO, or even your district supervisor.  As long as the
increased sales tax is on the books and not repealed, County workers
will pay, and the precious pay raise will be a memory lost to government
greed.  More importantly your neighbors and friends who did not get
those generous County raises will experience a significantly deeper dig
in their pockets from the sales tax increase, many of which can ill
afford the County’s current excesses.  What will they say to you, as
gainfully employed by the County, after you have spurned a chance for
them to recoup the losses of the past year when they see you in your
yard, or in the local grocery store.  Not a conversation you are no
doubt looking forward to….

There is the likelihood that things will get much worse.  Rampant
inflation coupled with an increased sales tax helps no one, particularly
when it isn’t spent in the manner that was intended. In a future article
the myth that the current County’s path towards solving any of the
advertised crisises is not both fool hardy and counterproductive.   The
path does not benefit the County’s population nor the County’s current
labor force.  It is both reckless and foolhardy, guaranteed to produce
more financial misery on everyone in the County, including those
employed by said County.

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