Opinion Piece by Linda Sutter – October 15, 2016 –
CANDIDATES AND OUR CHOICES
For the last two nights, Thursday, October 13th and Friday, October 14th, the local Tea Party gave the community the opportunity to ask their own questions during political debate between the candidates running. The turnout for this was less about 30 people Thursday night when Roger Gitlin and Bob Berkowitz squared off against Kathryn Murray and David Finigan, along with Dr. Greg Duncan vs Helen Duvernay for Health District. Friday night a few more people showed up, about 40, to hear their questions answered by the City Council candidates and Harbor candidates. Are these dismal attendance figures reflecting the feelings of uselessness in our community?
In observation of listening to the candidates, it is fair to say that everyone wants to bring in new businesses and have a robust economy for our community. The plain ugly truth of the matter is, the political bureaucracy of establishing any business in the State of California prevents our ability to bring in new business. How many restaurants can we support? Why do none of the candidates step outside the box and offer tax incentives for relocation of new industry? How much more infrastructure can this community withstand off the backs of the 4,000 people who live here and with one third of the population on community services?
There are four candidates vying for three positions on the Harbor Board. Out of the four running, two seemed to address the importance of fiscal responsibility.
Candidate Brian Stone is new to our area, however, he has experience on a government level with numbers and budget. His presentation gave a realistic look at what the Harbor is facing. More than $379,000 in deficits as well as $5.4 million dollar loan they have to repay.
Mr. Scott Feller talked about the boards he serves on with an extended dissertation about how Sutter Coast Hospital is getting doctors. We see as citizens how the SCH issue is panning out. Do we need to see that same effect in the harbor? Ok, but what have you done for the Harbor other than get it into a $5.4 million dollar debt, with a $379,000 dollar deficit? Few ships to fill the slips, and no insight on making money for the harbor to survive? Scott Feller supports term limits and has served two and is asking for a 3rd.
Mr. James Ramsey states government should serve the people. He spends endless hours working out the various budgets of the Harbor as well as other organizations he works on. When we needed to get funded we had to raise the harbor fees to show that we made enough money to repay a loan. REWIND, “WHEN WE NEEDED TO GET FUNDED WE HAD TO RAISE THE HARBOR FEES TO SHOW THAT WE MADE ENOUGH MONEY TO REPAY A LOAN.” HENCE $5.4 million dollars in debt. Apparently, the Harbor took lessons from the City in fudging the figures in order to get in debt to a loan we can’t repay. And then they scratch their heads and wonder why the harbor, city, and county are broke?
Mr. Wes White, highly educated man with masters degrees who cares about community and is frustrated about the politics running our city and county. He is on the board of Economic Advisors, Chamber, and other boards who shoots straight from the hip and does what is best long term for economic health of the harbor and community. This will be his last four year term that he runs for. Commercial fishing and tourism has to go hand in hand, fishing will not sustain the harbor, and that is what we need to establish to clear this $5.4 million dollar debt.
City Candidates for City Council
Six people are vying for three positions for City Council. Out of the six candidates, only three were willing to talk about the budget and crisis that is facing the city. The other three didn’t feel it was their duty to know the budget until they get into office. Uh, wrong answer….beeeeeep, next.
Folks, this is fiscal irresponsibility at its finest hour. How are we to elect people to these ever important positions without losing our shirts, our cars, our homes, and the economic health of this Community?
The three people who support Measure Q and who wans to make our sewer rates go up are; Holly Greene, Jason Greenough, and Heidi Kime. They support measure Q, the 20% sewer rate increase, and said that if measure Q does not pass our city will go broke.
Let’s recap on some city bad fiscal decision making. The city this past year decided it was a good idea to give the airport $20,000 dollars a year for the next five years towards the safety extension of the runway at the airport. $20,000 of your hard earned tax dollars, pissed away without even so much as a vote, and just like that. Remember Kathryn Murray was a big part of that and is running for Supervisor.
At a 2 by 2 meeting in September it was determined that the city could no longer afford to pay Police Chief Minsal $80,000 salary. Yet the city could afford $20,000 per year for a safety extension of the airport. The city wants more police, a detective, and a records technician. If they can’t afford to pay the chief how are they going to afford more police at viable salaries? Maybe it’s time to consolidate services by combining City and County.
The people running for these very important positions need to take this responsibility very seriously. This community has suffered long enough with bad decision making and frivolous money spending.
Justin Williams, Alex Fallman, and Steven Bevier were the only candidates that would seek public advice before making decisions that were going to affect our pocket books. The other candidates were too far removed and disconnected from understanding the seriousness of the poverty in Crescent City and what people can actually afford.
So now it is up to the voters, we the people, and by the people, and for the people. Are you going to vote for Fiscal Responsibility of your local government? Or Are you going to vote for people who want to slam it to the people because after all, it is our money they are spending without blinking an eye.
Hmm, makes me want to go shopping.