Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

By Samuel Strait – Reporter at Large – March 15, 2022

While the focus recently has been on the local debacle with our current
sheriff, and the notion that the County’s leadership has gone astray
when it comes to Measure “R” funding, the City has some explaining to do
as well.  It is true that one component of the City’s promise to
stabilize the operation of the City’s pool has come to pass, at
significant cost to the Measure”S” fund. Something nobody in City
government bothered to mention to those who supported this Measure. 
This cost will continue for the foreseeable future, and continue to draw
down the ability of the city to take measurable steps towards
infrastructure improvements, most notably the abysmal condition of the
City’s streets and roads.  Far be it for anyone to complain about the
City’s focus on Beach Front Park, but as with the City’s pool, just how
important are those expenditures with respect to other driving issues
such as streets and roads, no better than those of a third world nation
and this compulsion to think that hiring more government employees,
which the City seems unable to do in the current employment climate, as
being “more” important than eliminating future infrastructure problems
and correcting those so obviously on the table.

Beach Front Park is one of those showy, impractical “white elephants”
that quickly becomes a future costly hit to the City’s general fund or
as the case maybe, swallows huge and growing portions of Measure “S”
funding.  It will become unrelenting as more “features” are added to the
park.  With the pool swallowing a generous chunk of the City’s windfall
from the sales tax increase, when will the focus ever turn to streets
and roads?  Likely never, as the City already has eyes on creating more
employees and their salaries and benefits which will become yet another
yearly drain on the “S” funding.

So just how important is it to have serviceable roads in the City?  How
about water, or sewer?  Is forming a hybrid fire protection unit top on
your list to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars annually for
“new” employees?  How often do you use the City’s Beach Front Park, set
to become a sizeable cost to the City?   How about all that time you
spend in the City’s pool, worth a few hundred thousand dollars per year
to you?  The City’s Council has all that figured out for you for the
foreseeable future, just keep paying the $2 million per year in
additional sales tax.  Likely as inflation has become a serious factor
in this Country, that $2 million in sales tax out of Crescent City can
only increase.  Is what the voters passed by a wide margin for all the
City’s residents really how you wish to spend your hard earned money?

For all practical purposes, like the County’s Measure “R” money, Measure
“S” funding has become another “slush fund” for the City Council to
spend on “vital and promised” projects to reflect their individual glory
in office.  “See what I did with your money!” But how valuable has this
been going forward?  Would you rather have your share of that $2 million
back in your pocket to decide how you want to spend it?   Or, are you
comfortable with letting the City fathers spend it on what they wish to
spend it on? Signatures are being gathered to repeal Measure “S” as we
speak. If just a few of the City’s focus on spending Measure “S” doesn’t
fit your idea of what is necessary in life, you may wish to sign your
name to a growing list of the City’s residents that are tired of getting
taxed to death….

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