Times-Standard now the mouth piece for Eureka’s Good Ol’ Boyz

gangster

Fool taxpayers once, shame on you.  Fool them twice….

 

It appears that Paul Rodrigues or someone that works at the City of Eureka (see his previous comments on this blog) wrote the Times-Standard editorial opinion this past Sunday (In Eureka, a critical choice).  Either that or the Times-Standard has completely failed to do any in depth research on Measure O and is willing to put the publications journalistic integrity on the line by regurgitating the falsities and misdirection from the City.  The fact is, without dedicating the Measure O revenues to Public Safety, the council can spend them on whatever they want.  As of now, there’s no proposal from the City to dedicate the funds.

 

According to the TS, if voters don’t vote for an extension of Measure O, the city will fall apart.  The Police will barely be able to respond to calls for service, the Problem Oriented Policing (POP) team will be disbanded, the streets won’t be swept and “you won’t want to live there (if the tax expires)”.  In their argument they quote the same figures that Finance Director Paul Rodrigues attempted to pass off on the TE.  The figures in the editorial still don’t make sense, (unless you just accept them without question) and the TS didn’t seem to ask why there hasn’t been transparency in this process. Until the Examiner questioned the lack of disclosure last month, there was none.

 

Even more troubling, are the quotes from Chief Andy Mills.  The article says, “With this tax, EPD has been able to restore nine sworn positions that had been slated to be cut on Dec. 31, 2010”.  The editorial goes on to quote the Chief as saying that without the tax, there would be no (POP) team and the Traffic unit would take a hit.  The police department is currently 11 officers down, according to Chief Mills (the department is also woefully understaffed in dispatchers).  In 2010, the police budget was 3.3 million dollars less than in 2014, they had more filled positions and they were facing a budget shortfall.  But in 2010, we weren’t hearing about cuts to POP or the Traffic

 

Really Chief?  You’re threatening to disband POP and maybe not respond to calls unless people vote for Measure O?  Shame on you!  Even when faced with not having a Measure O in 2010, former Police Chief Garr Nielsen kept both the POP team and the Traffic unit intact!  Apparently he was able to find ways to keep the citizens priorities his top concern even when tightening the belt.  On top of that, the cost savings from the department in 2010 was going to be through hiring freezes, not cuts.  EPD’s currently understaffed in sworn officers, and dispatchers, which means that money is being saved and put back in the general fund.  But Chief Mills wants you to believe that without more money the Police wont be able to function.

 

To quote the 2010 adopted budget from the police department; “At the time of the budget preparation, we anticipated the retirement of two Lieutenants, the freesing (sic) of two Police Officers and one Police Services Officer (non-sworn).”  That’s right, the “cuts” were actually the freezing of four sworn positions, which weren’t or wouldn’t be filled.  That’s four sworn positions, not “nine sworn position” as quoted by the TS. According to the City Manager’s report on the saving in the Public Safety budget; “Maintain various vacant positions in the Eureka Police Department – saves $560,000″.  And, back when the budget was tighter and Measure O wasn’t a for sure revenue source, the budget overview read; “Problem Oriented Policing  This program, long desired by council members, staff and citizens, is funded for $732,264 in the proposed FY2010-11 budget.”  See the City’s reported budget for more information:

 

http://ci.eureka.ca.gov/depts/finance/report_pages/budget_fy_10_11.asp

 

Here we are again, four years later. The city, and apparently the Times-Standard, are using fear tactics to try and get voters to keep Measure O on the books.  They haven’t kept their promises of transparency, but they want you to “trust” that they will be good stewards of this windfall tax revenue for the future.  They are threatening to cut services and programs in Public Safety, even though they could keep those programs by being more fiscally responsible.  Every dollar spent from Measure O, that isn’t dedicated to Public Safety allows the Brady Bunch, Tyson, and the Arkley’s to subsidize their pet projects without having real scrutiny on the budget (ie; a sewage line to Cutten).  If the City had to be truly fiscally responsible with dedicated funds from Measure O being put into Public Safety, the Examiner might support this extension.  But unless it’s a dedicated tax, don’t let them fool you again Eureka.  ‘O’ yes in 2010….’O’ no without dedicated funds to Public Safety in 2014!

 

 

 

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60 thoughts on “Times-Standard now the mouth piece for Eureka’s Good Ol’ Boyz

  1. O no. What a catch phrase. Interesting budget in 2010. Thanks for the info. I’m sure the city employed trolls will have the usual attack comments about bunnies and such. However, this article brings up a good point: If measure O is to protect public safety, why not make it a dedicated tax? Let the voters have a real choice, and empower them to dictate how the tax will be spent.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Looks like the Tuluwat Examiner has joined the Tea Party. Even though the vast majority of Measure O funds have gone to police, fire and emergency services, let’s all cut off our noses to spite our faces by voting it down just because it also provided some funds for (gasp!) parks, street sweeping and neighborhood services. Because Arkley.

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  3. No dedicated funds. That’s why I didn’t vote for it the last time. This time even with specific Public Safety budget for the revenue, there has to be an independent outside audit done, every year. That audit should be posted on line.
    It should sunset at the elections in 2018.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. yoDa’s momma:

    Glad to see you have recovered from your bad episode of “being on the blog.” Intervention, sadly, does not always work.

    And you are dead on right. If this were a dedicated tax and not a GENERAL FUND tax I might be for it… although financial minds sharper than my own may still find a way to fiddle with the books.

    Okay, I live in Fortuna. I don’t vote on this. Why am I still getting annoyed about Measure O shenanigans?

    Because I do live in Fortuna, I don’t have a vote on this. Yes… I still get to pay the tax every time I come into the “Big City” and buy something. I don’t have a vote yet I get to pay… wasn’t that called some time ago…. what… ah, “Taxation Without Representation.” Yeah, that’s the ticket.

    No. Period. Until the City of Eureka get it’s act together (The Impossible Dream) they shouldn’t be allowed to do this.

    I’m sad to see Chief Mills being a party to this. I had hopes he would be different.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your thoughts on Fortuna’s Measure V, MOLA?

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    • Fortunarain (aka Janelle Egger):

      I have to say I am not for it. (This does not constitute a voter recommendation… I’m answering a direct question).

      Sales taxes are regressive by nature… the poor pay disproportionately more than the well off.

      Also a sales tax shoots the economy we depend on in the foot. I find it ironic that anti-minimum wage types warn of the economic destruction caused by higher wages and then turn around and support a sales tax. One may raise prices… the other surely will.

      What’s the City of Fortuna to do? I wish I could offer specifics. But we all need to keep in mind there is a new economic reality here and everywhere. We need to adjust to that new reality on a long term basis; I don’t think a sales tax does that.

      And you?

      Liked by 3 people

    • Wow, MOLA! This is brilliant:

      I find it ironic that anti-minimum wage types warn of the economic destruction caused by higher wages and then turn around and support a sales tax. One may raise prices… the other surely will.

      Liked by 4 people

  5. No more sales tax increase for ANY reason. Time to reduce sales taxes. Time to find another way to finance the musical chairs.

    Sales taxes (the most regressive tax on the poor) have tripled in the last 40 years in California while the tax bite on the propertied classes have declined.

    Sorry you have reached the end of this gravy train. No mas.

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  6. BTW we are not going to pay an extra half cent in taxes so that shit stain Tyson can spike his pension. If that’s what’s going on its not going to happen.

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  7. I think that ship as sailed “the poor”. I am pretty sure Tyson already spiked is pension. I think he livin’ large out Cutten with new sewer line headed his way.

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  8. I can’t prove it, but I strongly suspect Measure O monies are being used to cover shortfalls in public employee pension and health care payments. It’s happening in cities across the state and country. Would Eureka be strangely exempt? Most municipalities are admitting it and trying to deal with it.

    I’m thinking the city council doesn’t want to have to address pension and health costs, so they attribute the budget shortfalls to a generic recession based revenue shortage. We have had a very public safety friendly council, especially back when the late Lance Madsen was on the council. The mayor and three or four council members were retired city or county workers. I don’t think they want to rock the boat.

    I’m not sure just what, if anything, can be done about the problems with exploding pension and health costs. I’ll be voting against the tax (as I did last time) because I suspect they’re trying to sweep the problem under the rug.

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  9. Oh Fred, how does this go… I can’t prove it so I’ll throw it out there and see if anyone picks up the ball. Paul Rodrigues has said on this blog, if you have questions give him a call. Twice a month you have the opportunity to address the City Council about any of your concerns. Why don’t you use the opportunity?

    The one thing I do know is Public Safety takes a huge portion of the General Fund Budget, this is what pays for parks, alleys, recreation programs, sidewalks, building maintenance, all of the things that do not have direct funding. The “Measure O” half percent sales tax helps to reduce the pressure to the General Fund.

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    • Public pension and health care costs- particularly those of police and fire employees- are an increasing drain on city and county general funds across the state.

      If you’re worried about how much public safety takes from the General Fund, you should be concerned if pension and health care costs are taking more from not just other services, but police and fire as well. It’s happening across the state.

      Nope, I can’t prove it in Eureka, but reliable sources looking into it suspect creative budgeting to cover up the pension liabilities. They were unable to figure out the numbers, though. An accountant would be needed for that.

      If you’re concerned about city services- whether public safety related, or otherwise- you should be concerned how Eureka is handling them. Other cities in the state are cutting services to the bone and even facing bankruptcy at least in part because of exploding pension and retiree health care costs.

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  10. Just by way of example, Santa Rosa has found they have a $100 million dollar pension liability shortfall. It looks like, from reading the below article, they also passed a measure similar to Measure O, but aren’t using it for that liability, at least not yet. Good for them and good that they’re acknowledging the problem:

    “Voters passed Measure P in November to raise $6 million a year for eight years to fund city services, including police and fire protection, gang prevention, pedestrian safety, street paving and pothole repair and recreation and youth programs.

    Bartley said the city could face a “backlash” from voters if Measure P funds are used for the retirement costs.

    ‘I would hate to think we’re going to collect all that money and it’s not going to keep the parks green and all those things the voters wanted,’ Bartley said.”

    What is Eureka doing in this regard?

    http://www.watchsonomacounty.com/2011/01/cities/santa-rosa-faces-100-million-pension-shortage/

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Fred-

    Interesting take on pensions. I think you may be on to something. I can’t make heads or tails of what the city is actually spending in that area on the citys website, but I’m not an accountant.

    I don’t think you’re correct about the councils support of public safety. No one sitting on the curret council was supported by the police union (minus the mayor). I think that speaks volumes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thing is, they always say the money is going to go for public safety when they’re trying to pass a bond measure or a new tax. People will support it then. Remember that one bond measure from years ago where the lawn signs had a figure of a firefighter on it?

      I’ll admit I don’t know, either, for sure. I do find it odd that all I’ve read about public employee pensions and health care locally was a news article some time ago saying the city sold a bond (that means paying interest) to cover the city’s payment to CalPers- the state retirement fund for public employees.

      The silence is pretty much deafening.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Fred: Who is Paul Rodrigues?

    He’s the poor sap from the C of E Finance Department that tried to answer the Measure O fund questions put forward in the Tuluwat Examiner and learned never to do that again (he got fried and to be honest, I felt a bit sorry for him… but then again he wasn’t as straight forward in his answers as he could have been).

    There are all kinds of Three Card Monte games the C of E could play. For instance; all the measure O money goes to Public Safety. Public Safety money (from the General Fund, not Measure O) is then transferred to parks, pensions or the Christmas Party fund.

    I don’t know if that is happening or not but who knows? There are folks out there that really know how to make the money dance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • But even if they guarantee it goes to public safety, what if their pension and health care funds keep needing more money? If that’s not addressed, we might well see them asking for another sales tax increase in the next few years to cover those increasing costs. I’m not sure that issue is being addressed.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. “Okay, I live in Fortuna. I don’t vote on this… I still get to pay the tax every time I come into the ‘Big City’ and buy something. I don’t have a vote yet I get to pay… wasn’t that called some time ago…. what… ah, ‘Taxation Without Representation.'”

    And now MOLA’s going all Tea Party too.

    Yes, when you shop in Eureka, you have to pay sales tax in Eureka, and no, you don’t get to vote on it if you don’t live there, just as you don’t get to vote on tax rates in Arcata just because you do some shopping there. But of course you are under no obligation to shop in Eureka if you’re so offended by the fact that Eureka spends a little bit of that tax money on things like parks, street cleaning, and neighborhood services.

    Typical Tea Party thought process — wants to enjoy the benefits of a nearby “Big City” for shopping, dining, etc., but complains bitterly about having to pay even a tiny amount in additional taxes to support and improve basic services for that city.

    Well then, stay in Fortuna for all your shopping and see if you’ll save money that way. Best of luck with that.

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  14. Well, the TE has gone from being lefty wingnuts, to TEA party heroes according to some commenters. I really do think this blog is being run by Chet Albin!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Anonymous 5:41:

    You’re right, who am I to want to have a say about what is going on? Silly me.

    If I don’t get a vote then I should just shut up. It’s none of my business. I see the error of my ways.

    You guys go ahead with whatever you are up to. I’ll just sit here a (hopefully) safe distance away and watch you and yours continue along just as you have been. I’ll help you pay your way with a smile on my face to show there’s no hard feelings.

    Because obviously you got things handled.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Measure “O” promised a citizen committee to review its funds and expenditures, it did not state that “the city’s finance committee” would be performing this.

    Pulling out the “Tea Party” card is ludicrous.

    Dedicating all of Measure “O” funds to law enforcement, showing that non-“O” law enforcement funds are not being spent elsewhere, performing an independent audit, and forming a citizens review committee are all in the public interest!

    Most folks want to ensure that we fully fund law enforcement to cope with a city of 28,000 plus the 32,000 more entering Eureka from Myrteltown, Cutten, Humboldt and Pine Hill for work, services and entertainment.

    Eureka is their downtown.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. No, you’ll keep coming to Eureka to shop because you can get better prices (even with the Measure O tax) and better selection that you can in Fortuna. In other words, you will continue to take advantage of the benefits Eureka offers you, while continuing to whine about “taxation without representation” like a typical self-centered teabagger.

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  18. 8:50,

    If they don’t change Measure O to your liking, will you vote against it, thereby stripping law enforcement and other public safety agencies of a large amount of their funding? How will that help “fully fund” law enforcement? Answer: It won’t. It will make their funding situation much, much worse.

    And by the way, if they did change Measure O to restrict all funds to law enforcement, that might weaken support among people who think fire protection, parks, and neighborhood services are important too. So in an effort to get more money for law enforcement, but only law enforcement, you might cause the Measure to fail, and end up with less money for law enforcement (as well as less money for fire protection, parks, and neighborhood services).

    Eureka voters were told Measure O would mostly fund police, fire protection and emergency services, with some funding also going to parks and neighborhood services. And that’s exactly what they got — the vast majority went to police, fire protection and emergency services, and a minority went to parks and neighborhood services, just as promised.

    Sure, they could cut fire protection, parks and neighborhood services from the new Measure and run an initiative for a “law enforcement only” version of Measure O, but — surprise, surprise — lots of people actually think things like fire protection, parks and neighborhood services are valuable to a city.

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  19. Here’s the summary of “Measure O” funded expenditures for Fiscal Year 2012/2013:

    Police $647,448

    Prob Orient Police $184,892

    Public Safety Communications $113,300

    Fire Prevention $80,816

    Fire Suppression $973,585

    Fire Volunteer Program $24,197

    Emergency Operation Center $120

    Fire Truck / Engine Replacement, Fire Dept & City Hall Roof Projects
    $207,578

    Fire Truck / Engine Replacement, Fire Dept & City Hall Roof Projects
    29,934

    New Fire Truck – FEMA match $587,064

    Street Sweeping Program (reinstate street sweeper position) $58,569

    Facility / Park Maintenance $93,626

    Enhanced Building and Code Enforcement $17,138

    Transfer to General Fund Assigned Reserves $977,250

    TOTAL: $ 3,995,517

    http://www.ci.eureka.ca.gov/civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=9429

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  20. Goood try 9:31!!! Why are you so afraid of Measure O being dedicated to Public Safety (that includes the fire department)? Keep trying to throw out the smoke and mirrors, just like the city. The fact remains, the city won’t take this simple step. Why?

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I’ll take a stab at it momma:

    1) You need a two thirds vote to pass a dedicated tax an almost impossible task – Not a simple step as you say, rather an impossible leap.

    2) People other than the three or four constant commenters on this blog like things like the parks and street sweeping.

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  22. “The fact remains, the city won’t take this simple step. Why?”

    Because there is a greater chance of passing the Measure if it includes some funding for parks and neighborhood services than there is of passing it without those things. Why? Because many city residents appreciate their parks being maintained and their streets being swept, and most of us realize that it takes money to accomplish those things. So it adds to the appeal. It’s that simple.

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  23. hm:

    Then 2/3’s the honest way to go. If you are going on another election campaign to scare the willies out of everyone to get a sales tax passed then make it at least in an honest effort.

    I like street sweeping. I like parks. I like zoos. I like all kinds of things. I don’t have any problem with any of that.

    And if I had confidence the city would spend Measure O funds for public safety as they “advertise” during their scare campaigns I’d be for it. But I don’t have that confidence in the C of E and past behavior confirms that lack of confidence.

    Raise property taxes a quarter per cent. It’s a less regressive tax and the people getting the benefit pay the tax. That’s fair but that’s not going to happen. Why? Because Arkley and friends (being property owners) would rather have non-property owners bear that burden.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. More Tea Party nonsense from MOLA, who blithely ignores the budget numbers that clearly show that the vast majority of Measure O funds have gone to public safety. Having been exposed for the Tea Partyesque selfishness of being a Fortuna resident who wants to shop in Eureka without contributing to city services through Measure O, now MOLA is pretending to be concerned for “non-property owners.” And in so doing, pretends that renters don’t pay property taxes (through their rent). Ironically, pretending that renters don’t pay property taxes is yet another classic Tea Party position. The fact is that both property owners and non-owners in Eureka would pay more if property taxes were to raised to make up for the loss of Measure O. But out-of-town shoppers like MOLA would pay less, and apparently that’s all that really matters.

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  25. “You need a two thirds vote to pass a dedicated tax”.

    Last time I checked, the Eureka City Council typically votes four fifths on everything….and they support law enforcement, right?

    So, how do these demands for accountability, “by three or four commenters” lack credibility and merit childish name-calling, yet, are easily remedied with a few corrective actions taken by the council?

    Legitimate demands for accountability are often met with similar degrading insults and the bureaucratic terror that “three or four” persistent questions can rapidly multiply into others before an election.

    How hard is it for this council to call for a Citizen’s Review Committee that this Measure promised?

    There’s $977,250 in Measure “O” GF Assigned Reserves. Is that what’s supposed to be there?

    Have all the previous audits reviewed Measure “O”, or just statistical portions of it?

    Street sweeping is a public safety issue for bicyclers, the same can be said for pedestrians with park maintenance.

    Accountability is common-sense and this city’s past imbroglios, negligence, and cronyism merits public scrutiny.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Great points MOLA. I would add that, according to the U.S. Census, only 48% of Humboldt County homes are owner-occupied. Proposition 13 should have been repealed long ago for all business property.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. “I like street sweeping. I like parks. I like zoos. I like all kinds of things. I don’t have any problem with any of that. And if I had confidence the city would spend Measure O funds for public safety as they ‘advertise’ during their scare campaigns I’d be for it.”

    If your main concern is public safety, but you also support clean streets and parks being maintained, then you should be delighted with the City Council’s appropriation of Measure O funds, since Measure O funded nearly $3 million worth of public safety expenditures last year, and about $150,000 worth of park maintenance and street sweeping.

    By the way, your use of the phrase “scare campaign” implies that the city doesn’t really need that money for public safety, but then your insistence that every single dollar of Measure O should be spent on public safety implies that the city needs even more money for public safety. So, which is it? Make up your mind.

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  28. Hm said: ‘You need a two thirds vote to pass a dedicated tax.”

    Anon 12:08 said: “Last time I checked, the Eureka City Council typically votes four fifths on everything….and they support law enforcement, right?”

    2/3 of the voters, Anon, not 2/3 of the City Council. Measure O is a “general purpose tax” requiring only a simple majority of the voters. What “Hm” was pointing out was that in order to pass the kind of dedicated tax that the TE, MOLA, and other underinformed and/or aggressively ignorant folks are demanding, that would take a supermajority of 2/3 of the voters to pass.*

    Which means that acceding to the TE’s demands for a dedicated tax would not only lose some votes from people who supported Measure O at least in part because it promised (and delivered) some help for parks and neighborhood services, it would also raise the threshold to a 2/3 supermajority in order to pass the replacement Measure. And if that loss of voter support and increase of the threshold lead to the defeat of the Measure, that means the city would lose several millions of dollars in funds every year — fund that they’ve been using the vast, overwhelming majority of for…public safety.

    No word from the TE “staff” as to how they would propose to make up for the loss of several million dollars a year in public safety funds — which would be the likely outcome of acceding to the TE’s demands for a dedicated tax. MOLA’s plan is to increase city property taxes, under the misguided belief (or disingenous claim?) that renters somehow don’t pay property taxes through their rent. Meanwhile, MOLA’s plan would increase the burden on Eureka residents, and reduce the contribution required from the tens of thousands of people who live outside the city limits but work, shop, and recreate in the city every day, using services including public safety, streets, and parks. In other words, MOLA’s plan is to lower MOLA’s taxes, and the taxes of folks living in the suburbs around Eureka, and make up for that by raising taxes on Eureka residents. All in the name of helping Eureka residents. Gosh, thanks MOLA.

    [*Now, where have I heard this argument before, this argument that taxes should only be raised with a supermajority? Oh, that’s right, that’s the argument we hear from California’s right-wing / Republican / “starve the beast” / Tea Party crowd.]

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  29. “Proposition 13 should have been repealed long ago for all business property.”

    Yes. Yes! A thousand times yes!

    Liked by 2 people

  30. 60k for the streetsweaper program? That’s a big waste. That truck hardly does shit

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  31. Lotta smoke and mirrors again from the green horned anonymous. Using that many words to not answer questions must be tiring. The TE is correct, dedicate the tax to public safety, since the city claims public safety will barely survive without it. Simple.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. We are going to vote no on ANY sales tax increase for ANY REASON.

    We are not going to give this pathetic collection of bitter old dead enders (AKA the Klown Kownsil) ANY MORE TAX DOLLARS TO STEAL.

    If you need more $ for police, fine, close the Fucking ZOO.

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  33. A targeted sin tax of 10 cents a bottle on sugary soft drinks would raise a million $ a year for the city of Eureka. I would be ok with a targeted sin tax.

    No more general sales taxes.

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  34. Eureka is absolutely bloated with vacant commercial space. This is because Prop. 13 and “tax loss carry forwards” pervert the free market, causing properties to sit idle for tax purposes not market purposes. This is like burying a gold bar in the backyard. You have a right to do it but it does nothing for the economy around you.

    In the face of this bloat, what is the solution put forward by the Klown Kownsil?

    More RETAIL! Walmart, BevMo, Aarons etc etc. Have you been to the Henderloin lately?

    These people on the council now are really simple minded folk.

    How about a tax on empty commercial property? A vacancy tax?

    Who would be against it?

    Liked by 1 person

  35. “Using that many words to not answer questions must be tiring. The TE is correct, dedicate the tax to public safety, since the city claims public safety will barely survive without it. Simple.”

    Unable to refute the argument, yoDa’s momma simply ignores it. Again, momma, a dedicated tax requires a 2/3 majority, making it much more likely that the new measure fails to pass. When that happens, how do you propose the City should make up for the loss of at least 3 million dollars a year that is now being used for public safety?

    “still anon” has an answer, close the zoo. Okay, that covers a bit more than $600,000 a year. How about the other $2.4 million that will be lost from public safety? Where’s that supposed to come from?

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  36. O.K., not “still anon” has added a “sin tax” on sugary drinks, claimed to raise $1 million, but, once again, if it’s a dedicated tax that would require a 2/3 majority. So, that’s unlikely to fly.

    Again, I can’t help but notice how Tea Partyesque all this is, with the demands that the only new taxes be “sin taxes,” that they must be 2/3 supermajority votes, and must only fund police / public safety, nothing else.

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  37. the trend over the last 40 years to transfer the tax burden from property owners to the poor via sales tax has created in local government the government version of the short term profit outlook that is perverting business.

    Local officials are addicted to the sales tax revenue like a sugar drip. They will go to any lengths to increase it, like letting corporate vampires like Walmart come into your city. It increases sales tax revenue in the short term but in the long term your local economy is hollowed out by the parasite and dies. The current city council will be gone and forgotten a few years from now when the truth is apparent.

    I am a socialist. I would be happy paying a bit more taxes myself if the government were actually providing useful services to us, beyond an understaffed but overmilitarized police department.

    But the truth is most people think taxes of all kinds are too high. Its not just rich people who think taxes are too high. Joe Six pack thinks taxes are too high. All of them. Income taxes, social security taxes, sales taxes, bullshit fees for government services etc. etc. The court system is one of the worst, its just a money machine now. No justice, just give us your MONEY.

    We have reached a point where even for socialists like me, if you want to raise taxes you are going to have to actually provide us some services.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. If only Larry Glass was still in office, surely he’d be advocating for this tax to be dedicated to public safety only. Oh wait…

    From the Times-Standard, October 2010:

    “Eureka resident Darrell Keating asked why the council didn’t put a dedicated tax measure on the ballot which requires a two-thirds majority vote from the public and guarantees the funds go to particular departments, like public safety…Glass responded that the recommendation from the Financial Advisory Committee was for this type of measure and that polls indicated that a two-thirds vote could not be accomplished.”

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  39. “still anon” said: “We have reached a point where even for socialists like me, if you want to raise taxes you are going to have to actually provide us some services.”

    In other words, services like police, fire protection, emergency services, park maintenance and street sweeping? Because those are the services Measure O has been funding, with a very strong emphasis on public safety.

    And you don’t even have to “raise” taxes to get those services, you just have to approve a new Measure O, keeping tax rates the same as they have been for several years now. So no one is advocating raising taxes, except by the Tea Party “logic” that not letting existing taxes expire somehow constitutes a “tax hike.”

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  40. Here are two items where I believe I am in agreement with the TE “staff,” with MOLA:42, and some of the other commenters here:

    (1) The City should have formed an independent oversight committee for Measure O funds. This was mentioned quite a bit during the Measure O campaign, and even though using the existing city finance committee may meet the letter of the law, it doesn’t measure up to what voters were promised.

    (2) The City did a poor job of making it easy and accessible for people to see where Measure O funds were going. The Measure O pie charts and budget reports now available on their website should have been available there every year since the end of the first year of expenditures.

    Both of these shortcomings could and should be addressed in the replacement Measure. The City should go ahead and form the independent oversight committee. and of course they should continue posting the Measure O budget reports (along with charts, narrative, etc) on the City’s website. Yes, this takes a bit of work, which means it costs some money, but it would be well worth it to give the public a better understanding of how this tax revenue is being spent.

    Another criticism that I think is legitimate is this one: For a City with many pressing needs, they sure did leave quite a bit of those Measure O funds to transfer to General Fund Reserves. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to re-build the City’s reserves after a recession, but using nearly million dollars –almost a quarter of all Measure O funds — for that purpose last year, seems like a lot for a City that still has plenty of pressing public safety and neighborhood services needs.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Sales taxes are inherently regressive, and the more we have to rely on them, the worse. However, “sin taxes” like “still anon’s” proposed tax on sugary soft drinks, are also very regressive.

    Property taxes can be less regressive, but under Prop 13 in its current form they are distorted in favor of the wealthy. Prop 13 should at least be amended to exclude businesses. But changing Prop 13 is obviously not something the City Council has the power to do, so that’s not really a realistic alternative for replacing the revenues that would be lost if Measure O is not renewed.

    Income taxes are the most progressive, but again not really a realistic option for Eureka (good luck getting city voters on board with a proposal for an city-level income tax).

    And in the case of both property taxes and income taxes, the city can only impose those on their own residents and businesses. So to reduce the sales tax, which at least captures some revenue from out-of-town shoppers, etc., and then make up the lost revenue with taxes on city residents only, would actually increase the “free rider” problem of non residents who work, shop, and recreate in the city all the time, drive on city streets, visit city parks, use city services and so on…but only pay property taxes to the county.

    [Which, not coincidentally, is the basic problem of funding for the zoo as well — the City funds it, but many of the visitors are folks from from outside city limits and surrounding towns and from the unincorporated parts of the county, and these folks only pay their property taxes to the county, which doesn’t fund the zoo. So it seems like either the county should be kicking in some money towards the operation of the zoo, or else maybe the zoo should charge out-of-town visitors a couple extra bucks more for admission than it charges Eureka residents?]

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  42. Oops, when pointing out the “free rider” aspect of the zoo funding, I didn’t mean to pick on people living in the unincorporated parts of the county, the same is true of people from Arcata, Fortuna, Rio Dell, Ferndale, Blue Lake, and Trinidad. Eureka taxpayers are picking up the tab for these residents from other cities, and from the unincorporated parts of the county, to use the zoo. I think it’s understandable that Eureka taxpayers might be a bit cranky about that.

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  43. Anonymous 11:54:

    I don’t equate the Founding Fathers with the Tea Party. I’m sorry you do and I hope you do some remedial reading in American History to fix your problem.

    I already pay my bit in sales taxes to the City of Eureka. I have no objection to that (except I’m still not fond of regressive taxes). I’m objecting to the little bit more they want which was sold to the community as one thing but at least a quarter of which is used for another (using the numbers you yourself provide).

    I’m especially concerned about nearly a million dollars of money raised to deal with an “emergency” situation sitting idle in the General Fund coffers. Especially when the City of Eureka has 6 or more police officer positions left vacant.

    You have a problem with Arkley ponying up his fair share? Well, we shall have to agree to disagree.

    Yes, renters pay the property tax through their rents.

    I’ll spell it out. The person who pays $500 rent a month pays a smaller amount, the person who pays $5000 rent a month pays a larger amount toward the land lord’s property tax through their rents. That is called progressive taxation, taxation based on a person’s ability to pay and not merely on the fact they breath the City of Eureka’s air.

    Compose yourself before the next time you post and you might find yourself making a more coherent and less shrill argument.

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  44. MOLA:42,

    The “taxation without representation” that the Founders were rightly concerned about was a tax imposed on the colonists, in the colonies by the Parliament in London. It wasn’t about Parliament imposing a sales tax in London, and the colonists being mad that when they visited London they had to pay it too. Trying to apply a claim of “taxation without representation” to the situation of someone from Fortuna having to pay Eureka sales tax when in Eureka is classic Tea Party (il)logic.

    Meanwhile, you once again repeat the Big Lie that Measure O was only supposed to fund public safety. That’s simply not true, the measure explicitly included “street maintenance, environmental programs, zoo, parks and recreation” in addition to “police, fire, medical response.” Only an illiterate person or someone who could not read and understand basic English could have voted for this measure without realizing some of the funds would be used for parks, street maintenance, etc.

    I do agree that the amount dedicated to rebuilding the General Fund seems excessive given existing public safety and neighborhood services needs. Obviously it’s good to rebuild “rainy day” reserves. But hard to justify putting so much towards the next rainstorm when there’s still plenty of precipitation right now.

    “You have a problem with Arkley ponying up his fair share? Well, we shall have to agree to disagree.”

    Now you’re just babbling incoherently. I said nothing of the sort.

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  45. Yes, but Eureka taxpayers pay twice — once with their property taxes, and again at the gate. Non-Eureka taxpayers only pay at the gate. So Eureka taxpayers are still subsidizing part of the cost for Non-Eureka taxpayers.

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  46. Anonymous 12:43:

    In fairness I will grant that you did not specifically say Arkley (and friends) shouldn’t pay their fair share through property taxes. I goofed.

    The rest is simply self-serving distortion of what I have actually said with an overabundance of silly repetition. I will stand pat and those curious enough can go back through the comments and see what I have actually said.

    I think we’re done since the arguments on both sides have gone circular.

    Feel free to continue without me; I wouldn’t want to be accused of trying to inhibit your (or anyone’s) desire to say what you wish here… no matter how many times you think you need to say it.

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  47. Fred “believes” a lot of things. He’s a believer.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. Thank you for your act of contrition Anonymous 11:01 AM.

    After a long-haul, you suddenly concur with the demands for accountability for Measure “O” which deflates your earlier “Tea Bag” insults.

    Also, thank you for your correction on the 2/3 majority of voters, (not the city council), that are required to pass higher taxes. My mistake.

    The current agreement by debating parties that Measure “O” merits simple council actions to form an independent Citizen Oversight Committee, to improve budget transparency, to explain and reduce the huge reserve fund, and provide a thorough independent audit of Measure “O” in lieu of the absence of a Citizen Oversight Committee, all attest to the importance of non-partisan accountability in the public interest.

    Nevertheless, we can expect that this city has no intention of enacting any reforms.

    That’s why I’m voting against Measure “O” this time and look forward to reading your letters in the local newspapers.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. Off topic but wondering if anyone saw the Rescue Mission volunteers trying to do a clean-up on what appeared to be the Balloon Tract? It seemed very discouraging in terms of what they found and were unable to contact or get a response from the “owners.” It was just a blurb on KIEM.

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