Here we go again because here they come again with their hands out and palms up, looking for more money because they spent all the other money.
County supervisors want us to open our hearts, but mostly our wallets, to fund what they say are critical services. We’ve heard that pitch before.
We pay taxes to have safe, secure places to live. We want cops on duty, fire fighters available around the clock and roads in good shape. We want water to flow when we turn the tap and lights when we flick the switch.
Sewer systems? Trash pickup? Streetlights? Yeah, yeah, yeah.
But what’s the smart, sneaky idea among government agencies? Absorb the tax money and spend it on dubious programs and lavish salaries, then go back and ask for more money if citizens want the basics.
Before we hand another suitcase of cash to county supervisors to fund more vague programs, a few questions:
1) Where did the money go to fund the Bullet Train? All we know for certain is it didn’t build a high speed rail line between Sacramento and Los Angeles. Last count? A billion bucks, and all we got was a hole in the ground.
2) Let’s ask about gasoline taxes for highways that we pay out by the millions, and getback bicycle lanes, rail trails and stretches of Highway 101 through Mendocino County hardly improved in a 100 years. Still two lanes, just like 1930, into Hopland and out of Willits.
3) Where has the money for Measure B gone? It was to fund treatment centers, help cops with mentally ill criminals and a secure lockdown facility. The Measure B committee never says, but will soon hold a meeting to count the many millions of dollars collected but never spent.
4) We pay a cash recycle fee for aluminum cans and plastic or glass bottles. Every sixpack, every Coke bottle. The promise was the money would be refunded at government-sponsored redemption centers. But those centers are gone. The state still charges redemption fees, but has disappeared the recycle centers.
5) Local politicians, using local dollars provided by local citizens, bought and renovated a local motel for the exclusive use of nonlocal homeless people. Cost was around $11 million. Why do politicians need more money if there’s money for stuff like that?
6) If money is so tight how was the county able to pay two (2) redundant Covid Health Advisory Officers to accomplish approximately nothing? One even had the cheek to move to San Diego and cash her checks from there.
7) The promise that a tax increase for roads (passed a few years ago) would fix roads. Instead the city used the money for a (surprise!) Downtown Streetscape Plan. Voters had no say in the project and funded it unwittingly.
IDEA: How about tax money is first spent on cops, parks, roads and water, after which we ask voters for tax hikes to fund employee seminars in Florida, consultants, lavish-for-life public employee pensions and 30% raises for city administrators? Shall we vote on a tax to ensure Ukiah’s City Manager gets paid more than California’s Governor?
Roads are frivolous add-ons when it’s time to spend tax money. But why make travel budgets and seminars a top priority, then wait to see if there’s cash left over for police and fire services? If not, demand an increase in taxes.
Dear readers, this is what they do and are doing and have done for many years: Tax the pants off citizens, spend the money on pet projects and favored groups, and shrug off the spending needs we assume are priorities.
But priorities for you and me aren’t the same priorities for our state and local politicians. Otherwise we wouldn’t have to pay more taxes every few years to take care of schools, streets, clean water or public safety.
Library Bailout II
The library tax is another funding drain that should come from taxes already paid. Instead, it’s spent on commuter trains from Santa Rosa to San Rafael. Oops. No it isn’t. They closed that railroad too (no riders) but kept the money. Now they’ll use any leftover money on a ridiculous, dead-end Rail Trail.
Vote the library tax down. Libraries are appendages that have survived from long-gone centuries when they were the place to go for reading matter. No longer.
Have you heard about Kindle books, iPods and Smartphones? They are the future; libraries are sooo yesterday.
Keeping a library as a rest stop for homeless drifters is an expensive luxury that social services should absorb. A new tax will saddle future generations with even bigger burdens, the cruel joke being no one will know what the word “library” means or where to find one.
Dewey Decimal System? Ha. It’ll get lumped in with Esperanto, Morse Code and protractors.