As a simple matter of principle, and a tiny dash of “Screw you!’ added for flavoring, citizens should vote against anything having to do with tax increases or tax extensions.
Otherwise, how stupid will Mendocino County leaders assume us to be? They’ve dangled tempting ballot measures in recent years and what happened when they passed?
1) Think Measure B. Think of the gigantic strides they said we’d make in taking care of the county’s mentally ill with new taxes generating millions of dollars a year. A committee of health care professionals would oversee the budget, find a suitable site (Howard Hospital in Willits? The empty Redwood Valley Elementary School?) and the magic would begin.
By 2020 everything would be up and running with funding secure and the steady hand of health care professionals at the wheel. Sheriff Tom Allman staked his considerable popularity and reputation on the Measure B initiative.
The measure passed, you began paying taxes, millions of dollars have piled up, and Measure B committee members are still bumping into one other trying to find the switch to turn on the lights in the meeting room.
They’ve done nothing. They promised, you paid, they took the money and did nothing.
2) Think about legal marijuana and the cash flow it would bring to the county. Think of the botched rollout, the complicated guidelines, the utter failure to present a workable system in which local growers, happy to pay for permits, have been stymied for years by bumbling, bungling, inept county administrators.
No one knows how much money the county has squandered with so unworkable a tax system, but you could determine fairly easily how much we’ve already spent hiring (numerous) County Cannabis Directors, Assistant Directors, inspectors, enforcement vehicles, creating office space and hiring staff.
And they want you to give them more tax money? How stupid are we?
3) Remember voting in favor of Indian Casinos? We were promised it was the ticket to self-sufficiency for Native Americans all around the state.
Have you visited a California Indian reservation in the past 10 years? Look prosperous? Do you think the scourge of lousy schools, violence, drug and alcohol abuse has been addressed via funding from casinos?
Where did all that money go?
And while we’re talking legalized gambling, where have all the lottery profits gone? The slogan, remember, was “And Schools Win Too!”
4) A few years ago Ukiah persuaded citizens to approve a tax hike dedicated to improving our roads. The measure passed and city officials quietly went about spending the money on the downtown streetscape.
5) Libraries tap into our nostalgic notions of quiet sanctuaries with shelves stacked with mysterious, wonderful books full of information and adventure. But it’s 2022, and spending money to fund libraries is like spending money to build anvils. The world has gone digital and so has reading.
Today, desperate for something to do, Ukiah’s library hosts Tai Chi classes, Lego sessions, knitting, “pasted papers” and a Ukulele Club. Not exactly what Alexandria and Andrew Carnegie had in mind.
This tax will be implemented into perpetuity, meaning your great grandchildren will be paying “librarians” to dust shelves, launder backpacks, and, should anyone request a book, go down in the basement to find one.
6) Think Bullet Train to nowhere or the rail line connecting Willits with San Rafael, or that we pay many millions in gas taxes to fund highways, but they give us bicycle lanes and the Hobo Highway.
7) Recycling revenues on bottles and aluminum cans are collected when beverages are purchased, buyers to be reimbursed when they bring empties to recycling centers.
But Ukiah closed its only beverage recycling center years ago, despite continuing to reap the income from every six-pack of beer, soft drinks or wine bottle sold. They keep the money and renege on the promise to return it.
8) And the billions we’ve spent on the homeless has gone exactly where? No one knows but the “solutions” have only made things worse.
More tax money to these swindlers? How stupid are we?
Vote No On Sher
And while you’ve got your ballot out be sure to Vote No on the dangerous candidacy of Susan Sher for City Council.
Letters to the Editor have routinely praised Sher's open-minded attitude, her willingness to listen to others and similar dishonesties.
Not long ago Susan Sher spearheaded a nasty campaign to censor this column from the Daily Journal opinion pages. Sher and an army of other militant progressives said my writings were “divisive’ which can only be interpreted as opinions different than her own.
Bruce Anderson of the Anderson Valley Advertiser invited Sher to discuss her censorship campaign; Sher refused. Is she truly open to listening to others?
Do we want council members hostile to Free Speech or hearing different viewpoints? Sher is just another rigid, lock-stepping PC soldier peddling far left rubbish.
Personally, I think she’s divisive.
(Tom Hine mostly lives in Ukiah with his invisible, imaginary playmate, Tommy Wayne Kramer.)