A letter from a member of the Municipal Tax Review Committee on whether vital City services will be cut -
The wasteful spending of the Piedmont City Council in the last 4 years is indefensible so the proponents of extending the “Municipal Services Tax” (Measure Y on the November ballot) have retreated to their last refuge: predictions that defeat of the tax will reduce “vital services.” Other than claiming that paramedic services will be reduced (a ridiculous idea since nobody, but nobody, would entertain such a cut), their definition of “vital services” is utterly vague.
In fact, what would the City of Piedmont do if it lost, even temporarily, 7% of its budget? Strangely, those backing Measure Y, including members of the City Council, appear not to have asked our City Administrator, Geoff Grote, that question. Well, on August 8, Eric Lindquist (a fellow member of the Municipal Tax Review Committee) and I did ask Mr. Grote that question and he provided a thoughtful and candid answer. It would be best if Mr. Grote answered that question in public rather than have me characterize his answer. But it is appropriate to say that Mr.Grote’s answer involved no cuts whatsoever that would harm any vital service, by whatever definition. I hasten to add that Mr. Grote favors the additional revenue that Measure Y provides (what city administrator would oppose more revenue?) and he is worried that if the parcel tax loses that long-term ill effects, especially in terms of repairing city buildings, might arise. It is also true that, if our Council got serious about bringing staffing, compensation, and employee pension and health benefits under control, that such long term ill-effects could be entirely avoided.
I join with the majority of the Municipal Tax Review Committee in urging a “no” vote on Measure Y in November. For more information, please visit www.NoOnMeasureY.com.
Steve Weiner, Piedmont Resident and Member of the 2011 Municipal Tax Review Committee
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Piedmont Civic Association. The Piedmont Civic Association does not support nor oppose candidates or ballot measures.