Oct 5 2012

OPINION: Why I Will Vote No on Piedmont Measure Y

Resident Wants “Transparency and Honesty”-

City Council gave $2.45M of taxpayer money to the Hills undergrounding district. City Council then authorized each other to investigate themselves. Naturally, they found no fault with themselves. City Administrator Grote was the staff for the “audit” and investigated himself. Repeated requests for an independent investigation were responded to with silence. 

The Council Audit Sub-committee provided a list of seven recommendations for future “construction and capital projects management.” The League of Women Voters (“LWV”) undergrounding report echoed these Council Audit findings. The now cancelled Blair Park Playfields would have been the largest Piedmont capital project in our lifetime, yet both the Council’s Audit and the comparable LWV recommendations were ignored in the Blair Park approval. Council went further and ignored its own Planning Commission findings that this project violated all design criteria. Eventually the Blair Park project was “officially” terminated for financial concerns; in hindsight this was fortunate as Council did not require any financial contingencies. Proponents promised to fill the hole back in should money run out.

For Measure Y, the City Council’s prepared rebuttal argument states, “This measure has nothing to do with undergrounding, playfields and pensions.” Council wants residents to ignore the unfettered waste of our tax dollars so the sordid practice can continue unabated. Council ignores the Municipal Tax Review Committee (“MTRC”) and the Budget Advisory Committee’s alarm at out of control pension costs. Council ignores the majority of the MTRC that now urges a no vote on Measure Y. City Council ignores George Santayana’s enduring words: “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” The sham undergrounding examination revealed that the City Council will only create a history acceptable to itself.

Until we have a return to transparency and honesty, I will not contribute more tax dollars to this folly.


Rick Schiller, Piedmont Resident

Editors’ 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 or oppose candidates or ballot measures.

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