Oct 11 2012

OPINION: City Council Needs Hard Numbers from Staff

Resident urges voters and Council to demand projections –

Measure Y proponents on the City Council have been quick to make gloomy prophecies about what will happen if Measure Y is defeated. But none of the Council’s self-described “numbers guys” have ever backed-up these prophecies up with real fiscal projections. 

The City Council has never been given any projections by Staff or Mayor John Chiang that failure to pass measure Y will automatically lead to reductions in public safety services and specifically EMT services. In fact, Council has undertaken no planning in the event Measure Y does not pass. If the outcome will be so dire shouldn’t a prudent forward looking elected body plan for such eventualities? It seems very reckless not to do so.

Councilman Garrett Keating in a recent online comment has suggested that “there is zero probability that public safety services would be cut”. The gloomy prophecies seem like electioneering and fear-mongering by the Measure Y’s proponents.

Piedmont’s unfunded $40 million liability in pension and benefits for current employees present a greater risk of cuts to these services. Once again, the City Council has never been presented hard numbers, although Staff have implied that Piedmont faces some difficult choices over the next 8 to 10 years as these pension obligations come due.

Piedmont voters should demand real projections from City Hall before backing a tax renewal. Until then, Vote NO on Measure Y.

Ryan Gilbert, Piedmont Resident, Member of 2011 Municipal Tax Review Committee

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 nor oppose candidates or ballot measures. 

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