Oct 19 2012

OPINION: Measure Y Proponents Misinform The Voters

Council support for Measure Y was not unanimous-

There you go again, Measure Y proponents. Continuing to misinform and mislead Piedmont voters. At the outset, there was the completely false claim in your ballot argument in the Voter Information Pamphlet that, “The City Council unanimously supports renewal of the existing Municipal Services Tax . . . “. Even when the proponents acknowledged their material misstatement, when there was time to correct the submission, they chose not to do so. To let the statement stand is an egregious, misleading act. 

Now we have the proponents’ mailer that I received the other day. Using
insinuations and tactics to intimidate voters, one would conclude that if, when, Measure Y fails, the sun won’t rise the next morning.  The proponents suggested a “laundry” list of services and our quality of life would be affected.  Things like our vital safety services, low crime rate, street and sidewalk maintenance, recreation/sports programs and high property values.  A far-reaching effect for a parcel tax that represents a mere 7% of the City’s annual budget.  In a word: NONSENSE! Over the last 4 years of the current parcel tax, the entire proceeds were wasted on mismanagement of undergrounding and sports field projects and City Council negligence and inattention to rapidly rising employee compensation and over-staffing. The quality of life Piedmont citizens have come to expect and enjoy was not affected. But now that quality of life will?

Measure Y Proponents – Start being truthful in your communications to the voters.  What a NO vote on Measure Y will do is send a message to the City Council. It’s time for responsible management of city operations and fiscal due diligence. Exhibit that first, City Council. Exhibit progress towards addressing compensation and the $40 million unfunded employee benefit liability during upcoming labor negotiations in for contracts expiring in December 2012 and June 2013. City Council, exhibit your fiduciary duty and study and report to the citizens on staffing levels, particularly in the fire department. Then come back to the voters in February 2014 when we can vote on a parcel tax that won’t be wasted and new City Council members.

Demand fiscal responsibility. Vote NO on Measure Y.

Respectfully Submitted,
Eric Lindquist,  Member, 2011 Municipal Tax Review Committee www.NoOnMeasureY.com

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.

One Response to “OPINION: Measure Y Proponents Misinform The Voters”

  1. I think Eric’s characterization of Measure Y proponents’s tactics as intimidation is inappropriate. Theoretically, in the long term, failure to ever renew the parcel tax would lead to some reduction in city services but practically, in the short term, failure to renew the parcel tax would probably not. As with the undergrounding overrun, revenues would likely be diverted from other city accounts to maintain essential services. As for “quality of life” services, much of those funds are received from the county sales tax and ballot initiatives. Measure B funds pay for our annual street improvement and those funds will double if Measure B1 passes this November. The City has over $500K in Measure WW funds that could be used to turf Coaches or Beach regardless of Measure Y.

Leave a Comment