May 26 2016

OPINION: Measure F is Like the Failed Sewer Tax

Councilmember Bob McBain and Vice Mayor Jeff Wieler in last week’s Piedmonter severely criticized former Councilmember Garrett Keating and Piedmont resident Rick Schiller’s opposition and analysis of the June 7 City parcel tax, Measure F, for concluding that a 30% parcel tax increase (never mentioned in the ballot summary or “impartial” City Attorney analysis) is unnecessary.   Just as Schiller had warned in 20­12 that the proposed $11 million Measure A Sewer Tax was unnecessary, he has once more informed voters of Measure F failings. 

Who should we believe?

The 2011 Municipal Tax Review Committee including the  Bob McBain­ and Ryan Gilbert, Sewer Sub­committee, recommended a $11 million Sewer Tax increase, but Gilbert withdrew his support when public documents disclosed no factual or legal justification for the tax.   However, McBain and Wieler remained fervent Sewer Tax supporters.

McBain signed the Sewer Tax ballot arguments and Wieler vigorously continued support for the Sewer Tax, however informed Piedmont voters soundly defeated the new Sewer Tax.

Wieler then predicted disaster, writing in The Piedmont Post, page 21, February 29, 2012: “Unfortunately, without the additional revenue that Measure A [Sewer Tax] would have provided, it is impossible to imagine how the remaining unimproved 40% of Piedmont’s sewer system can be rehabilitated in the next 10 years.”

McBain’s and Wieler’s predictions predictably crashed.     Schiller had been right.

On Oct. 6, 2014, the Piedmont City Council, with Councilmember McBain and Vice Mayor Wieler voting yes, loaned $800,000 from other City funds to the Sewer Fund to complete the sewer rehab. The failed Measure A Sewer Tax was needed only in McBain’s and Wieler’s thoughts.

While promoting a stunning 30% parcel tax increase in Measure F, the team of Wieler and McBain should provide a credible explanation for their past performance before denigrating Keating and Schiller.

Thomas D. Clark, Piedmont Resident

Editors’ Note:  Opinions expressed are those of the author.  PCA does not support or oppose ballot measures and accepts opinions both pro and con.

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