Thursday, April 7, 2011
"Fire Tax" - its a City general fund FEE
Clear enough, the "Fire tax" is a fee to prop-up the City general fund.
From Pacifica Tribune "Letters to the Editor" 4/6/11 "Fire Assessment", by City Council Member, past Mayor Sue Digre
"Whoa is right. Slow down. Respond with care and wisdom. Quick-response accusations can undermine speedy, efficient, fair solutions. Before the media attention on routine salary progressions here and elsewhere, the Pacifica City Council and city staff definitely started changing its approach to salaries and benefits. Yes, in public meetings, with in-depth research and during employee negotiations. Because we are putting the fire assessment fee back before the public to determine, I will mention and point out that our Pacifica firefighters were the first to respond positively to change.
Our assessment fee is labeled a fee, not because council felt like it. Fee or assessment, or tax or charge, are determined by higher authorities and we must use the proper terms to be legally sound.
How do I know these things? The nature of my work as an elected representative puts me in contact with data, information, research, collaborative brainstorming with other council persons from other cities across our nation, as well as with Pacificans. Plus, I am naturally skeptical and cautious about everything and everybody, including myself. No one is all knowing, nor all wise.
All of the above is why I am urging the public to be very cautious about assumptions and jumping to conclusions. Everything of value needs scrutiny and re-evaluation on a regular basis. I can speak a bit about the Pacifica City Councils as I have been on in nine years. Members have changed and can, every two years, due to elections.
We have embarked on history-making changes...tough choices based on hard data. I believe we will definitely continue being data driven, research and questioning driven. Because all the things we get to know cannot be public notice during research and data evaluation time, assumptions can run rampant in the community. Slow down. We were on the other side, too, and still are. We are skeptical and we are also frustrated by mandates, fees, taxes.
Why on earth would any City Council person in this community dare to lie or cheat or mislead? The beauty and power of this community is that Pacificans love this home town and are vigilant. We must stay that way.
The "whoa" slow down encouragement is to see the whole picture and protect community building as an enduring, positive goal. The assessment fee is not for building repair. Be full of care and read what it does: offer some relief to our General Fund. Check it all out on your own. Don't rely on me either.
Thank you for caring and being very vigilant and involved. Call City Hall if you are in need of a ballot. You have to verify that you can only vote once."
Posted by Kathy Meeh