Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Letter to the (Tribune) Editor

To: The Pacifica Tribune Editor

In my opinion this is the most important time in Pacifica’s history. Without new ideas we are going to perish as a city due to our lack of revenue and the real prospect of bankruptcy. We have to be diligent in electing new Council members with fresh ideas. Our incumbents have had many years to succeed in building up this City but have failed. We need Council Members who will treat Pacifica’s money as if it was their own.

We are voting for three Council Members in the November election. Two incumbents are running, Jim Vreeland and Sue Digre. In looking back over their terms in office, in my opinion we are worse off now than we were before. Pacifica is on the verge of bankruptcy and we need new ideas from non-incumbents. The old ideas have not worked.

Mr. Vreeland championed a Bio-Diesel factory planned and owned by a company which was totally under financed and had no prior experience building a plant. This Council approved it. When the project failed, the cost to Pacifica for this fiasco was over $100,000. 

Although running for Council, Mr. Vreeland has missed five Council meetings since January and all seemed to be when crucial votes on important issues were due: March 22, Mega Home Vote; June 14th, The budget vote (This would be one of the most important issues of the year); August 9th, Sewer tax increase; September 19th, Dog Park vote; Oct 11th, T-Mobil antennae placement issue on Fassler opposed by residents. It seems he does not want to take any questions or make any decisions that could hurt his chances of being reelected. Do we want a politician or a leader?

Since 2002 this Council has added over a 200% increase to the sewer tax. Look at your house tax bill that recently came in and check the amount of your Pacifica Sewer Tax. . My house taxes have a sewer tax that accounts for 64% of the property bill.

Shouldn't the Council person who misses a meeting have to pay back the City a portion of their $1000 monthly salary for each missed meeting? There are additional costs to our City for health care benefits and these should be paid back as well. I would suggest Mr. Vreeland and other Council Members owe the city several thousands of dollars. I will check if any Council Member offers to pay us back.

This election year Mr. Vreeland has also been absent at Public Forums that asked questions of each candidate running for Council so they could express their views of how this city can survive. After 12 years in office maybe he has no ideas.

Now the Council is united in asking for more taxes starting with an increased Transfer Occupancy Tax (TOT) to our hotels. Our hotel owners were never contacted prior to the vote to raise the tax. This is irresponsible since their businesses are directly impacted by the results of the vote. This reminds me of the Council asking for a fire assessment tax six years ago. We voted for it, and then they promptly sent our Fire Department to be led by Daly City and later laid off fire fighters. In my opinion, they knew they were going to do this the entire time they were asking for the assessment, yet did not tell the citizens.
This is just the start of raising taxes. In the June 2011 election they will be proposing to raise taxes again with another Fire Assessment Tax Initiative.
Tax and Spend” is not the answer to keep Pacifica viable.
A citizen running for a Council position in Pacifica should run because that person wants to be a leader in the community and actually do something that will help the City, the residents, and the businesses in this City. I can think of nothing any incumbent has done to be that leader. Our infrastructure is in disrepair and our costs are out of control. We need new ideas to help fix Pacifica. To vote in incumbents means doing the same failed things with the same failed results.
We have some very well respected people running for Council office who deserve our vote; Sue Vellone, Len Stone, and Barbara Arietta.
Sue Vallone would be my first choice. I have known her to be honorable, driven, intelligent, and worthy of our trust. However all three will watch out for our ecology, our costs, and try to bring desperately needed revenue into this city. Please join me in voting for Sue Vellone, Len Stone, and Barbara Arietta.
Other respected people I am voting for are; Ron Ash for the Water board; and Mike O’Neil and Joan Weideman for the Pacifica School Board. These are well deserving, intelligent, caring, people. Thanks!
Bill Moore

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