Several sitting City Council members, contested in this election, appear to leave tough decisions to the public by putting these budgetary measures on the ballot. Self-serving City elected office-holders, shirking their personal responsibility to perform obligations of their office, are trying to protect their ‘ticket to ride’!
The measures mistakenly base estimations of future tax receipts increasing. Vote No on Ballot Box Budgeting and No on All the Measures!
The Mayor, faced with escalating City budgetary insolvency and bankruptcy, shall be compelled to declare a Fiscal Emergency, that, under statue, will remove the effect of all or any of the Measures G, H, I, J, L, M, N, O, P, Q that pass. The City’s ongoing fiscal crisis makes this overloaded slate of measures trifling and irrelevant.
Police and Fire pensions are at issue across the country. Many jurisdictions make no draw on the public fund to pay the pensions. DWP and civilian workers are left out. Pensions account for over one-third of the City budget - at a level that sucks the oxygen out basic City services and transformation of DWP to renewable energy. This is a piecemeal approach, removes collective bargaining rights and casts savings over the horizon. New hires are to pay 2 percent of their salaries for health care while being guaranteed the same 90 percent pensions and benefits that existing cops and firefighters get. Slowing cost increases by limiting payouts to the new workers and encouraging them to remain on the job longer makes little inroads on the deficit moving ahead when it’s unlikely there will be a lot of new hires without biting into critical City services. Vote No on Measure G.
Of the City slate of ten (10) measures, the Green Party of Los Angeles County Council passed an endorsement for Measure H only. Heralded by it’s intent to bar contractors from contributing to political campaign and to edge closer to full public financing of campaigns so that citizen candidates with limited assets be given something greater than a slim to no chance of winning, the effect of the measure does nothing to contain independent campaign committees contributions and spending. By the lack of addressing the major loophole, Measure H fails to meet its intent of seeing citizen candidates less likely to lose. The measure has no application to contracts with DWP, the Harbor and Airport Authorities - departments with excessive contracts and big money contributions. Vote No on Measure H.
Council President Eric Garcetti and Jose Huizar caved in to D'Arcy (the same of the failed Proposition B Solar power grab) to slash funding for the OPA/Rate Payer Advocate by 75 percent from $4 million to $1 million and limit its ability to break down the DWP's wall of secrecy with access to full and complete information. The Office of Public Accountability’
Measure J sets dates, timelines and procedures memorialized in the City Charter to prevent ever again the shenanigan from spring 2010 when the city illegally transferred $130 million in "surplus" water revenue to the general fund - not paying back ratepayers - increasing the transfer from "surplus" power revenue from 5% to 8% to the general fund -- a tax coming on top of a 10% DWP utility tax on every bill. The mayor sought to parley a 28% increase in electric rates and the rubber-stamping DWP Commission and leadership cooked the books to justify withholding $73 million in surplus revenue transfers to see the rate hike approved. The extortive attempted rate hike was held to 5% by a City Council fearing being defeated. Measure J smacks of a power grab written with back-doors and paths to not comply with the intent to legislate honesty. Vote No on Measure J.
Ruthless in their disdain for constituents and library users including many students, the mayor and Council so cut funding such that Los Angeles was the first big city in America to shutter its public libraries two days a week. The increase of the libraries’ share of the city’s property tax to 0.030%, phased in over five years, will not open libraries in the near term - due to the measure’s charge-backs:
"Beginning in fiscal year 2014-15 and thereafter, the Library Department shall be responsible for payment of all of its direct and indirect costs, which shall include, but not be limited to, health, dental, pension, building services and utility costs," the measure reads.
The flawed premise of eventual sustainable funding is based on property taxes rising as fast as wages and benefits, cost of resources, water and power, maintenance and all that the mayor and Council define as "direct and indirect" costs. Vote No on Measure L.
The tax on medical marijuana sales is fraught with legal inconsistencies. One, medicine is not allowed to be taxed. Two, California law disallows selling marijuana, only recovery of costs. No profits are supposed to realized. That’s why only non-profits supposedly are managing dispensaries. Third, the City is wanting to tax a federally unregulated, illegal substance to possess. Vote No on Measure M.
The “Citizen’s United” Supreme Court decision removed limits on the amount of money unions, corporations and individuals can spend on elections through independent expenditure committees so Measure N only brings Los Angeles City rules for city and school board elections into line with federal law. Whether it passes or not, the law is not in question. Rich and powerful people are able to spend unlimited amounts, effectively buying elections circumventing City limits on contributions of $500 or $1000. Vote No on Measure N.
After 100 years of squandering the allocations of oil revenues not collected, the expected revenue amounts to $4 million a year or 1 percent of next year's deficit. Next to no impact on the budget is realized by the measure. Measure O makes no earmark to transform the City’s energy generation to renewable sources. The measure allows the political process to dispose of the revenue on the desire of the elected officials. Vote No on Measure O.
Lowering the statutory 5% of the general fund that must be already held in an Emergency Reserve Account to 2.75% and a Budget Stabilization Fund be established. All bets are off in a fiscal emergency that even a lowered set-aside will not escape spending. Vote No on Measure P.
The mayor’s power is extended to exempt deputy fire chiefs from civil service, limiting the number of civil service applicants - increasing the potential for patronage abuses by eliminating the need for full and open examinations and the need to review all candidates seeking promotions in every department. Vote No on Measure Q.
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About Jack Lindblad: An architect by education and profession, Jack Lindblad is running to win California's 39th Assembly seat in 2012. His award-winning sustainable urban design & architecture practice has a healthcare focus. Campaigns for a 100% renewable energy economy.
The DNA of electing the Peoples’ voice of empathy to replace the voices of greed is building and spreading! Our campaign has a certain, undeniable win in 2012 to be seated in California's Legislature after tripling the vote in the 2010 one-on-one rematch against 'the most corrupt legislator in California' from the 8.1% showing in 2008!
Lindblad campaigns on a Green-values platform for a carbon-neutral, relocalized, 100% renewable energy, steady state economy, basing development on bio-regional determinism, not developers. Jobs for everyone who needs one. Restoration of the California Dream for all students. Environmental Justice for all by insuring quality of life.