Opinion

COMMUNITY OPINION: Reasons for Yes on Measure Q

Jane Dabo Cruz writes voters need to be directly involved in the decision-making process.

This community opinion was contributed by Jane Dabo Cruz. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent BenitoLink or other affiliated contributors. BenitoLink invites all community members to share their ideas and opinions. By registering as a BenitoLink user in the top right corner of our home page and agreeing to follow our Terms of Use, you can write counter opinions or share your insights on current issues.

 

First and foremost, the Board of Supervisors made an extremely unethical decision to fund a political mailer. The County Administrative Officer then “crafted the mailer” (or it was authored by others) to provide election information as a supposed public service. The mailer illustrates the opinions only of the opposition; not a word was offered to disclose the opinions of the proponents. The funds would have been better spent on striping the roadways because after the debacle on Ladd Lane, the inventory of striping materials has most likely been depleted.

The single most important reason to support Measure Q, in my opinion, is to allow the county residents direct participation in the decision-making process.  The makeup of the Board of Supervisors relies solely on the county voters, according to the districts in which they reside. While I wish to commend those who seek election to the board, no five-member body should bear the sole authority to make decisions on behalf of the entire county population. I for one have never been asked by my county or city representative for my opinion about any business which comes before the county or the city. Here are some examples in support of my opinion.

  1. County revenue – this county retains only 11 cents of every property tax dollar, excluding the myriad of tax dollars collected for the vast number of direct charges on each property tax bill.  This ridiculous arrangement was agreed to by the Board of Supervisors during the 1970’s (estimate only). When this injustice was brought before the court, the court rejected the plea attempts. The County Board should/must persist in its efforts to seek a remedy from the courts to eradicate this injustice. However, the county decision-making body has failed to resume the challenge and only considers a potential sales tax increase as the solution to rectify the revenue shortfall, a shortfall which has occurred annually for nearly 50 years!
  2. The state mandates housing developments or else? And too often when a developer seeks an opportunity to construct housing within the county, the Board of Supervisors (as well as the City Council) folds and reduces the fees required for new developments which then forces existing county residents to absorb the shortfall which ultimately occurs.
  3. Highway 25, the Bolsa, God only knows how much money has been misspent in failed attempts to mitigate the problems with this roadway. It was the then Board of Supervisors who declined/failed to seek funding necessary for a flyover/overpass at the intersection of Highways 25 and 156 when 156 was rerouted to intersect with 152. It was the then board who opted for traffic signals as their solution. Yet an overpass for a train which operates once or twice each week was created.
  4. When the Board of Supervisors enjoyed a surplus, the board voted to pay the employee share of PERS as well as the employer share without adding a sunset date to this option.  Then the board (which included Botelho) simply decided to withdraw that option without warning literally because the surplus had predictably dried up.  Then there is the issue of health benefits for retirees.  The county often used the promise of paying employees health benefits at retirement in lieu of wage increases. However, the board obviously never planned for the future liability so this benefit was also withdrawn. Too often the board has been disingenuous in its decision-making.

I hope that those of you who subscribe to the Free Lance are giving your attention to the letters offered by Mary Zanger.  They are always sensational, especially her recent letter in support of Measure Q.  And please remember, there will always be an opportunity to amend a ballot measure if the need for an amendment is warranted.

BenitoLink Staff