This community opinion was contributed by Hollister Councilman Marty Richman. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent BenitoLink or other affiliated contributors.
Former U.S. Representative Sam Farr has aligned himself against San Benito County’s Measure K, which would allow four commercial nodes, similar Casa de Fruta, along Highway 101.
The problem is the Honorable Mr. Farr worked under a unique financial system. When we want something we have to pay our bills, whereas the federal government just puts it on the cuff—your cuff and mine.
When Mr. Farr joined the House around 1993, the national debt was $4.41 trillion and the debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio was 64%. By 2014, the national debt was $17.82 trillion and the debt/GDP ratio was 101%. Adjusting for inflation, the debt should have been “only” $7.22 trillion; so, where did the other $10 trillion plus come from during his tenure?
Don’t get me wrong, Mr. Farr had lots and lots of help from both political parties (rule one, always blame the other side), but the basic issue remains, the feds live on debt while we have to pony up.
As the local joke goes, we are the only coastal county in California without one inch of coastline. That lack of coastline puts us in the poorhouse. If Mr. Farr were kind enough to arrange to move Carmel, where he resides, estimated median house or condo value in 2017 over $1,000,000, to San Benito County, we would not need the nodes. The other option would be to give us the revenue from Carmel-By-The-Sea, which is a heck of a commercial node, for a few years.
With a population of less than 4,000, Carmel-By-The-Sea has an FY 18-19 Operating Budget (city department/services) of over $20 million. More than $6 million of which came from hotel taxes, the kind Farr does not want in San Benito County—I guess the money turns dirty when it leaves Monterey County.
If the coastline really belongs to all California residents as the state claims, where’s our share of the take Mr. Farr?