On Tuesday we have a local election here in Ventura County. There is a measure on the ballot which proposes increasing our local sales tax by 1/2 a cent for 4 years, because the city claims it is experiencing hard times, just like the rest of us. Measure A is being sold with the usual buzz words of "avoiding cuts to police and fire" and "keeping Ventura safe". At least that is what the glossy mailer said. It listed a website address to go find out more http://yesonaventura.org/ - I took a look at the website, then thought I should take a look at the budget to see just how dire things were.
Here is what I found:
All of the proposed "cuts" and "savings" produced budgeted expenses that are $600,000 higher than last year. In addition, they claim to have eliminated 40 positions - which I, and most likely any reasonable person would assume meant that they would have fewer employees, and lower expenses.
When I looked at the detail of the "cut" positions, many of them were listed as "vacant" - meaning nobody actually was working in those jobs. Despite this, they are making all kinds of cuts they say to police and fire - which according to their own survey, were the community's top priority. What I don't get, is why do you have to make cuts when you spend more?
The sickening thing here is that these "public servants" are using the state of the economy to justify raising taxes yet again, which will hurt the already struggling local business even more - and their own revenues haven't even declined. They just want to spend more money.
What has actually happened is that they have burned their way through the city's reserves. How many of you out there have cut your spending by increasing it by $600,000? And if you have, can you please respond with how that works?
Voting NO WAY ON MEASURE A!