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Sunday, November 01, 2009

City Of Ventura Spending Cuts And Other Big Fat Lies

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 - 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?


Sign me,




Anonymous said...

Wow, an ignorant conservative advocating the closing of a library. You people really like to take people down to your depths of dumbness dont you.


Retro Housewife said...

America's Literacy Directory - Find literacy programs in your area.

Good Luck!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip. However your types just closed my local library. Closed so you can buy more plastic crap at Wal-Mart. So retro!

Retro Housewife said...

I do not shop at Walmart - except on occasion, I voted to keep Walmart OUT of Ventura, and The people responsible for closing the library are the ones who have spending control in Ventura. The reason I posted the link to the literacy site is because you did not read what I wrote, except perhaps where I say vote no on A.

Before I wrote that post, I downloaded the city budget and went through it. Did you do that?

I came to the conclusion that the situation is being misrepresented to the public - there is no drastic revenue drop - they just ran out of funds in the reserve bank account.

They made claims of "cost savings" that were not - i.e. where they claim to eliminate positions - but close only the empty ones. It is not quite a lie - but it is close.

In short, they cut nothing - opting to try to raise taxes - and when that didn't work, they close the library that will hurt the most people - to try and convince them to raise taxes.

That is absolutely irresponsible! And, raising sales taxes now would hurt local businesses even more - speeding up your Walmart takeover.

You seem like you are a young person - you can't believe everything you read in the paper - the local paper has a huge bias btw.

I will tell you what my agenda is on recommending a NO vote = I don't want to pay higher taxes - although I wouldn't be affected by a sales tax, I know that small biz would be - which would cause some to go out of business. That lowers the tax base, and causes them to want to raise taxes again.

We pay almost $5,000 per year in property tax plus all the utility fees, etc. There is a limit, you know. My husband makes nowhere near the $180,000 per year in retirement paid to one of the city council members.

That's what I am paying for and what you are paying for... $180,000/year - and that is his retirement income....

There are many city employees earning that kind of money - they don't want to give up such a sweet deal so they try to raise taxes.

And you blame me for the library closing?