Thursday, October 18, 2007

My Personal Recommendations for the November 6 Election

This post is dedicated to revealing my choices for the ballot with the November 6, 2007 Rancho Palos Verdes City Council election and Measures C and D on the ballot.

This post is also dedicated to everyone who wishes to announce who and what they support, in the form of comments at the end of this post.

My endorsements are mine alone and do not reflect who R Neighborhoods Are 1 may endorse, if they choose to endorse candidates or measures on the ballot.

I am content with the incumbent candidates and endorse their reelection on November 6, 2007. Tom Long, Steve Wolowicz, and Douglas Stern have governed Rancho Palos Verdes in a responsible, realistic, and reasonable manner. I feel their original election to become council members demonstrated a real change in Rancho Palos Verdes government and opened new doors of opportunity for our City.

That being written, I am also very comfortable with the candidacy of current Rancho Palos Verdes Traffic Safety Commissioner Paul Wright. My feelings about his candidacy is that if he were to take a seat away from one of the incumbents at this time, he would not be able to try for the seat in the next election now held by Dr. Peter Gardiner.

I would very much like to see Paul Wright in the seat now held by Dr. Gardiner. I think with the reelection of the incumbents and a future election that sees Mr. Wright joining the Council in place of Dr. Gardiner, I strongly feel Rancho Palos Verdes would become stronger in leadership than it already is.

The Storm Drain issues and the measures have been a thorn in my side for a very long time. Trying to decide what I support and why has been a challenge for me.

Many of you may know that I am not required to pay the fee, and yes, I do pay the property taxes on the house I live in. I have one of the 20% of the households who is not levied the fee, while 80% of the other properties in Rancho Palos Verdes are levied the fee.

Here is Measure C on the ballot:

Shall an ordinance be adopted that would amend the City's existing Storm Drain User Fee (which provides a dedicated funding source to repair, reconstruct and maintain the citywide storm drain system and install filtration devices that reduce polluted runoff and protect coastal water quality) by: (1) shortening the duration of the Fee from thirty years to ten years and (2) establishing a resident oversight committee?

Politicians, being politicians, even the good ones, would probably take this measure, if it passes and find a way to bring back the 30-year sunset, instead of living with the ten-year sunset provision. I know I praise the current City Councilmen, but after hearing as much as I have and more importantly not hearing things I expected to hear, I am feeling that if passed, whoever is sitting on the City Council will probably direct the City Attorney to find a way to get around the ten-year sunset provision. Please remember, originally the setting of the sun on the fee was 20-years before the Council changed it to 30-years.

That being written, I think I will vote "YES" anyway and make the Council stick to the ten-year sunset if the Storm Drain User Fee is not repealed.

Here is the wording of Measure D:

Shall an ordinance be adopted that would repeal the City's existing Storm Drain User Fee?

This is a very real toughie for me. I am not required to pay the fee, but I reap the rewards of the 80% of the properties that are levied the fee.

I don't feel it is fair that 80% of the folks have to pay for what 100% of the folks get AND I have the opportunity to vote on the matter. I would have been much more comfortable endorsing keeping the fee if I didn't get to vote on the issue or every property in the City of Rancho Palos Verdes was required to pay the fee.

Repealing the User Fee means that Storm Drain repairs would have to be funded from the general budget. The reserves Rancho Palos Verdes currently has, which is about 50% would have to be cut dramatically. But having 50% reserves is much higher than other cities, even ones on "The Hill" have.

On this measure, I may change my vote at the last minute. I am still being lobbied by folks and I am listening to other folks and many folks to try and see where they are coming from.

For measure D, at this time, I am endorsing a "YES" vote that would repeal the Storm Drain User Fee.

In reading and re-reading the measure, I can't find where or when any ordinance repealing the User Fee might come from. However, if the User Fee is repealed, I think there will be enough citizens attending City Council meetings to demand that the ordinance repealing the User Fee be enacted very quickly after the outcome of the balloting is known and certified.

Now it is your turn. Please create comments to let all of us know how you are voting and why you are voting the way you are choosing to do. There really is not wrong answer to the hows and whys of your recommendations and endorsements.

You may choose to "spin" candidates or measures you believe in. You have the right to vote and make your selections known. You also have the opportunity to sway the opinions of others. You can inform all of us and let us know facts and data we may not know at this time.

Go ahead, create comments about the upcoming election. You have the right, you may have a gift to influence folks, and you have the privilege that so many people on Earth will never know.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...