Once again the Wildomar City Council has put a Parks Maintenance tax proposal on the November 6th Ballot.
They’ve also squandered huge amounts of taxpayers’ money on hiring a Northern California consultant group to develop a super slick sales program in the hope of ramming the proposal through the election process.
And, our council is clearly skirting the law which forbids spending public funds to campaign for this measure.
This blog expresses my personal opinion on the subject of Measure "Z". I am not asking that you agree with me, only that you carefully consider what I say and the facts that I present.
They have made this matter of passing Measure “Z: a war of wills and egos, rather than looking at any solutions beyond a new tax proposal.
The often quoted line "it's only $28 a year" is true, but is clearly a deliberate and intentional effort to mislead the voters.
To make this potential new tax legal, almost all parcels within the city need to be included, and that adds up to taxing approximately TWICE as many parcels as with the old, illegal parks tax and pulling in TWICE the revenue.
There is also no "sunset" clause in the ballot proposition, so that's $350,000.00 each and every year - for forever! Both of these facts are something you won't hear about from supporters and hired outside promoters of Measure "Z". They are carefully avoiding mentioning them.
As pointed out in the opposition's ballot arguments, if this tax passes, it will generate $350,000.00 annually - far more than is actually needed to maintain the existing three parks. The excess money will more than likely encourage wasteful new expenditures on undefined "services and programs" which taxpayers won't have any control over.
This means more services and programs than Wildomar has had in the past…and programs that we have no business spending money on until the city is able to put Wildomar on a stable fiscal footing and pay its existing debts and obligations.
Read the full text of the ballot measure - instead of the excerpts grabbed from the outrageously expensive flyers the city is putting out. It means the council can add any new recreational and after-school programs at their whim. New programs and services that will undoubtedly demand more highly paid staff or contractors which will probably be engaged without the required benefit of competitive bids or an open hiring/interviewing process.
The full ballot text says the tax revenue can be used "for the repair, operation and maintenance...of parks and RELATED FACILITIES, PROGRAMS, SERVICES" and city events. This leaves the council enough wiggle room to spend our tax money on just about anything simply by saying it is related to parks or recreation.
Just wait, these programs and services will undoubtedly be expanded beyond all reason just for the very small percentage of Wildomar's population which would actually utilize them.
Supporters of this poorly conceived tax measure are counting on you to vote on the basis of their purely emotional appeals, and their super slick sales pitch.
There is absolutely no justification for the fact that Wildomar would be paying nearly 5 times what Murrieta does for the average cost of maintaining an acre of park land. Measure "Z" is about money and you should all follow the money.
SUMMARY OF ANNUAL PER-ACRE
PARKS MAINTENANCE COSTS:
San Diego $6,000
This per acre cost is not the only measurement that tells us Wildomar is failing to operate our parks in a financially responsibility way, but it is certainly a key one.
Rather than asking the taxpayers for more of their hard-earned money, the council and their city staff should be making every effort to ensure we are getting truly competitive pricing on the goods and services they are procuring for the city.
Sure parks are good for the community but, Measure“Z” is a whole different matter and a very bad tax proposal.
There are other viable, practical alternative options for paying for the parks maintenance, and the city council needs to give them serious consideration.
Don't be fooled into thinking that we have to accept this bad tax measure to keep and save our parks. That false logic!
Some of Wildomar’s voters are allowing their thinking to be boxed in by the very shortsighted attitudes of the council who evidently can’t look beyond their own self interests with regard to supporting and maintaining our parks.
Use your own good judgment and get the hard facts and financial figures before you decide.
Please join us in voting NO on Measure "Z".
Commenter, KevWild, has repeatedly posted media to this blog which is not only unwelcomed, but patently untrue. Marna O'Brien park has remained open all year long with the great efforts of volunteers, and is open as of today, 10/14/2012.
Note this blog has been updated with additional text and cost information, as of 10/11/2012, and unwelcomed comments and media uploads by others have been deleted.
The author will continue to delete any unsolicited comments and media uploads.