Letters to the Editor
Getting lots of big glossy fliers? Ask yourself who paid for them and why.
Electing the folks chosen and paid for by the fire and police unions to raise salaries and pensions beyond this City's ability to pay is a recipe for fiscal disaster. (I have always supported unions, but there's a limit.) Squeezing more and more people and cars into this city cannot be done without destroying Alameda. WE ARE AN ISLAND. I am supporting Trish Spencer, Tony Daysog, and Robert Matz to put us on a better path for Alameda.
Check out HTTP://abetteralameda.org. They GET it.
My wife and I are bird watchers and we recently spotted a group of tiny sandpipers along one of the saltwater lagoons on Bay Farm. We’ve lived here since 1980. Our fellow bird fans agree they haven’t seen sandpipers here before.
Friday night at our feeder we saw a group of rare rufous hummingbirds. I understand they migrate 2,000 miles each year to Mexico for warmer winters but normally aren’t found in California. Typically they appear further north in Oregon and Washington State.
The ones we saw yesterday looked like a copper penny with blazing, shiny, red necks. We’d never seen anything like them out here on Bay Farm, either.
Let’s start with a little déjà vu. Measure F is entitled as an “Essential Services Protection Measure.” When and where have we taxpayers heard that song before?
Maybe you heard it in 2008 with Measure P increasing the real-estate-transfer tax. This was deemed absolutely necessary to “keep fire stations open, provide for neighborhood policing, improve traffic flow, increase library hours and prevent recreation program cutbacks.” The funds generated were to be subject to audit.
Or perhaps it’s recognizable from 2016 when an amendment to our City Charter was proposed and approved. Measure K1 was needed to “maintain essential services.” It guaranteed a transfer from Alameda Municipal Power to the city’s General Fund. The money was to be used for police, fire, parks and street and sidewalk repair. Incidentally, the measure reduced the amount of the senior-disabled exemption.
Now we are back to Measure F, which once again asks us to give more of our dollars by increasing the sales tax in order to “protect high-priority services and infrastructure investments.” This is said to go to rapid police, emergency and fire response as well as neighborhood park maintenance, pothole repair and protecting the Bay from pollution. We are told that without this new revenue these investments could be vulnerable to budget cuts.
What will the next measure regarding revenue for our city provide? It will surely not provide for a tax cut.
Although Measure P provides for an audit, the results have not been published to my knowledge. So how has the tax money been spent? Despite the increased revenue provided by Measure P and the guaranteed money from measure K1, the police and the fire departments are short of sworn personnel. The library still operates on short hours and there have been no noticeable change in the programs provided by Parks and Recreation.