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2 county officials seek more money, tax hike to fix roads

By BRETT WILKISON
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Two Sonoma County supervisors have proposed temporarily doubling the county’s contribution to rural road upkeep and some type of tax increase to boost long-term road funding.

Without an additional, dedicated source of money for county roads, a maintenance backlog that public works officials have described as “staggering” will continue to grow, Supervisors Shirlee Zane and David Rabbitt said.

David Rabbitt and Shirlee Zane

Their message is contained in a 31-page report being delivered Tuesday to the Board of Supervisors.

Already the problem is so bad that 53 percent of county roads need reconstruction at an estimated cost of $926 million over the next 10 years, the report stated. That is nearly three quarters of the county’s annual overall budget.

“It needs to be addressed,” Rabbitt said of the maintenance backlog. “We can’t just put our heads in the sand.”

The problem has developed over decades, as money from state gas taxes — the main source for road upkeep — has remained flat. Support from the county’s general fund, meanwhile, has dropped from a nearly-constant $7.8 million a year to $5.3 million in the current fiscal year.

Rabbitt and Zane would improve that picture in the short term by tapping $8 million from a special reserve used to cover delinquent property taxes, shifting it to road upkeep in 2012-2013 and thus doubling the maintenance budget to $15.5 million.

The added one-time funds would pay for rehabilitation of 7.5 miles of roads that the report deemed important to tourism and agriculture. The segments include West Dry Creek Road outside Healdsburg, Westshore Road in Bodega Bay and Adobe Canyon Road off Highway 12. Currently the roads are in “fair” to “at-risk” condition. They would be upgraded to “very good” to “excellent,” said Phil Demery, director of the county Department of Transportation and Public Works.

About $1.5 million of the $8 million would be dedicated as seed money to encourage and match citizen efforts to improve county roadways. The idea was a nod to residents who want to help fix sections of road near their homes, Rabbitt and Zane said.

The supervisors’ long-term measures, including tax increases, would generate enough additional money — about $3 million to $8 million — to extend basic maintenance to all 1,382 miles of county maintained roads, but not fully address annual reconstruction needs.

That long-range goal would shelve a controversial plan put forward in 2010 that would focus repair funds on only the highest-traveled, most regionally important roads while giving the rest, about 84 percent of the network, only emergency repairs and ultimately allowing them to crumble into gravel.

That strategy proved to be political kryptonite to supervisors. It spawned an advocacy group that has lobbied for increased county road funding and fueled dozens if not hundreds of calls and emails to supervisors’ offices from those concerned about abandonment of roads.

“I don’t like that word, abandonment,” Zane said. “I don’t want to abandon roads, and I don’t think anyone on this Board of Supervisors wants to abandon roads.”

One leading advocate for increased road upkeep called the report a “bold first step” to address the problem.

Still, the supervisors’ call for some type of tax increase — it could involve sales, property or hotel bed taxes — could provoke opposition from fiscal watchdogs and taxpayers as well as competition with other state and local funding proposals angling for a place on the ballot.

County leaders have not achieved any results in their bid to reduce soaring employee pension costs, said Jack Atkin, president of the Sonoma County Taxpayers Association. Those costs for taxpayers, including payments on bond debt, have risen 401 percent in the past 12 years, to $87.2 million a year.

Until that curve is fixed, asking taxpayers for more money “is not acceptable,” Atkin said.

“We believe the spending on roads is woefully inadequate,” he said. “There’s an awful lot of funding for these things if pension costs are simply gotten under control.”

Zane and Rabbitt said negotiations on reducing salary and pension costs with employee groups have just begun. Those talks, which are aimed at reducing total compensation by 3 percent, and other moves are not overnight fixes, supervisors said, and waiting to address the road crisis will make it more expensive.

“The bottom line is it took a long time for roads to degrade to their current condition,” Rabbitt said. “I think we’re embarking on a long-term commitment to really change that direction.”

The window for debate on a tax measure for November is tight, with ballot language due by early August.

If polling supports some type of tax and the full Board of Supervisors gives its blessing, meeting that deadline wouldn’t be impossible, Zane said.

She acknowledged a tax increase would face an uphill climb among voters.

“But it depends on what the issue is,” she said, noting voters recently passed numerous school bond measures. “I think people feel passionately about roads.”

Allies of road funding measures include the hundreds of workers represented by the Operating Engineers Local 3, said Chris Snyder, district representative for the Rohnert Park-based union.

“I have hundreds of guys who are still out of work,” he said.

The union is looking into polling for a tax increase to support roads.

“There’s a need and a (labor) resource to fulfill that need,” he said. “It just makes sense.”

Still, even local road upkeep advocates are wary of pushing for a tax increase, although they acknowledge the maintenance shortfall is so big it likely can’t be solved without one.

“You look at the magnitude of the problem — it’s going to take local revenue sources to work,” said Michael Troy, co-founder of the group Save Our Sonoma Roads.

Nevertheless, he said, “our position is that (supervisors) should first be looking to fix the pension issue and getting salaries in alignment before they start putting ballot measures before the voters.”

Road funding proposals

Proposed short-term measures:

–Maintain county road funding of $7.5 million
–Use $6.5 million of one-time funds in 2012-2013 to improve 7.5 miles of roads important for tourism and farming
–Designate $1.5 million of one-time funds as seed money to match citizen efforts to improve roads
–Continue lobbying for change in state, federal and regional road funding formulas

Proposed long-term measures:

–Consider placing a sales or hotel tax increase on the ballot, possibly as soon as November. Simple majority voter approval required for hotel bed and general sales tax increase; special purpose sales tax requires two-thirds voter approval.
–Support extension of existing Measure M transportation sales tax with revised formula to designate more funding for local roads. Requires two-thirds voter approval.
–Establish a road maintenance district or districts, backed by a special property tax; two-thirds voter approval required.
–Support passage of a statewide transportation system user fee, based on 1 percent of the motor vehicle value, collected similarly to motor vehicle registrations.

Roads proposed for rehabilitation in 2012-2013 through $6.5 million in one-time funds:

–Adobe Canyon Road, 2.32 miles (Highway 12 to Sugarloaf Ridge State Park)
–Cannon Lane, 1.16 miles (Lakeville Road to Tolay Lake)
–West Dry Creek Road, 1.4 miles (north of intersection with Westside Road)
–Westshore Road, 2.69 miles (Bodega Bay harbor)

SOURCE: Sonoma County

(You can reach Staff Writer Brett Wilkison at 521-5295 or brett.wilkison@pressdemocrat.com.)





39 Responses to “2 county officials seek more money, tax hike to fix roads”

  1. GAJ says:

    The money being poured into SMART is about what we need to maintain existing infrastructure.

    As someone said, voters are idiots.

    The Board of Supervisors hasn’t been doing their basic job for decades yet they keep electing “pie in the sky” idealists rather than “nuts and bolts” pragmatists.

    They are like the people who’s home is crumbling, their debt load is unsustainable yet they go out and buy a new boat.

    Thumb up 18 Thumb down 3

  2. Chuck G says:

    Unfortunately this is the state of our cities and state. The revenue that at one time was adequate, although not abundant is no longer within the grasp of local politicians and government running the state, so what else can they do except but to ask for new taxes that include of course their raises for the lifestyle they live(Nancy Pelosi)

    The lifestyle of many Californians has changed drastically, I personally don’t know too many people who have gotten fat over the past 4 years under the Obama administration as well. Romney may not be the best candidate in the eyes of the Democrats, but I will tell you he will not eat, and feed you the bologna that your current administration has fed you.

    Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  3. Jim Bennett says:

    I’ve wrote about this ’till my fingers cramped.
    This is how they roll, (you’ll be rolling on a bike) 100% ICLEI directive.
    The Agenda is about getting you:
    Out of your
    single family home,
    Out of your car.
    Out of business.
    Out of money.
    Out of freedoms.
    Out of options.
    Out of choices.
    Out of the Constitution.
    Out of touch (disenfranchised) with these public officials that you pay to screw you.

    Then utilize the PD (their big standard poodle lap dog) to play us with propaganda, figuring most serfs will belive anything they’re told.

    Last night they worked their black magic on the Bodean Asphalt Co., down zoned ‘em, code enforcement, all the icky tricks. They want that area by Dutton to be part of the ‘Transit Village’ gulag.

    We WILL regret it if we don’t get OUT OF ICLEI!

    I’m working on it every day. Are you?

    Thumb up 14 Thumb down 5

  4. Skippy says:

    @ M’bird.
    I kid you not.
    “ROMNEY? As God’s gift to America?”
    Not that he is any Messiah, but our current POTUS is obviously a gift from…another place.
    A much, much hotter place.
    The change will do US good.
    We hope.

    Thumb up 10 Thumb down 8

  5. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    Skippy-you have to be kidding. You can’t be talking about Romney? ROMNEY? As God’s gift to America?

    It’s more like the Devil’s out to get us. Romney can’t relate to any of us on this post. He isn’t quite human and has a link missing in his social makeup. He isn’t on your side or mine, he’s for protecting himself and others like him-unless you’re rich. I KNOW he’s not on my side-I’m not a future Darwin Award winner and know where my best interests lie and it isn’t with Romney.

    You Republicans could have voted for John Huntsman in the primaries who might have had a chance of winning over Obama. But this conservative was seen as way too moderate for you all. So you voted for Romney, Newt, Cain, Santorum ad nauseum.

    Thumb up 9 Thumb down 12

  6. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    Steveguy- you got it wrong. The rank and file HAVE been whistleblowing. The county unions (exclude the safety unions)have been screaming about management excesses, the 1 manager to less than 6 rank and file employees, the 5% “merit” increase to management if they give 6 months notice of intent to leave (pensionable), the 5to6% county paid deferred comp, the gas allowances (pensionable), the cell phones and car allowances and so on. How is the public supposed to know about this if the PD doesn’t put it in its paper? The PD swallows everything that is fed them by management. The PD is anti union and actively participating in union busting. The PD’s articles make it sound like all county employees are feeding at the trough and getting “free” stuff from the taxpayers. It’s the managers who retire early, take their pensions and healthcare benefits then take other jobs double dipping. It’s the managers who retire at more than they were making when employed. THE SYSTEM IS RIGGED, but not by the unions. The unions are the scapegoats.

    Thumb up 7 Thumb down 12

  7. Accountable says:

    “Government is incompetent, mismanaged and corrupt. The County of Sonoma is all three. No doubt about it.” http://capoliticalnews.com/2012/04/16/sonoma-county-855488566-union-pension-scam%E2%80%94paid-for-by-taxpayers/. Congratulations, Zane and Rabbit! You and your fellow supervisors are infamous in the State, if not the Nation.

    In Zane’s campaign rhetoric, she said that the “county has begun executing the board’s strategy in negotiations with its many of the 3,400 employees, and has made it clear that county leaders will share in the sacrifice” http://www.watchsonomacounty.com/2012/05/county/supervisor-hopefuls-square-off-on-pensions/#comments. Yet, the queen of bait-and-switch is starting out of the gate with tax increases. P.T. Barnum (a sucker is born every minute) is probably laughing in his grave.

    Thumb up 15 Thumb down 6

  8. Kelly says:

    There are two grass roots organizations everyone should check out: SOSroads.org and NewSonoma.org. They are respectively dedicated to road and pension reform. Sign up with them to let the Supervisors know that the public is taking matters into their own hands.

    Thumb up 23 Thumb down 6

  9. Michael says:

    Gasoline Taxes rise? Where is the supposed revenue we all voted for? Why does Sonoma State get an Opera House but the Roads going to and from were never upgraded? Where’s the money? Where was the money being saved when things were Good? People point to the Unions but in a reality Check what happened to the money that was set aside years ago for Union Pensions? How much should a non Union Public official get paid to retire? How much money should a Winery pay to or actually not pay to operate. How many dollars are being spent on Illegals and the care for them that should be used for the care of the American People? Stop telling us what money you need and start telling us where our tax dollars actually went. Accountability isn’t asking to fix the mess but rather explaining where all the money went that was taken from us? I’d like to know why the SSI/Medical Housing on Soprano Way behind the Fair Grounds is now Housing for Illegals and Drug Dealers? Explain why I’m paying for that and My children are being told they have to learn Spanish when my grandparents learned English?

    Thumb up 21 Thumb down 5

  10. Dogs Rule says:

    We’re going to have to move as we can’t afford to retire in CA. There is no way I’m living here forever so I can work long and hard to pay for someone else’s gold plated pension.

    Thumb up 28 Thumb down 5

  11. Your Taxes says:

    http://www.mercurynews.com/salaries/bay-area/2011

    Mercury News just updated their salaries database for 2011. Follow the above link, Select Sonoma County and hit search. It takes a minute. This is good information if you are interested in knowing where your tax dollars are going. 2011 includes a temporary deduction for required time off, meaning these folks earn more than this in a typical year.

    Thumb up 17 Thumb down 4

  12. You're fat and lazy says:

    Where does the road money come from? Federal, state, and local taxes.

    The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) are making sure that the more urban counties, regardless of how many miles of roads they have, get the most money for roads. This discriminates against the rural counties. The point is to support sustainable development. If people move out of the rural counties into the cities then they will be more sustainable. Less energy costs, less gas costs, less greenhouse gas emissions.

    Doesn’t that make sense? Then only the rich will be able to enjoy the rural areas and the rest of us will be in high density transit villages next to the non-existant train.

    You don’t need your car, do you? You should be on a bike anyway, you’re too fat.

    This is Sustainable Development: UN Agenda 21.
    Find out more: Democrats Against UN Agenda 21 dot com

    Thumb up 21 Thumb down 5

  13. Billy C says:

    What interesting times we will be living in. The Progressives we elected have gotten there way. We will be changing the way we live and work if we want to stay in Sonoma County. We voted for a Train and very high density housing.
    Both things that are very expensive to build and maintain. We chase out business that pays our way and wonder why we are going broke. To some people this is not a total failure but a new beginning. Call it social engineering, agenda 21 or The beginning of the end of the car culture.
    Surly we could not find our self’s in situation by accident. This is what the majority wants.

    Thumb up 12 Thumb down 7

  14. Deborah says:

    We are all being deceived by the reality of why our roads are crumbling. The SUPS approved policies that correspond with the Wildlands Project Map. http://www.StopTheCrime.net to see the map. This is a mandated Biodiversity Treaty by the U.N. that our County signed us onto. There was no discussion with us. This is ONLY the beginning of our European Austerity program. Good news though, the planned toll roads will fix our crumbling roads. Only one BIG problem not all roads will ever be repaired that lead to unsustainable rural properties (considered sprawl). That’s in the plan, too. Not to worry we can all move to the human settlement developments (see the map) and no more road repairs would be necessary. Final note lets not repair any roads leading to the elected officials homes that chose these polices for us. Do not be duped, do not pay for play. We already have had our road funds taken for other purposes. Hum?

    Thumb up 19 Thumb down 4

  15. Bumpy Road says:

    First, it’s important to know that the SUPS voted for reduced road maintenance when they supported the Biodiversity Treaty Mandated by the U.N. by following ICLEI policies and becoming an ICLEI member (www.ICLEI.org). Simplified, the SUPS imposed policies that resulted in the current outcome of road disrepair and now want to impose tax increases to disguise their ill intentions or stupidity. In any case the lack of road maintenance and the park closures are all connected to the Wildland’s Project map. http://www.StopTheCrime.net
    It is on the front page and at the top of the info tab.
    Do not give the County MORE money. The Federal Highway Funds are being diverted from road repairs to creating smart sustainable human settlement reservations as shown on the above map. Most cities are on the edge of bankruptcy because of the unchecked spending and obligating taxpayers to bonds and federal funds that must be paid back. This is not free money. We will NOT be able, in this failing economy to pay this money back. Yes our roads will crumble. We should demand “reduced” property taxes due to the lower property values effected by impaired access to our properties and the vehicle repairs due to pot holes. The SUPS and city council made these policy decisions for us without our agreement or knowledge that now have become obvious with the collapse of our roads and road budget. I say lets all agree that any roads leading to any of the SUPS, council , mayor, city attorney’s etc. be on the last to repair list. Bleeding property owners to death is not the roll of government- neither is picking winners and losers. The current road repair ideas are not the answer, tourists travel infrequently and the locals travel on the roads daily. WE will have loss of property values, if there is any value left, and increased vehicle repair costs if we still have a car. Cars are not sustainable and under the Sustainable Agenda neither are roads leading to rural property. No one could make this stuff up if they tried but OUR elected officials signed us all on to this Atrocity. Note Ted Turner’s Foundation is one of several backing the Wildland’s Project and he wants your property. Until policies and increased regulations stop costing all of us more money we can not rely on our officials to impact us with more debt.

    Thumb up 14 Thumb down 6

  16. truth in law says:

    Governments only job is to consume and create more government. That is the reason for your empty tax coffers. Where is the reform pension money going? To fund some other social welfare program rather than provide for those who work and earn. Perhaps the best answer is to make the Sheriff’s department a private enterprise, where they are paid based on production rather than compassion.

    Thumb up 13 Thumb down 7

  17. Can't believe it says:

    29.5 million on a 400 student school is Roseland; that could have fixed a bunch of roads fixed.Where else have we built a new school? Renovate an existing school? I am furious about this waste of money…

    Thumb up 23 Thumb down 6

  18. Steveguy says:

    Bear, I can get some of your points, and we are in dire straits, whether some can see it or not.

    I knew the housing bubble was going to burst, as I saw lower-middle class folks buying $600,000 homes. Years before the ‘collapse’.

    Our electeds should have seen it more than a mere layman such as myself. They did know it, they ignored it and spent,spent,spent.

    I feel for the rank and file, but until they whistle-blow on the waste and abuse and excess of the higher-ups, then to me they are complicit in the crime.

    Sink or swim. And we are sinking now.

    Thumb up 20 Thumb down 3

  19. Jim Bennett says:

    We’re being played again.

    Every ICLEI town has a liason in planning and on council.
    Betcha that’s who releases this propaganda to the PD.

    Now Susan wants to be just like her idol Valerie Brown.

    The Sonoma County queens of oppression.

    Thumb up 13 Thumb down 7

  20. Amused says:

    Get behind the unions. Have you read the agreements between the unions and employee’s. Many overtime rules, many hours off with pay, many extra pays. Try working in the private sector, you get paid an hourly rate for what you do, you get paid overtime after working a full week. Plus pretty good retirement packages.

    Thumb up 8 Thumb down 10

  21. CanthisbeThere are many reasons for the state and local government budgets have problems. says:

    I have not seen anyone here claim that “ALL budget problems of state and local government are due to “unfunded” pensions”. Show us who said that.
    That is Bear BS.
    There are many reasons for the state and local government budgets have problems. The unfunded state and local pensions are a major part of the problem. The funded state and local government pensions are also a major part of the problem. Government corruption, cronyism and waste are major parts of the problem. Illegal aliens are part of the problem. People expecting the government to take care of everything are part of problem.
    The overall economy is part of the problem. Both the Republicans and the Democrats contributed to the deregulation of financial markets and the Democrats, ACORN and their attorney (some neighborhood organizer named Barry Obama) took the lead in ruining mortgage lending practices.
    You can’t complain about the wars. The Democrats supported and funded the wars almost as much as the Republicans did and controlled Congress since 2007. And remember, “every job is a good job” even if its making bullets and bombs if the employee is spending money and paying taxes.
    I’m not sure that public employees, and SS and Medicare recipients should all be in the same “job category” as you placed them, but if you say so, who’s to disagree?
    A vote for Romney and anything resembling the Ryan budget may result in worldwide depression by the end of 2013, but a vote of Obama and four more trillion $ plus deficits will more likely result in a worldwide depression by the end of 2012.
    The Supreme Court decision on campaign funding is not that appalling if you read the decision instead of get your view from Obama’s State of the Union speech.
    Sample: “When government seeks to use its full power, including the criminal law, to command where a person may get his or her information or what distrusted source he or she may not hear, it uses censorship to control thought,” Justice Kennedy wrote. “This is unlawful. The First Amendment confirms the freedom to think for ourselves.”
    Finally, you have no standing to challenge anyone to defend their position after all the unsubstantiated misstatements that you spew out. May God help us all.

    Thumb up 8 Thumb down 7

  22. Skippy says:

    “May God help us all.”
    He did.
    He sent us a candidate for President who actually likes America and the principles of freedom and liberty for which it stands.
    Now it is up to the voters to replace Obama; the epic failure in an empty suit.

    Thumb up 20 Thumb down 12

  23. Road To Ruin says:

    Silly Rabbitt,

    Tax Trix are for kids!

    Thumb up 18 Thumb down 6

  24. bear says:

    Just so I understand, ALL budget problems of state and local government are due to “unfunded” pensions? Show me the numbers.

    That is Rush Limbaugh BS.

    The overall economy is the problem, created by republican deregulation of finacial markets and lending practices, two unbudgeted wars, contractors like Halliburton, a defense budget that does not defend us against any credible threat and tax cuts that didn’t benefit you or me, but created the huge deficits that the republicans are now using to cut budgets everywhere!

    Every job is a good job if the employee is spending money and paying taxes. That includes public employees, and SS and Medicare recipients. Think about it.

    I’ll make it simple: a vote for Romney and anything resembling the Ryan budget will result in worldwide depression by the end of 2013.

    I support Obama, but I think he will lose due to the appalling Supreme Court decision on campaign funding. Not my first choice. If you disagree, defend your position. I think it’s going to happen. May God help us all.

    Thumb up 13 Thumb down 40

  25. Lou says:

    Raise taxes. Man am I dumb…why didn’t I think of that.

    The elections cost millions & this is the only solution they can come up with.

    Mama mea!

    Thumb up 34 Thumb down 7

  26. Moving Soon says:

    So they just raised my property taxes for the Roseland Elementary School half a million side walk…and my house doesn’t even appraise for that amount. Now more taxes? I am being forced to move from a place I grew up in so I can retire and survive in ten years. Very sad. You can’t have any more of my money. We pay the highest gas prices for roads, and yet we live in the State with the worse roads. You do realize we the middle class tax payers are leaving in droves, yes?

    Thumb up 39 Thumb down 6

  27. Sheryl says:

    Are they deaf or just don’t care? Not a cent in any new taxes of any kind, on anything. Want more? Get your house in order, including pension reform. Stop taking money earmarked for something else and putting it into the general fund. Do all that, then come back and ask again. Til then, STOP ASKING!!!

    Thumb up 37 Thumb down 10

  28. county employee says:

    @ mockingbird, in my department they have cut only the rank and file and it is extremely top heavy. The staff is getting no guidance from management and it is confusing. We are getting all the work while the management’s workload stays the same.

    Thumb up 28 Thumb down 8

  29. Chelsee McGrew says:

    I know where money is hiding to fix the roads….supervisors pay, county administrators pay and county managers pay. Get real and cut where the big bucks are….

    Thumb up 39 Thumb down 4

  30. bill says:

    The money they receive from us in taxes is more than enough to fund all the services we deserve if they reform pensions and make the payout like what we citizens receive from Social Security.

    Giving them more tax money is like telling the fox in the hen house not to eat the chickens.

    Thumb up 31 Thumb down 8

  31. Jim says:

    The government neglects the roads for decades, instead wasting money on themselves and pet projects. Now, after creating an insatiable bureaucracy they want more money to pay for the roads because current tax ‘revenue’ is flushed down the toilet.

    Not mentioned is the fact that the road projects will be at ‘prevailing wages’ (i.e. twice as much as a private sector project)

    This is just another attempted government intrusion into the California worker’s wallet. It is always “needed” for teachers, police, firemen and/or roads. Yet the media won’t call them on it.

    Thumb up 33 Thumb down 8

  32. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    I can tell them exactly where they can get that money to fix those roads. CUT THE MANAGERS. Cut 40 management positions. Cut their county paid deferred comp, their gas allowance (pensionable), their cell phones, their county car, their “merit” pay for giving a year’s notice (also pensionable) and the other perks. That should cover all the county roads.

    The public needs to get behind the unions on this, even if you all out there don’t like unions. The unions are fighting to keep more services and more rank and file staff. The management is in control and they WILL PROTECT THEMSELVES. The management to staff ratio is 1: to less than 6. This is appalling and the public shouldn’t allow it. Contact YOUR county supervisor and tell them to preserve rank and file service providers (who were the positions cut last time) and cut management. AND FIX THOSE ROADS.

    Thumb up 30 Thumb down 21

  33. The Petaluma Way says:

    Not a good idea to use one time funds for operating costs. Seems that was the Petaluma approach and now we have no public services and are close to bankrupt. It’s like using a tax refund to pay the mortgage. You get one more month of a roof over your head, but you still loose the house.

    Thumb up 38 Thumb down 3

  34. Jim says:

    No way!! A politician proposing to RAISE taxes? This is such a unique idea.

    But hey taxpayers, it is TEMPORARY!

    So when there is no money, the proposal is ALWAYS ‘give us more money’. It is never ‘we waste hundreds of millions on pensions, lets cut that’.

    Luckily for these thieves, the voters are idiots.

    Thumb up 43 Thumb down 7

  35. Thomas Brooks says:

    The BOS needs to cut the pension benefits of the county employees including the Sheriff’s office. Until this monstrosity is corralled any additional tax revenues will go directly to fund this monster rather than to improve the roads or county services.

    Make the cuts now!

    Thumb up 38 Thumb down 7

  36. Chris Snyder says:

    I do not agree with the premise by some that lack of road maintenance is due to unfunded County pensions. The County’s road maintenance problems go way back before the Great Recession when things were booming still. Conflating the issues only make fixing the roads a tougher sell.ing

    It should be remembered that Labor unions did not cause the economy to crash Wall Street and out of control sub-prime mortgages did. Nevertheless the shortfalls in pension funds that were lost due to the crash must be fixed. The way to do that is for the County to bargain in good faith and find solutions together.

    Thumb up 11 Thumb down 34

  37. Catherine says:

    If they spent the money they ALREADY collected in taxes where they should, instead of on their own salaries and retirement funds, they wouldn’t need any MORE tax money from us.

    Thumb up 37 Thumb down 9

  38. Shadow says:

    No new taxes or fees, we give you enough of our money now you simply choose to spend if foolishly and on things that we never agreed too, illegal immigrants, exorbitant public wages and pensions, public employees that don’t produce, and consultants and lawyers doing study after study after study after study, and many other wasteful items that we don’t need and simply don’t want. The mindset if you don’t use it, you lose it, you therefore spent it is over with. If you don’t need it or use it, save it and use it elsewhere.

    I do have ask myself, what is that only politicians take, it seems to me the day they’re elected, common sense goes away. I would like to know why this only happens to elected officials or government workers, I don’t know if it’s the water or food or if they’re all given the new prescription that only they take, something’s up in never-never land with the choices they make.

    Thumb up 37 Thumb down 8

  39. Skeptical says:

    Why should this community support one cent in new taxes until the BOS can demonstrate it can (and will) act responsibly with the revenues it already receives?

    Has any Supervisor made a public declaration outlining in detail their spending priorities? Afterall, the BOS should know every nook and cranny of the County budget. So if not, why not?

    Thumb up 41 Thumb down 3

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