1. Imposed the highest sales tax in the county for 20 years to cope with a structural deficit that only covers two years. Sales taxes hit the poorest more than those who have greater wealth.
2. Increased the sewer rates by 98% over last year. These rates hit the poorest more than those who have greater wealth, as well.
3. Created an initiative on the June 2012 ballot to make the city a charter city, independent of California oversight. The initiative will hurt working people who are employed on city contracts. Other issues are likely to emerge under a charter that removes current limitations.
4. Filled a recent city council seat vacated by a woman, with a white male. Now the council is filled with five white males. Among those who volunteered to fill the vacancy was a Black woman, Vickie Butcher, and Iraqi-American male, Ben Kalasho. The mayor did not even want to hear from volunteers or their representatives, but he was persuaded to allow them to speak. Thereafter, he said he already had someone in mind to fill the seat and the others on the council agreed to only bring forth their own choices and cast a vote.
5. Made a commitment to move forward with a plan to raze the East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC) and put a Marriott Courtyard hotel in its place. The performing arts community committee had been promised that ECPAC would be repaired two years ago, and then reopened for their use. Nothing was discussed about ECPAC being city-owned land that should be assessed for its value, then opened for competitive bidding, if the council wanted to implement the plan.
The views in this editorial reflect the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of East County Magazine. To submit an editorial for consideration, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.