…. TO A PARK TAX MEASURE IN….
… FOUR EASY NUMBSKULL STEPS
Apparently the political naifs on the Wildomar City Council presumed the gracious truce proffered by the generally un-organized citizen opponents, who successfully opposed last year’s Measure D (a Mello Roos/CFD scheme), was unconditional and irrevocable.
However, within a brief span of less than 30 days, an evolution of opposition has been developing in response to the City Council’s inability to restrain itself from spending (and wasting) taxpayer dollars on Councilmember Bridgette Moore’s re-election campaign.
Consider, if you will, the following timeline of political numbskullery:
Step 1) June 27, 2012-Another Mello Roos/CFD was proposed by City Staff during a Special Meeting set for the purpose of discussing whether or not to make another attempt to pass a park maintenance ballot measure for the November 06, 2012 general election. In an apparent brief moment of political maturity, the City Council authorized the expenditure of up to $15,000 for a limited survey of Wildomar’s citizens, to determine the possibility of successful passage of a park measure.
Response 1) Ever-watchful citizen activists, including myself, extended an “olive branch” of civic neutrality on the issue, if the City Council would forgo the Mello Roos/CFD proposed in favor of a simple parcel tax.
In the context of a parcel tax, opposition to the expenditure of $15,000 was neutral in the Opposition Community.
Step 2) July 11, 2012-City Staff presented three options for polling consultants and recommended the Lew Edwards Group, while requesting authority to pay up to $22,500 for their services.
Response 2) Despite the 33 1/3% increase in the request for consultant fees, above the original $15,000 amount suggested/requested by city staff, the Opposition Community remained neutral, although grumbling within the Opposition Community also increased by about the same 33 1/3%.
Step 3) July 31, 2012-The polling consultants presented the results of their survey at another Special Meeting, suggesting that 77% of Wildomar’s voting taxpayers were salivating for their next opportunity to vote in favor of the latest park tax measure. One of the presenters fatuously described the support for Park tax measure, as the “highest level of support he’s ever seen in a community.” (As an afterthought, as this was a telephone survey, perhaps he consultant firm has been mistakenly calling another community besides Wildomar).
Response 3) Skepticism on the rise within the Opposition Community, yet a genuinely neutral sense of laissez-faire remained. (“It is what it is.”).
Step 4) August 08, 2012-After spending $23,000 on the polling consultants, the Wildomar City Council is being asked to put up an additional $35,500 (for a total of $58,500) to the same consultants for an aggressive “education” campaign to increase the likelihood of a successful park tax measure.
However, despite the extra funding, I doubt the consultant firm will guarantee “in writing” that their marketing efforts will be successful.
Please click on the following link to the city’s website, and scroll down to page 95, to confirm:
Response 4) The truce is over.
The Opposition Community is prepared to organize, support and launch a full-blown opposition movement to the park tax measure, should the Wildomar City Council authorize the expenditure of an additional $35,500.
This incremental approach to the expenditure of $58,500, plus the cost of the election itself, has all of the the hallmarks of a previously-contrived hidden agenda. Had city officials fully disclosed their intentions to spend this level of tax dollars on a park tax measure that has no guarantee of success, there would have been no truce whatsoever and the opposition would have been immediate.
That being said, what’s done is done, and the political consequences to the sitting City Council, should the parcel tax measure fail to secure passage on its own merits in November 2012 cannot be altered, at this point in time. However, the adverse political effects of the Opposition Community could still be neutralized, if a majority of the City Council were to exercise any political acumen.
Comments can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since councilmember Marsha Swanson will be out of town for the next meeting, if two city Council members oppose the expenditure, the matter will fail on a 2-2 vote.