Money generated by Proposition P needs constraints, reader says


Letter to the Editor

To the editor:
Let me qualify this response to Proposition P by saying that I have a personal interest in providing our first responders with sufficient resources to enable their effectiveness and safety.
However, the money generated from Proposition P needs constraints. Why? Can you trust your government to do what is right?
Do you remember how in the past your elected officials listened to you on matters of community interest? Do you remember how residents of Oakville were given due process of the law?
Do you remember how library trustees were all ears when they asked voters to approve a ballot measure to raise money, but then after the measure was passed, they were in no mood to listen to citizens?
Do you remember the scandals of financial mismanagement and conflict of interest and our county executive saying that when he is elected he will audit every county department?
Do you think that the board members of the utilities really have the public interest at hand?
Do you remember how campaigning politicians said they opposed a city-county merger, but now they are working behind the scene in favor of it?
Regarding Proposition P, is there a sunset for this tax? No. How do we know if the estimated $80 million generated annually will be used for “police and public safety”? Sorry folks, but some communities are already preparing to use this money for pothole road repairs, and other nice-to-have expenditures having even less to do with public safety. The spirit of the intent of the original ballot measure sold this tax as a way to bolster police protection and fight crime.
Here is my proposal: Beginning Oct. 1, the County Council will have two years to reduce crime in their neighborhoods and show significant improvements in all crime categories. Otherwise, your funds will be taken away and given to those communities who are good stewards of our tax money. At the end of three to five years, the voters will decide whether the half-cent sales tax was a wise investment and whether it should be continued based upon the safety of our communities.
OK, I realize the devil is in the details for these types of proposals, but the spirit of the new intent is to provide our police with the salary, tools and training to do their job and to obtain real, tangible results. Where are the metrics? Where is the accountability?
Looking for a few good County Council members to protect the cash cow, otherwise future tax hikes may be in jeopardy.
Frank Longo