Category: "Clean Water" Tax
“Now, I guess we’re in somewhat of a situation of buyer’s remorse.”
Councilmember Bond, after overpaying millions of dollars for a troubled public works yard.
“I am not a credit card kind of person.”
Councilmember Dan Dalager, prior to approving $20 million in questionable loans for the city.
"Dump more money."
Dan Dalager, in response to a citizen satisfaction poll. Fewer people were happy with roadway conditions than in the previous year.
To read more quotes and learn about their context, read the August Newsletter.
This list was pulled out of the ETA archives.
ENCINITAS CITY COUNCIL CLEAN WATER REGULATORY FEE
Ø Council admitted that the proposed tax is all about money, yet continues to promote it as an environmental issue.
Ø Council held 2 mock public hearings. Council had already made up its mind and authorized staff to have ballots and mailings printed and ready for delivery the next day.
Ø Council used $110,000 of taxpayers money to hire consultants to manipulate the voters and the outcome of the election.
Ø Council consultants, at taxpayer expense, promised to provide a group of local pro-tax supporters to fight any opposition and one has already appeared.
Ø Council chose a mail ballot procedure so that they would not have to include an opposition statement in the ballot packet. Voters will only receive a biased statement from the city to vote upon unless the opposition can raise enough money to get the truth out.
Ø Council agreed in a settlement with the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association that they would remain neutral during the election, yet they have been actively involved throughout the process and even helped prepare a slanted ballot statement.
Ø Votes are going to be collected by the city and counted by one of the city’s paid consultants.
Ø Council decided to conduct much of the election process during the Christmas/Hanukah/New Years Holidays, when people were out of town or preoccupied. Their purpose was clearly to hamper the opposition and influence the election outcome.
Ø Council chose a January 19 ballot mailing date to limit the opposition to just an unprecedented 75 days to get organized, prepare literature, raise money and educate the electorate. The city had been preparing for this assault for over a year.
Ø City hall all but shut down for 10 days of the 75 days because of the holidays and there was no one available to answer questions.
Ø Data collection from the city has been very difficult. Most requests for information have required the full 10 days.
Ø Two weeks before the election, the opposition was still unable to determine who was eligible to vote.
Ø Council chose a water meter tax and a trash bill collection process rather than a more equitable property tax collected by the county so that it would only need 50 plus % of the votes rather than the legitimate 66.6% tax requirement.
Ø The water meter tax is unfair because single family homeowners will be required to pay almost all the tax. Approximately 1/3 of all Encinitas residents will not pay the water meter tax and business will not pay their share.
Stocks, Houlihan, Dalager, Guerin, and Bond were fully aware of these activities and in most cases they directed the actions.
See Also: Prop C: For the Record, Part I
The following remarks were made to the city council by ETA President Rodewald. The comments were made as the council geared up to run the Prop C "clean water" campaign.
I will again start my remarks by saying that clean ocean and lagoon water is very important. The truth is that the City of Encinitas has been complying with all Federal and State clean water standards for many years, and that the voters have been paying for it thank you. I am not here tonight to try to convince the Council to abandon its efforts to tax the people of Encinitas twice for the same service. I am here to lay out my theory and opinion that the process has been rigged from the start. My opinion is that in this case and with this tax, the City has attempted, and may succeed in deceiving the people of Encinitas, the very constituents that it purports to represent.
I would agree that what I just said is strong language, and would not have made that statement had I not been able to back it up. I’ll start by saying that, in my opinion, the City Council was never interested in the opinion of the voters with regard to this issue and that the opinion survey portion of the process was fixed. The City got the answers that it wanted because they hired the team that promised to deliver just that. Let’s look at some interesting events;
1) The City decided to spend $110,000 of taxpayer money to hire three consultants to deliver a new tax, to literally manipulate the opinions of its constituents. Interestingly, according to Jennifer Smith, the City Financial director, there was no competitive bid process which seems odd given the value of the assignment. Even more interesting is the fact that there was no RFP process, no request for proposal, and no written record of what the City was looking for in an opinion survey of the voters.[note: similar to the satisfaction poll] Conveniently, the direction was given to the consultants verbally and without any documentation. Is anyone surprised that the survey questions were manipulated to elicit the desired results. If so, let’s get to the next item.
The city publishes a multi-color glossy newsletter. It is typically filled with self-congratulatory content. Although, it has improved recently, because it has increased the educational content and upcoming issues announcements.
The most recent newsletter has a picture of 4 girls sitting in the sand.
The piece trumpets the great water quality of our city.
Two years ago the ETA opposed the council's "clean water" tax (a.k.a. Prop C). The fee was a deception. It would not have brought us cleaner water and the city was already providing the same clean water services they would have if Prop C passed. The ETA's winning motto was, "Don't Pay Twice." Prop C lost by 2 to 1.
Thanks to the Encinitas Taxpayer Association's campaign, we aren't paying twice for our clean water.
The "clean water" fee ballot measure was brought to the citizens by Stocks, Houlihan, Bond, Dalager, and Guerin.
See Also: Houlihan Said Prop C was about Clean Water.
Prop. C means cleaner water in Encinitas Jan. 2006
...Encinitas maintains an extensive storm-drain infrastructure, including hundreds of miles of drainage channels, storm drains and detention basins.
The program costs approximately $3.5 million annually: $1.3 million for operations and $2.2 million for capital projects. Encinitas land owners are being asked to approve a fixed $5 per month assessment for 10 years.
This will generate one-third, or $1.1 million annually, of the revenue needed to support the program. The remaining $2.4 million would continue to come from the city's general fund.
Encinitas enjoys an excellent quality of life and prides itself on well-maintained parks, roads, beaches, trails and natural open space. More than $50 million in revenue is pumped into our economy annually by beach visitors alone. I don't believe anyone wants to return to the days before the city's Clean Water Program was implemented ---- when 100 or more days of closed beaches were the norm. As a result of past investments in our program, beach closures have been reduced to three days or less. We enjoy a much healthier environment that benefits our families, visitors and local businesses. However, increasing mandates require us to do more. Proposition C is being placed on the ballot to generate one-third of the costs of this program.
The city is committed to providing the type of environment and quality of life that Encinitans expect. Our Clean Water Program is a major part of the City's commitment to the community's priorities, but it is not a voluntary effort. I ask you to vote yes on Prop C to ensure the funds necessary to continue to provide the full range of services and amenities Encinitas expect and enjoy.
Maggie Houlihan is an Encinitas City Council member
The ETA strongly opposed Prop C. Prop C provided no new services and the city already had funding for street cleaning and storm drain maintenance. Prop C would have provided a new revenue stream for the city. Prop C was about the search for more money.
After the loss the city borrowed $20million dollars to pay for fire stations, a library, and a public works yard.