By Theresa Acerro
††††††† It is extremely important that everyone votes on June 3, 2008. Two council seats are up for grabs. If two people who will listen to the community instead of developers get elected we can have a majority on the city council, which can get a change in the way the city is being run. The city has been spending more than it has been taking in since 2003. The city has a huge amount of debt thanks to a grandiose city hall and Police Station funded by loans. Citizens are no longer allowed to donate time so spokespersons can speak more than three minutes. Commissions are being filled with political appointees who have no interest in what the community wants. The mayor insists upon keeping a staff of three, which she inherited from the previous mayor, but is completely unnecessary and costly.
††††††† These are things that a majority on the council could change. Now two councilmen get out voted on most important issues. This needs to change. Listen to what the candidates have to say and vote for the two who will listen to the community and support community planning groups. The people need three votes. It is time that developers stopped running the city. One developer gets a $400,000 yearly subsidy. Another got a General Plan change so his property would make him more money, even though the use in the General Plan would have given the city much needed revenue.
††††††† Proposition E is on the ballot and is an opportunity to make it clear that the voters want to run the city and are tired of business as usual at city hall. Make a statement vote YES on Prop E. The other side wants to confuse the issues, but the only real issue is that the citizens should have the right to vote on all General Plan changes. Unfortunately Prop E only allows a vote on a narrow plan change involving heights higher than what the existing General Plan now allows. This is a small item, but when it passes it will make clear people want the right to vote, because they donít trust city hall to listen to the community.
††††††† State propositions 98 and 99 are not what they seem to be. 98 may prevent water projects. The way it is written it may prevent any land use decisions by the government that may possibly reduce the value of property. This could be devastating to community input on land use issues. It definitely will end rent control. It probably will negate many California environmental protections. Proposition 99 will change very little, but should be voted for because it will make sure owner occupied residences can not be seized by eminent domain for non-public uses, and it will protect us from 98.