John Navarro, Dana Point
Below are my points and comments about Councilman Muller posting.
- Councilman Muller is characterizing the conversation in his terms when he says that the community has “implied” we are in financial straits, and he assures us “that this is not the case.”
- He also says that our general fund is 43 percent, 2.5 times the amount recommended. But are these empty statistics that don’t speak to the real problem? This would require deeper investigation and analysis than what Muller is providing.
- Councilman Muller also says that our budget will balance in FY 18 and FY 19. What he really means is revenue vs. expenses may balance. His interpretation doesn’t allow for capital accumulation for depreciation and future capital projects.
- Councilman Muller states that the option to cut expenses means cutting services he is unwilling to prioritize. Yes, it does mean making tough choices, but when there is a lot of overhead in salaries and contracts, the question is, are we getting what we need at a good value and reasonably price?
- Councilman Muller proclaims that the Lantern District “could” generate up to $1 million in property and sales tax revenue. This is a total overstatement; it is estimated that it will take a decade to build that district at which point it will only generate $600,000 per year.
While the above “could” be considered facts, these possibilities don’t take us to a solution.
The City Council must be proactive now and negotiate the best services, for the best value. This is a continuous improvement effort that should be integrated into the City Council’s never ending quest for the best services at the most valued rate.
Every line item on the budget should be challenged and have each justify why their budget shouldn’t be cut 15 percent starting now.
About the Lantern District
How can a prudently fiscal Councilman suggest that adding Lantern District expenses won’t drive the city further into debt? How will all this magic money show up on our door in 2020 when the projects haven’t started?
Prior to our moving to this great community, we stayed in an AirBnB east of PCH in the Lantern District. While we met very nice people, there were racing cars, people screaming at night, parties and lots of disturbance. Several nights we were awakened by loud music and parties.
Is this what we want more of when we go to the Lantern District? More noise, loud parties and more traffic?
No thanks, I’d rather have a Council that fights for our lifestyle and stands up to investors and investments that don’t serve our community interests. We need champions that are watchdogs with the budget.
Let’s stop playing the blame game by pointing to our Mayor. (Don’t shoot the messenger).
Let’s get to work on addressing the budget instead of “hoping” that we “could” receive revenue though the magic money of devaluing our lifestyle.
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