Mary Romano-Navarro, Dana Point
As a resident and registered voter of Dana Point, I continue to be disappointed in Councilman Muller’s lack of insight, his failure to respond to our citizenry and voice as reflected in recent elections, and now his poor judgement in fiscal responsibility.
Councilman Muller’s most recent letter in the newspaper reflects his lack of understanding in long-term management of our public funds and is again in complete denial of the clarion call the voters have given in electing Major Lewis and passing Measure H. That message was a call for our elected leaders to hear and respond to our community voice. We are demanding through these elections thoughtful planning and development in order to preserve our unique beach community, and we want transparency in long-term responsible fiscal management to protect our assets and to build our community for the future.
This is a simple accounting principle: when expenditures exceed revenue, any budget is doomed for a downward spiral of deficit. And when assets are depreciating and savings becomes impossible there is no opportunity for replacement, renewal and/or growth.
Councilman Muller is failing to face this reality and is deflecting this issue by asking “do we really want to cut services?” The answer is inconvenient and uncomfortable, but obviously “Yes!” We must prioritize services and make thoughtful, responsible cuts and adjustments—like families must do in household management of their budgets. This is Major Lewis’s call for responsible, proactive action that Councilman Muller continues to demean and ignore.
Mayor Lewis is courageous, intelligent and reflective enough to ask for more near-term budget cuts rather than to wait and bet on the illusion of future revenue to solve near-term problems. Councilman Muller’s answer to her call-to-action is to paint the Mayor as out of step. What is out of step are police compared to neighboring cities like San Clemente. Dana Point is predominately a group of gated communities with private security. So why are we paying more? Seems a reasonable question to ask. Major Lewis is standing in the moment and looking toward the future as all effective leaders do. She is asking tough questions that require serious consideration. Councilman Muller shows his limited vision when he can’t adjust to the fiscal reality and insists on continued spending while a budget deficit is looming.
More importantly Councilman Muller is ignoring our community voice, dividing the council and minimizing the Mayor’s efforts to suit his ulterior motives and petty grievances. What is the point of that? Does he want to rehash old arguments that have been given voice and direction through elections or does he want to move the city forward? Unfortunately, his chronic obstructionism is impeding our need for community, collaboration and cooperation in solving current and projected challenges.
I support Major Lewis’ proactive and forward-thinking leadership. I urge others who have been impressed by her efforts and her responsiveness to our civic voice to show up and make that point at the council meeting on July 18.
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