MUST READ: MTRC Chair Mike Rancer: Why I am Voting Against Measure Y
Piedmont Civic Association 10/16/12
MUST READ: The Piedmonter 09/28/12
Letter from Councilman Garrett Keating:
In recent months, the Piedmont City Council appointed two citizen committees to review and advise on Piedmont's finances.
Both the Municipal Tax Review Committee and the Council’s Budget Advisory Committee reported on the City’s long-term fiscal problems, determining that current trends of over-spending and out-of-control budgets are unsustainable. The Council has so far ignored the most serious recommendations presented. Ill-advised spending continues its upward trend.
Among the worst examples which have led to millions of dollars of unneeded expense are:
• The Piedmont Hills undergrounding fiasco
• The aborted Blair Park plan
• Higher costs for service than in comparable small cities
• Uncontrolled employee benefit contributions
The last category has been rising at double-digit rates for years because the Council chose the richest pension plans in California without adequate analysis or appropriate employee cost-sharing. Today Piedmont has a $40 million unfunded liability for these benefits – twice the size of the annual budget, a future obligation of $10,000 for every household in Piedmont and a risk to taxpayers and employees alike.
Rather than tackling these problems, the Council has used the parcel tax as a bail-out to paper over the lack of budgetary control. The parcel tax does not support critical services but simply gives the Council a way to avoid making hard decisions.
Five of the MTRC's nine members, the majority of the Committee, along with other concerned citizens, including members of the Budget Advisory Committee and the Task Force on Undergrounding, have joined to oppose the Council's attempt to renew the parcel tax.
Please join us in letting the Council know that it's time for action and fiscal control. Short-term bail-outs are not the answer.
Vote NO on Measure Y on November 6.