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Voter Opposes Pasadena Propositions

October 24, 1985

On Nov. 5, Pasadena voters will be asked to decide Propositions F and G. Both are terrible and should be defeated.

Proposition F calls for the diminution of the city prosecutor's office, and Mayor Bogaard, speaking for the Board of City Directors, claims that the action will save $400,000 a year, a figure patently absurd. That is the present cost of the office with six attorneys. It is planned to keep one attorney in the office so a reasonable figure for him and some support people is more like $75,000 to $100,000, a saving of $300,000.

The city prosecutor's office declares in its latest annual report that its conviction rate is 72%, whereas the district attorney's office claims only 133,000 convictions out of 199,000 actions filed, a rate of about 67%. Lacking precise figures we can only say that if a 72% rate produced fines of $1.4 million, a 67% rate will produce only about $1.3 million. Pasadena will lose some part of this $100,000, resulting in a net loss of revenue.

In addition, some percentage (about one-third) of those who are accused of violations against county and state laws will go free, unprosecuted, presumably to sin another day. A poor arrangement.

Proposition G would, "notwithstanding any other provision of this Charter," permit the city board to float bonds and float bonds and float bonds as long as anyone would buy them and as long as the funds were for "municipal use." The sweeping statement would wipe out the part of the Charter that limits bonded indebtedness so that if this awesome proposition should carry, the Board of City Directors from this time forward could spend whatever it chose as long as someone would handle the bonds, with no input from or safeguard for the citizens of the city.

These propositions were hastily put together, rammed through two extraordinary sessions of the board, one at 7:30 in the morning, the other late afternoon, with no notice except for one posted in City Hall. In the hearing I attended in the city board chamber, one of the directors commented that only 10% to 15% of the electorate would turn out for this special election. That means that a few informed voters could carry the election. Please join me as one of the informed and go to your polling place and vote against these cynical propositions.

Dona Mich


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