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Should Business Solve Public Problems?

April 15, 1990

In response to the article written by Vicki Torres regarding the funding gap in the city of Pasadena (Times, March 29), we as property owners and longtime small-business merchants (more than 89 years) resent the city manager's suggestion that a "new" business tax could make up for the shortfall.

As the city manager prepared a budget for which he will have no responsibility, we find it ironic that business once again may be required to come up with more monies to solve public problems over which we have no control. Moreover, public services are being constantly reduced so that to operate our businesses in Pasadena becomes more and more of a financial risk. Surely, if my business had a $5-million shortfall, I would have to look within to solve my problem and make appropriate reductions.

The business community has become, in Pasadena, the donkey for public program and services. We strongly object to that burden which constitutes a private tax on those of us who, already, fill the city coffers with sales tax monies.

Let the city be as considerate of their financial responsibilities as we, the merchants, must be. The tree-trimming affair is a significant example. The city planted the trees, doesn't maintain them properly and if a merchant takes it upon himself to trim the trees in front of his store so they don't become a hazard, the city complains.

The fees paid--more than $50,000--for recruitment of a new city manager are unconscionable, trips all over the country for the city directors so that they might view a candidate's city is again beyond my consideration.

Wake up city board, stay with us a few moments longer. Mr. McIntyre, you represent us. We say no vehemently to your so-called business tax proposals.

Instead of singing the Jolson tune about "Home in Pasadena," we'll be happily humming "Thanks for the Memories," somewhere else.

GORDON J. PASHGIAN

South Pasadena

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