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Justifying Utility Taxes in Fullerton, Placentia

July 18, 1993

* Hats off to the three Fullerton council members who put the fate of this city ahead of winning a popularity contest with the Chamber of Commerce.

Having attended one of the public hearings regarding the 2% utility tax to preserve what is essential to Fullerton (the average cost of that tax would equal two dinners out per couple per year), I am disgusted with the sheep-like followers of our chamber. They formed a raucous, poorly informed, self-righteous opposition group.

At the meeting I attended, the audience, encouraged by a barrage of chamber literature, seemed to consist mainly of white-haired retirees. They were well-dressed, appeared well-fed, and many of them were undoubtedly benefiting from Prop. 13's tax relief on their homes.

These are the kind of people that contribute to the Orange County reputation of selfishness, being tightfisted and uncaring. How do they ever manage to look in a mirror without blushing!



* As a former Fullerton mayor and councilman, I was appalled and saddened by what took place at the last two Fullerton City Council meetings.

I witnessed a good example of what is wrong with the "body politic" in our great country today. The politicians no longer want to listen to the citizens.

If ever there was a case of "don't confuse me with the facts, my mind is made up," it was demonstrated by the majority of the council members at these last two meetings.

The kindest thing the mayor could have done would have been to let the audience know, (there were over 800 people at one meeting and over 400 at the last meeting) that the council really was not interested in hearing what the people had to say and we could have saved over 12 hours of testimony from the floor and gone home early.

The subject of both meetings was the imposition by the council, on all the citizens (with minor exceptions) and businesses in Fullerton of a utility tax to balance the city's current budget. This tax is neither desired by the majority of our citizens nor is it even necessary to balance this budget as was pointed out by many of the speakers. It appeared that many of the speakers were truly better versed in the details of the budget than the council members.

In the face of overwhelming testimony to the contrary, the majority of the council members demonstrated their indifference by continuing to force down the throats of the citizens and the businesses of Fullerton another tax that is not wanted and certainly not needed at this time.

If anything is going to destroy the quality of life in Fullerton, it is this type of arrogant city government.

This council, by this unwise decision, has created a breech in our fine city that we have not before experienced. I hope that this council will either rescind its action or at least put this tax matter on the November ballot, so that all Fullerton citizens will be able to make their feelings known.



* Placentia residents are being asked to support a 66% utility tax increase. Why? Because of the state's reduced funding. How much is the shortfall going to be? At the public hearing at the July 6 council meeting, nobody seemed to know exactly. Councilman John O. Tynes stated the city was more than $630,000 "down" due to previous years' deficits.

Exactly how will the shortfall affect residents? City Administrator Robert D'Amato was unable to specify other than to make general allusions. Since we are not being told either the amount of the shortfall or for what purpose this additional tax will be levied, the next logical question is: Why should anyone support this burden?



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