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The Time Is Now for Political Change

May 17, 1994

The time has come for the city of Ventura to move into the 20th Century politically and leave the city manager, council-elected-at-large form of government for a more democratic, paid full-time mayor and council members elected from districts in which they live.

The current system has allowed the at-large election of political hacks who have been promoted and financed by a radical political corporation that has an agenda to stop all economic growth and business expansion of the tax base in the city of Ventura.

The city has gained population in the past 12 years of John Baker's city manager rule, and county sales tax revenues have tripled, new city fees imposed, more regulations, new taxes and assessments, higher water and service rates. Yet, the city of Ventura has lost over 35% share of tax revenues in the county because Baker, supported by the special-interest, no-growth political hacks, has made revenue-producing retail and other businesses flee the city and move to more business-friendly cities.

Before we rush out and hire a travel agent or a big government tax-and-spend city manager, the citizens and the business community should have a serious debate as to whether we will continue to have a "cow-town" form of government or one more reflective of the needs of the citizens and the community. If we choose to continue as we have, the future will mirror the past, shrinking tax base, unemployment, flight of capital and businesses, which in turn will mean more fees, more and higher taxes, new and higher assessments, more regulations that will only accelerate the sinking of the good ship VENTURA.

Methinks that John Baker is jumping ship just in time. Was he a great city manager or what?

RAY RUSSUM

Ventura

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