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Supervisor Stanton Passes the Buck, and Taxpayers Are Likely Victims

February 12, 1995

So, (County Supervisor) Roger R. Stanton has the gall to appear at his own recall meeting to divert justified blame from himself to his latest scapegoat, Auditor-Controller Steve E. Lewis. Does he also plan to loiter at the voting booths, pleading with voters not to recall or vote against him?

Everyone knows that when one is wholly or partially to blame for a problem, it is better to accept responsibility and do your best to resolve the problem. Stanton appears to have forgotten this theorem, as his only response to the bankruptcy has been to point fingers and search for other people to blame. Not to mention his ludicrous excuses: "I didn't receive the treasurer audit report" and "I don't remember seeing that memo from the auditor to the CAO." Supervisor (William G.) Steiner had no problem admitting that the board did indeed have copies of the treasurer's audit.

We expect and deserve better from a man who is an experienced board member and who taught business management before becoming a county supervisor. His actions lack both credibility and ethics and have done nothing to help the county overcome the financial crisis that adversely affects all of us. If he doesn't have the decency to resign he must be recalled.

T.M. TELEGONUS, Fountain Valley

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I find myself both amused and irritated by the efforts of many who support taxes as a way out of Orange County's financial crisis. The cacophonous chorus of school district employees, Wall Street observers, vendors and city officials in unison with the editorial pages of The Times is actually a siren's song for Orange County elected officials.

To impose even more taxes upon an already overtaxed populace is wrong! Any elected official who votes to do so is guilty of committing a hostile act against taxpayers. And just who are these "citizens" who propose higher or new taxes as a solution? I suggest that they are largely those who feed directly or indirectly at the public trough. If so, it would appear that their input is neither objective nor indicative of public opinion at large. Members of these special interests have yet to suggest a solution to a shortfall that does not rely on increased taxes.

So listen if you must, elected officials, to the self-serving voices that suggest the tired, ineffective and intellectually bankrupt solution of more revenue as a panacea. Taxpayers just may believe that as in an ordinary bankruptcy, the repayment must come "out of the hide" of the bankrupt party. In addition to being the logical solution, this approach would yield tax savings for residents of Orange County year after year after year.

I submit that government at all levels is currently too expansive, too expensive and too intrusive. Orange County is an excellent place to change the status quo.

BRUCE W. WHITAKER, Spokesman, Committees of Correspondence, Fullerton

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I see that (former Orange County Congressman) Bill Dannemeyer, after being a public servant for so many years, now wants to cut the salaries of county employees. He contends that county employees make more than their counterparts in the private sector. Where does Mr. Dannemeyer get his statistics?

Some examples may help to set the record straight. Based on the current list of job titles for the county, a psychologist starts at $3,158 per month, a dentist at $5,269 per month, a physician at $6,037, an attorney at $4,250, and an accountant at $2,553.

The point is, county employees are taxpayers too; they have mortgages, kids, bills like everyone else. If a tax increase occurs, they will have to shoulder the burden like everyone else. Moreover, 99.9% of them had no knowledge of what was happening in the treasurer's office. Why should they be penalized? A sales-tax increase is the most equitable solution.

WARREN BEACOM, Anaheim

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I find it amusing and insulting that Bill Dannemeyer would state that county workers are overpaid. Here's a guy who spent years in Congress and the state Legislature getting paid for doing virtually nothing.

W.J. BRENNAN, Laguna Niguel

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Congratulations on the outstanding "Times Orange County Forum" presented Feb. 7. The following idea struck me driving home: Sell signage rights on the Orange County Airport Terminal and county parks rather than awarding them to elected supervisors who were asleep on their watch. Think what such signs would be worth to a pro team or a Nike as part of a Save Orange County Schools Campaign.

JACK MULROY, Newport Beach

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So Orange County's elected auditor-controller wrote a letter to the Board of Supervisors the day after the election of the county treasurer, warning that the elected treasurer, Robert L. Citron, was busy rolling the dice with the county's money. Shouldn't that letter have been mailed a few days earlier? Mr. (John M.W.) Moorlach probably isn't taking this news well.

And none of the members of the board "remember" receiving that letter? Perhaps all such communications should be faxed. Fax machines record all transmissions and receipts, and have awfully good memories.

BOB TODD, Newport Beach

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