Friday, September 28, 2012

A simple commitment to respect the will of the people.

Jim Dexter asked me to make clear that I support the voter's intent when passing the various measures such as Q and Y in my drive for budget reform.

I told him that he was just asking me to put myself on record for something he knew full well I considered an ethical value.  For me this basic respect for the public's will went without saying, but I had made the political mistake of not having said it.  

He also told me that he would support me if I would make this public statement.  I think he already does.  Truth be told, we are of like mind on quite a number of things.  

When the public has made a choice as clear and legally clean as Measure Q to support our libraries (for example) it has become the marching orders of every public servant, elected or otherwise. To not follow those marching orders is a breach of public trust.

So what is the problem? 
The measures were voted on, they are law, and the provisions in those measures are guiding how those funds are being spent. Right?

There are many aspects of Measure Y and Measure Q that are not being followed.
In all the time I have been working on community policing, I have never heard of the required number of Problem Solving Officers that Measure Y requires being assigned.  Maybe I missed something.  Are all those fire stations open? Guess I messed a lot. 

And are our libraries open 6 days a week as per Measure Q?  Not the one in my area and not the one where my girlfriend works.  What others are open 6 days other than the main branch?  Who said that not fulfilling that 6 day requirement is OK?  Our City Attorney?

Part of the reason we need to go through this convoluted measure process is because the voters do not trust the politicians to really spend the funds as they promised.  It looks to me like we cannot trust city spending to be in line with the clear legal language of ballot measures either. Talk about a vicious circle of distrust! 

When residents tell me that they would gladly spend more in taxes if they felt it would really go to what was intended, this is what they mean by it not happening.

One could move on to other measures and one could go on and on about this.

If elected to council, I will consider going on and on about ballot measure compliance part of my job.

I will need the public’s help to keep an eye on it all.   
And thank you Jim for reminding me to point out the obvious. 

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