At the recent Corona del Mar candidate's debate, candidate Mark Tabbert, talking about Measure V, suggested that it was a good thing that the City Council could raise property taxes without a vote of the people since pensions are a high cost to the city. In fact, the current city charter allows the council to raise taxes by "an amount sufficient to meet all (pension) obligations." This amount is currently several million per year and growing.
Measure V was put on the ballot to remove the ability of any City Council to raise property taxes without a vote of the people. While the current City Council is unanimous in its opposition to property tax increases, as evidenced by Tabbert's remarks, we cannot guarantee what a future council can do, that is why we need the taxpayer protections of Measure V.
If you want the right to vote for all property tax increases, vote Yes on Measure V. Don't get caught up in someone else's grudge match with the Chamber of Commerce.
Mayor Keith D. Curry
Vote shows Leece keeping promise
I kept my promise.
When I was elected in 2006, I promised the residents of Costa Mesa that I would be fiscally responsible. My vote on Tuesday night to approve employee agreements means we will not waste another $253,999 each month for not having agreements. Over four years we expect to save $7.2 million through reductions in employees'take home pay.
Being fiscally responsible means negotiating with employees in good faith realizing no deal is perfect. Our employees have agreed to contribute between 5 and 8.52 per cent of their pay towards their retirements. They broke ground on pension reform in Costa Mesa by coming forward with this offer.
Another agreement with our general employees involves a "2nd tier" whereby new hires will get less retirement pay but work more years to earn it.
Some wanted to delay the vote. Delaying the vote would have cost us more money with attorneys' fees if we entered into "impasse." That might have been a long, dark tunnel with many unknowns and not in the best interests in a fiscally responsible city.
I promised the residents of Costa Mesa that I would keep the peace in our city and to respond to them quickly in emergencies. Wednesday morning our employees, including our police and firefighters went to work serving our residents. They did not have to worry about how they might have to make ends meet. They're out there doing their job for us and we are paying them to do it well.
I regret that those who disagree with me have resorted to false accusations and mistruths. I have a responsibility to the people of Costa Mesa who elected me as their city council representative.
As an elected official, I review the facts, I negotiate in good faith and I am true to my word and commitments. I do not need to apologize for doing what I was elected to do.
You have my word.
Resident opposes Measure V