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Let’s breathe some CA AIR back into America.

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on July 18, 2013

This piece just came across the wire from Yorba Linda Councilmember Craig Young:

Let’s breathe some CA AIR back into America.
By: Craig Young

 Last night council voted to again approve Yorba Linda’s share of $3.1 Billion in entitlement funding. Though not the lone voice, I ultimately was the only vote in opposition.

 I think it is MY responsibility to support the poor, not the cities’ nor the states’ and certainly not the federal government’s.  My vote last evening against the HUD Community Development Block Grant Program was cast not because I naively thought there was a chance of reversing this large entitlement program. Nor was the vote cast without careful consideration of the adverse consequences to us as a city both financially and programmatically.

I voted the way I did because
it was the right thing to do…and change begins with me.

Do I support the very-poor (the principal purpose of the program)? Most definitely. I have taken my family on extended mission trips to Africa, Indonesia and Mexico. To him who has been given much, much is expected.  The needs locally are just as compelling.

But herein lies the key; I took my family. I didn’t leave it to big government to do my bidding; to do so would have shunned my responsibility and cost me the joy in giving.  When government gets involved, expenses go up and accountability goes down. Out of the $3.1 Billion for this national program, local agencies are allowed to lop off 20% for administration expenses, that’s a whopping $620 Million which funds the local administrative machine. Through my research, I haven’t found how much HUD keeps for its monitoring but would anyone be surprised if HUD retains at least as much as they allow the local agencies? This would be another 20%.

2 Problems: Expense & Accountability.  With a 20% assumption, it takes approximately $3.9 Billion of our tax dollars to create a $3.1 Billion entitlement program to fund $2.5 Billion of aid.  That’s a dollar of administration for every $1.78 of purported aid. And does the aid really support those with the most need? Or do some agencies artificially create need simply to keep their share of administration fees?

My city is blessed with honest administrators and caring citizens, more so perhaps than most places. We call ourselves after all the Land of Gracious Living.  When “free” money is being doled out however, one’s constitution must be fortified to return the money, particularly when refusing only means someone perhaps less deserving will take the cash. Entitlement Communities like Yorba Linda (that’s actually what we’re called) must qualify for and spend the allotted share every year. I’m told staff has to work hard to find people to give this money to.  Recently our distributions fell in to three categories.  Last year part of the money went to fund home improvements, another part went to administer meals for 500 seniors (the grant didn’t fund the food, just the wait staff and incidental support) and the final block funded a low income owner of an investment retail building.

Were all three of these block funds given to classes of people who earn less than the average person in Orange County? Certainly. Yet most of them drive nice cars, many own homes, and at least one owns investment real estate. So my challenge is, as supported by my vote last night, should we really rob from Peter to pay Paul, after of course diluting the tax by $1.4 Billion in administration fees? My vote is, NO.

 

Craig Young is a local attorney, active member in the Lincoln Club, and serves as Mayor Pro Tem in Yorba Linda, CA.

11 Responses to “Let’s breathe some CA AIR back into America.”

  1. I’m sorry but this piece by Mr. Young and your repost is nothing more than grandstanding. He voted YES the same day to approve the Yorba Linda housing element, which uses an entitlement program that supports developers and disadvantaged people with affordable housing. If Mr. Young truly wanted to send a message he would have voted NO on the housing element to send the message to Sacramento. I’m getting tired of Republicans who talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk.

  2. Allen Wilson said

    Wow! Compelling remarks that should serve as an example for other cities to start turning down these ridiculous CDBG!

  3. This Is Awesome said

    Thank you for standing up for the people. It is about time that these elected officials vote to do the right thing.

  4. I voted for him Linda, but this isn’t fresh air. It’s hot air. It’s the typical political grandstanding that takes place when there’s an easy opportunity to fly your conservative flag. When Mr. Young had a chance to send Sacramento a message, he voted to support the entitlements of affordable housing in Yorba Linda.

  5. I’m picking at Young because he used his NO vote as an opportunity to promote himself. The block grants he voted against were very small potatoes compared to the big ticket item of affordable housing. If he wanted to make an honest statement about too much government and pork funding the time to do it was during the affordable housing discussion.

  6. Jonathan Lee said

    Anybody notice that Stuart Smally is the only one attacking Craig Young, and everybody else is praising him. I wonder what Smally’s motivation is. Is he another Councilmember? Is he a Democrat?

    How ridiculous is Smally’s attack anyway? If you actually read the housing element item that Young voted for (http://yorbalinda.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?meta_id=56085&view=&showpdf=1), it REDUCED the affordable housing entitlement by lowering the number of affordable housing dwellings from 2039 to 669. If Young had voted against it, Smally would have attacked him for opposing a reduction in the affordable housing entitlement. Smally is either someone with an anti-Young agenda or someone trying to defend another Councilmember who cast a bad vote.

    God bless conservative leaders like Craig Young! We need more leaders like Craig Young!

  7. P. Reed said

    EDITORS NOTE: This comment has been redacted due to the fact that claims made by the commenter cannot be substantiated.

  8. Jonathan Lee said

    Mr. Smally, I can do basic math. 669 is way fewer than 2039. 2039 – 669 = 1370. Craig Young’s vote REDUCED entitlements by 1370 units. Young voted to REDUCE entitlements! He saved us the cost of 1370 units of affordable housing.

    Mr. Smally, I’m using my real name. You’re using the name of a fictional character from Saturday Night Live played by ultra-liberal Senator Al Franken.

    • Craig Young didn’t reduce the number Mr. Lee. The number was reduced by RHNA. He just simply agreed to the reduction and rubber stamped it. So did the rest of the City Council. Once again you ignore the real issue, which is the difference between the cost of the affordable housing entitlements which are in the millions versus the cost of the CDBG entitlements which are just over $200,000. Craig Young made a big deal about the CDBG, but the real elephant in the room is the housing element and he put his seal of approval on it, but went on to brag about his NO vote on the smaller potato item. That’s the point I’ve been trying to make for the past 5 posts, because I’m good enough. I’m smart enough and gosh darn’t people like me. By the way, I don’t like Al Franken’s politics, but I think he’s pretty darn funny.

  9. I have checked the facts from both commenters and would have to state that the facts presented by Mr. Lee are accurate.

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