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Protest Underway at Stanton GOP HQ Over Measure GG Sales Tax Increase

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 20, 2014

A small protest is underway at the OC GOP Headquarters in Stanton against the Measure GG Sales Tax Increase on the November ballot.  While the OC GOP has officially endorsed against Measure GG, the headquarters is being run by Stanton Councilman David Shawver, who has vocally advocated the Measure GG Sales Tax Increase.

Shawver is hosting a meeting for some delegates of the California Republican Party, as the state party convention is underway this weekend.

The protesters are objecting to an atmosphere of tax-and-spend by Republicans, led by Shawver.  The protesters are also objecting to Measure GG’s sales tax increase that is 12.5% higher than the existing sales tax.

Additionally, the protesters have raised concerns that City resources are being used to promote the ballot measure, as can be seen on this page on the City of Stanton web site (in case the page gets taken down, OC Political has taken the liberty of archiving the page here) or this City press release.

The City of Stanton has argued that it has been cutting its budget to the bone since 2011, cutting $9 million from its general fund since then.  The protesters have raised concerns about the adequacy of these cuts, citing the levels of salaries of City employees and citing pay raises granted during since 2011, when the City is asking the voters to increase the sales tax:

  • $162,504: City Manager (15% pay raise in 2012)
  • $141,312: Community Development Director (5% pay raises in 2011 and 2012)
  • $134,580: Public Works Director/City Engineer
  • $128,172: Administrative Services Director
  • $122,076: Community Services Director (5% pay raise on August 12, 2014, just six months after becoming Community Services Director)
  • $97,572: Accounting Manager
  • $78,132: Code Enforcement/Parking Control Supervisor
  • $78,132: Facilities Maintenance Supervisor (5% pay raise on April 22, 2014)
  • $78,132: Associate Planner (5% pay raises in 2011, 2012, and 2013)

The full text of Measure GG is available from the Registrar of Voters (it’s the first 3.5 pages of the PDF).  The City Attorney’s impartial analysis is on page 4.  While the proponents of the Measure GG sales tax increase have dubbed it the “9-1-1/Public Safety and Essential City Services Protection Measure,” the impartial analysis notes, “The City would not be required to use the revenues raised by Measure GG for any special purpose or for any particular program or service.”

Pages 5-6 of the PDF from the Registrar has the argument in favor of GG, argument against GG, and the rebuttals to those two arguments.

13 Responses to “Protest Underway at Stanton GOP HQ Over Measure GG Sales Tax Increase”

  1. Mark Bucher said

    Measure GG would raise the sales tax in Stanton by 12.5% to the highest in Orange County, hurting residents who have to pay more to shop, merchants who will lose sales to neighboring cities (Stanton is on a few miles across. Customers will drive down a few miles down the street to pay less at a store NOT in Stanton.) and property owners who will have trouble finding tenants. There is already a lot of vacant retail space in Stanton. This gives potential stores a big reason not to move there. The Republicans on the city council should be taken to task for voting for Measure GG, particularly right after large increases in pay for city employees, who already enjoy salaries most Stanton residents could only dream of.

  2. I am really all for allowing experts to do what experts do, and in most cases, cities have unique and individual problems that people, elected and professional, in that particular city are best able and equipped to address. However, when there are obvious policy issues in play, it is appropriate for the party proper, in this instance, the OCGOP to take a stand. In this instance, any increase in taxes hurts an already fragile economy, and ESPECIALLY a Sales Tax on a very small, middle class, and bedroom community.

    In the meeting wherein the OCGOP voted and endorsed against the measure, there was no discussion of the details as set forth in this blog, but I would have found them highly relevant, in bolstering the wisdom of doing exactly what we did, endorsing a NO vote. It was as it should have been, NO NEW TAXES. How hard is this to understand? If these figures set forth above, related to staff and salaries are correct, then there is all the more reason to look into why a city the size and demographics of Stanton is not making it, and needs more revenue.

    I am surprised and disappointed that Mr. Shawver has doubled down on his support of the necessity of this additional tax by taking steps to criticize Mr. Ngyuen, the author of this article and Mr. Bucher, who commented above, via a personal email to an unspecified number of undisclosed recipients. I checked and confirmed that neither Mr. Nguyen nor Mr. Bucher, were involved in the protest. The protest was apparently orchestrated by another city council candidate, Lincoln Club members and concerned citizens. The email was ambiguous and alluded that Ngyuen and Bucher were somehow involved in the protest.

    It truly does not matter WHO was in attendance at Mr. Shawver’s event or how important or time constrained the schedules of the various elected were. The protestors had a right to express their displeasure with a new tax as well as the supporters of any new tax, be they GOP or other affiliation. In requesting and supporting new taxes, officials have a responsibility to answer for their positions and expect retribution when it is unpopular. If you have to get angry, or apologize, or explain, then maybe the real question is whether or not you are on the right side of the issue.

    I like that this is a public forum. It can and should and will remain a public forum. If anyone wishes to address the issues raised anywhere on this blog, they should do so publicly, not in mass secret and personal broadcasts.

  3. I think the protestors really need to apologize to Young Kim and Janet Nguyen since this office is used for precinct walking for both . Say what u want about shawver at least he is setting up walking. If Mark Bucher and the other protestors would spent at least half the time calling voters or walking precincts for these two ladies then scaring off their volunteers it would be more helpful. Great job folks …. Then u wonder y the GOP is losing registration… Really in front of a volunteer office!!! Very smart folks very smart

    • Gloria Rodriquez said

      It was a very peaceful, quiet, and responsible demonstration. It was comprised of those who represent the community. Your comments about scaring off volunteers and the GOP losing registration are irresponsible and ignorant. For the record, there were 9 women, 1 male, 1 baby. There was no yelling, just holding signs and exposing Shawver. Let’s not exaggerate and blow the event out of proportion. Keep it real please!

      Gloria
      Latina republican women

  4. David said

    The odds are pretty good that the folks that wrote the opposition to Measure GG have never made a purchase in Stanton. Didn’t the GOP used to support local control?

    Since residents of Stanton probably won’t be buying Bentley’s and BMW’s, I can assure you that an increase in the sales tax of 1% (with many exemptions) won’t be noticed. (And if I’m wrong the Measure’s supporters will ultimately be accountable to the Stanton voters.)

    The Lincoln Club should consider adopting of new name since it clearly doesn’t support the principles of President Lincoln.

    • Gloria Rodriquez said

      David, yes you are wrong and way off base. Just as the voters rejected Measure J, I’m confident they will also reject measure GG. Your comments about that the tax increase “won’t be noticed”, I’d love to hear you say that the the community directly. Nice one sir.

      Very insensitive by the way – actually, insulting more than anything.

  5. Mark Bucher said

    David, your post shows an incredible amount of insensitivity to the poor and working class in Stanton. You don’t think residents of Stanton, who are poor or middle class, won’t miss an extra $200 Measure GG will add to the cost of their purchase of a $20,000 car? Do you think the residents who lose their jobs when businesses decide to move to another city where the sales tax is 12.5% lower won’t miss their jobs?

    GOP Volunteer, the OCGOP opposes Measure GG. How would protesting Measure GG out front of the GOP office scare off volunteers? If anything, it will attract volunteers to a Republican Party that is standing up for its core values of lower taxes and less government.

  6. Mike Smith said

    The GOP involvement in local politics needs to be fine tuned.

    http://www.ocregister.com/articles/reeve-635265-group-juan.html

  7. David said

    Having been raised in the “poor and working class” I can assure you that not many are buying $20,000 cars. (And if they do it’s a purchase every five to ten years.) An increase in the bus fares is likely to generate more protests.

    I grew up in a place very similar to Stanton. Many hard working, honest folks plagued by a criminal element. To these families, safety trumps a few pennies a day in extra tax.

    I see where the Lincoln Club is also opposing all the school bond measures. So where will the money come from to fix our public schools? Or does it matter since one can assume that the Lincoln Club members don’t send their children to public schools? (This may not be a fair question to pose to you since I don’t know if you have an affiliation with the Lincoln Club. But I’d like to know their logic.)

    I don’t like paying taxes any more than the next guy. But I’m fortunate enough to be in a position where I pay a lot of taxes. And yes, I agree that the public employee unions have too much influence.

    It’s not a perfect world but government needs to function and that takes revenue.

  8. Mark Bucher said

    David,

    Crime has gone down 41% in Stanton, without a tax increase.

    The tax increase is necessary because the city has given raises to city employees of as much as 28% over the past two years. Go to transparentcalifornia.com (a website I helped create) and look up how much they make. A few of the names and salaries are listed in the original post in this string. How many of the residents of Stanton, who are being asked to pay this tax, do you think have seen their pay go up 28% in the past two years?

    So, paying “a few pennies” a day (which assumes a family only spends a few dollars a day, which isn’t the case.) is not going to make them any safer, but it is going to allow the city to continue giving raises and pay packages far exceeding what most of the people paying the taxes are making. Does it seem fair to you to ask a person making $20,000 a year to pay extra taxes to fund such lavish pay?

    By the way, I am a Lincoln Club member and have three children in public school. Schools can, and many do, budget money for repairs just like those who own their own homes.

    I certainly agree that the public employee unions have too much influence, which plays out first and foremost in very generous pay packages and pensions that allow many public employees to retire young with mult-million dollar retirements. (Transparent California has the pensions as well.) They are not going to reign in these salaries and pensions by themselves. In fact, they will keep demanding more until the taxpayers won’t, or can’t, pay anymore.

  9. Randy miller said

    ATTENTION alleged “GOP Volunteer” and “David” (who I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s “Shawver himself), I’d like to see if someone can trace down the email to see if it is him.

    Your message comments are frankly disgusting. You would rather those folks (protesters) keep their mouths shut wouldn’t you. Good thing we live in this beautiful America where the people can voice our themselves and speak out against those who are misguiding the people.

    This notion that Young Kim and Janet Nguyen’s campaigns were jeopardized in any way is so far reaching and absurd beyond belief. It’s obvious there is a complete bias for Shawver. It’s complete BS.

    Don’t fool yourselves – Keep on calling yourselves republicans.

    Randy
    Middle class – Stantonite!

    • David said

      Randy:

      I never made any comments about the protesters. As far as I’m concerned they can protest all they like. But it seems to me that there are more important issues for the GOP. (Like maybe getting back some influence in Sacramento?)

  10. Graham Zlanger said

    Sweet republicans protesting republicans; that was easy. The problem with you people is your not even smart enough to identify who your enemy is. Your wasting your time protesting a local political leader hoping to pass a local tax that would allow your city more flexibility while your federal government has blindly ran through trillions of dollars the last decade and a half. Blowing up and rebuilding bridges in foreign countries carried out unilaterally across both repubs and dem parties. Taking money from poor people In a rich nation and giving it rich dictators in poor countries described as “aide” and your tripping on a 1 CENT tax. Im a 31 year old male business owner and I identify as a conservative. I will never vote republican based on your misguided, misdirected, irrational political actions. I throw votes away every election for a libertarian or some joke candidate that makes me laugh over a republican every time. Good job guys. You never fail to impress.

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