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Stanton: Vote For Tax Increase Or Become An Island

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on May 7, 2012

In a carefully worded letter found on the City of Stanton website it appears that scare tactics are being used to try to get voters to pass a tax increase. The letter from City Manager Carol Jacobs read as follows:

Dear Stanton Resident;

The City Council has asked me to update every concerned resident about the future of our city. Our city is faced with severe economic realities and there are important decisions facing every Stanton citizen.

What brought us to this situation?

Last spring, the City Council was forced to declare a “fiscal emergency.” That declaration was necessary because politicians in Sacramento have taken our local taxpayer money to fund the state budget. The resulting shortage of funds has put Stanton at risk in order to compensate for severe budget deficits.

The national recession has also hurt Stanton. Stanton residents lost jobs and are spending less, resulting in a decline in local tax revenues

Look at the actual numbers:

• Sales tax revenues will be lower in 2012 than revenues produced nine years ago in 2002.
• Sales tax has fallen $1.2 million (30%) since 2006-07.
• Property tax revenues for 2012 will be lower than property tax revenues produced seven years ago in 2004.
• Motor Vehicle License Fees have decreased 9.4% since 2007.
• The City of Stanton receives less than 1% of the 8.75% sales tax percentage and only 11 cents out of every property tax dollar.

This reduction in revenue has created a budget deficit of $2.8 million a year, estimated to grow until the City’s reserves are depleted in 2016.

What is the City Council doing about it?

Faced with these realities the City Council has made drastic cuts to the budget that affect all of us. Since 2008, many good programs have been eliminated.

• Closed two city parks and decreased park maintenance in all remaining parks.
• Graffiti abatement and code enforcement have been reduced.
• City funding for school crossing guards and afterschool programs have been eliminated.
• City Hall is closed one day a week.
• Police services have been cut.
• Many Parks and Recreation programs no longer receive needed taxpayer money.

The City Council has studied the economic realities and have concluded that the budget can not be downsized any further without risk to Stanton residents and their property.

What can you do to help?

Your City Council has placed a measure on the June ballot to improve the financial situation. I can not ask you to vote “Yes” or “No” on this Measure, but I can tell you what it will do. If the June ballot measure is passed, an additional $1.2 Million will be generated to provide public safety and other vital city services.

The choice for Stanton residents was never clearer. If we do not find an additional $1.2 million in revenues, the city faces bankruptcy and Stanton would become an unincorporated “island” of the County of Orange. This would likely result in fewer services, especially police, fire and paramedic services.

If the measure fails, local businesses that provide jobs and boost our economy may find new cities where they believe their property and personnel will be safer. Even worse, new businesses planning on locating in Stanton and improving vacant industrial and retail property, may not re-locate here if they believe our town is not safe or its future is uncertain.

I hope this information has been helpful in explaining the economic realties facing Stanton, what is being proposed to remedy some of the shortfalls, and the potential impact of continuing shortfalls. Please go to www.ci.stanton.ca.us where we have posted information about city revenues and expenses.

Thank you for your interest in our City of Stanton


Carol Jacobs
City Manager
City of Stanton

In other words vote for the tax increase or Stanton will join Gilligan and the Skipper on an island. In other words, Stanton would cease to exist and become a County island. I am not surprised to see public administrators advocating for this tax increase, but this is pretty brazen on their part to try to scare voters into increasing taxes.

I will give them credit, this letter does not appear to violate any campaign laws due to careful wording. It pushes voters to vote for the increase without actually coming out and requesting a yes vote on the measure.

This measure will likely face a lot of skepticism, as voters are very uneasy about tax increases in the current economy. It may at the end of the day pass, but this scare tactic employed by the city is a bit disappointing.

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Filling the Anaheim Union High School District Vacancy

Posted by Chris Nguyen on April 16, 2012

Anaheim Union High School District On February 27, Anaheim Union High School District Trustee Jan Harp Domene passed away unexpectedly at home at the age of 60.  Elected to a four-year term in 2010, her untimely death left the seat vacant with more than two years remaining on the term.

On March 8, the AUHSD Board of Trustees decided to fill the seat by provisional appointment until the voters fill the seat in November 2012 for the remainder of the term expiring in 2014.  The deadline to request an application for the seat was Thursday, March 29, at which point 21 candidates had requested an application.  Wednesday, April 11 was the deadline to submit their applications, and 13 candidates did so.

Thursday, April 19 at 6:00 PM is a special meeting of the AUHSD Board of Trustees to allow the public to comment on the 13 candidates.  On Wednesday, April 25, at 5:00 PM, the AUHSD Board will hold a special meeting to interview the 13 candidates.  The following day, on Thursday, April 26, again at 5:00 PM, the AUHSD Board will hold a special meeting to vote on the appointment.  If the board fails to make an appointment by the end of Friday, April 27, the seat will remain vacant until the November 2012 election, when the voters fill the seat for the remainder of the term expiring in 2014.

It will take 3 votes to fill the seat, as the four AUHSD Trustees need a majority vote to fill the fifth seat.  The four AUHSD Trustees are Board President Anna Piercy (R-Cypress) and Board Members Jordan Brandman (D-Anaheim), Brian O’Neal (R-La Palma), Katherine Smith (R-Anaheim).

This is the most recent in a series of vacancies in elected office in Orange County in the past three months:

  • On January 23, Orange County Public Administrator John Williams’s resignation in a settlement with the County took effect (though he attempted to hang on to the office until February 7).  The Supervisors have not filled Williams’s seat, but Measure A has been placed on the June ballot to convert the elected Public Administrator into an appointed position.
  • On January 31, Orange County Auditor-Controller David Sundstrom’s resignation to accept a similar position in Sonoma County took effect.  The all-Republican OC Board of Supervisors almost appointed Republican Shaun Skelly to the vacancy, but Skelly withdrew.  The Supervisors are slated to determine tomorrow on how to proceed on filling Sundstrom’s vacancy.
  • On February 1, Stanton Councilman Ed Royce Sr.’s resignation due to ill health took effect.  His resignation from the Municipal Water District of Orange County Board of Directors took effect the same day.  On March 13, the majority Republican Stanton City Council appointed Republican Rigoberto Ramirez to fill the vacancy.  On March 14, the all-Republican Municipal Water District of Orange County Board of Directors appointed Republican Wayne Osborne to fill the vacancy, effective March 21.
  • On February 12, Villa Park Councilman Bob Fauteux passed away suddenly at the age of 79.  On March 27, the all-Republican Villa Park City Council appointed Republican Rick Barnett to fill the vacancy.

The 13 candidates seeking to fill the vacancy on the Board of the Anaheim Union High School District are:

  • John Alvis (D-La Palma), 69, served on the Centralia School District Board of Trustees from 1988-2005 and is currently President of the Kiwanis Club of La Palma and Vice Chair of the La Palma Traffic Safety Committee.  In 2006, he came in third out of five candidates for two seats on the La Palma City Council.  He also unsuccessfully sought an appointment to the AUHSD board in late 2007 after the untimely death of Denise Mansfield-Reinking.  (Harald Martin was appointed to the seat, but petitions forced an early 2008 special election that Jordan Brandman won.)
  • Maureen Christensen (R-Anaheim), 48, serves on the Anaheim City School District’s Measure BB Bond Oversight Committee.
  • Dominic Daddario (R-Anaheim), 64, is a businessman.
  • Helena De Coro (R-Anaheim), 65, is a music professor at Cypress College.
  • Lori Dinwiddie (NPP-Buena Park), 44, is the Safety Chair for the PTSAs at both Kennedy High School and Walker Jr. High School.
  • Greg Domene (D-Anaheim), 61, is Domene’s widower and works in the computer industry.
  • Jackie Filbeck (R-Anaheim), 54, is a Field Representative in Assemblyman Chris Norby’s office, with a long track record as a PTA parent, Anaheim Little League board member, JUSA board member, and NJB board member.  She made an unsuccessful bid for the Anaheim City School District Board in 2010.
  • Rod Hall (R-Anaheim), 80, is a retired teacher active in the Anaheim Lions Club.
  • Kenneth Jenks (R-Buena Park), 57, is an insurance salesman who is active in his church.
  • Art Montez (D-Buena Park), 62, is active with LULAC and was a Centralia School District Board Member from 1998 until 2010, when he was defeated for re-election.
  • Annemarie Randle-Trejo (D-Anaheim), 49, is a twice-defeated candidate for AUHSD: she came in sixth out of eight candidates in her 2006 bid and third out of four in her 2008 bid.  She is a behavior interventionist for the Anaheim City School District.
  • Forrest Turpen (R-Anaheim), 74, is West Coast Regional Director for Christian Educators Association International.
  • Shanin Ziemer (NPP-Buena Park), 41, is President of the PTA at Buena Terra Elementary School and Cultural Arts Chair of the Fourth District PTA.

The average age of the applicants is 59.

The applicants include 7 Republicans, 4 Democrats, and 2 people registered as No Party Preference (known as Decline-to-State in pre-Prop 14 parlance).

They include 8 Anaheimers, 4 Buena Parkers, and 1 La Palman.

AUHSD includes the entirety of the City of Cypress, along with portions of Anaheim, Buena Park, La Palma and Stanton.  AUHSD includes grades 7-12, with K-6 education provided by the Anaheim City School DistrictCentralia School District, Cypress School District, Magnolia School District, and Savanna School District.

(In the interest of full disclosure, I should note my day job is working in the Fullerton office of Assemblyman Chris Norby.  Consequently, one of my co-workers is Jackie Filbeck, who is one of the candidates for the AUHSD seat.)

Posted in Anaheim City School District, Anaheim Union High School District, Centralia School District, Cypress School District, Magnolia School District, Municipal Water District of Orange County, Orange County, Savanna School District, Stanton, Villa Park | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Stanton Puts Tax Increase on Ballot

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on February 10, 2012

H/T OC Register for a story on Stanton choosing to put a utility tax increase on the ballot for the June 2012 election. The rate increase would be from 5% to 7.5% and the vote was a 4-0 vote with the following council members voting to place the item on the ballot:

Brian Donahue
Al Ethans
David Shawver
Carol Warren

There is an unfortunate vacancy on the council due to the resignation of Ed Royce Sr. who was often the lone conservative voice on the council.

It seems that every time that things start to go south for a City or School District they look to take it out on the taxpayers in the form of a tax increase or school bond. According to the article it is possible that the Council might look to reduce the tax if economic times improve. Realistically though I do not see Stanton lowering the rate back down to 5% if they get this passed. At the end of the day it comes down to the voters of Stanton and what they decide they want to see happen.

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