Caveat emptor: The devil’s in the details!
It is an expensive campaign featuring full color mailers, a professional web site with videos and an array of endorsements.
Central moderators for this circus atmosphere are CC’s spokesmen: a real estate developer and an ex-City Council member. It is telling that they relate to the success of an earlier bond measure as precursor to their current scheme.
Beyond a 20-year term, there are no similarities. Earlier, a specific property was purchased in the canyon. No specific property is identified in Measure CC beyond an owner’s willingness to sell. The canyon property was never subject to the city property tax while land purchased under Measure CC would come off the city’s property tax rolls. The city had no problem gifting the canyon property to the County of Orange but the title of Measure CC purchases are so tied up that it will be almost impossible to dispose of them if the need arises. Measure CC imposes a flat tax on all taxable parcels in Laguna Beach whereas the canyon purchase was made using a tax determined by property value.
Finally, Measure CC imposes a citizens oversight committee to control the City Council! For example, the committee shall review proposed expenditures of the tax funds prior to their approval by the City Council and, should the City Council deny the committee, the City Council would be required to present to the Committee its written findings explaining the basis for its decision not to follow the committee’s recommendation. (See full text of measure in the general election sample ballot.)
Typical was the attitude of the measure’s sponsors: Paul Freeman chastised the Laguna Beach Taxpayers Association’s opposition to Measure CC, calling it “the kind of nonsense we see at every level in politics” (“Measure CC Proponent Speaks Out,” Oct. 26, Letters). Freeman then proceeded to rely on emotion instead of substance in his presentation.
Folks, not only are more controls and taxes unnecessary, there is no basis for another layer of bureaucrats to do what the city already does. But, more importantly, someone considers your vote a commodity and they are willing to pay thousands of dollars for that commodity from which, in return, they will receive millions of your dollars.
Vote No on Measure CC.
John Kountz, Laguna Beach