The Laguna Beach Taxpayers Association (TA) takes issue with the Oct. 9 letter from Johanna Felder on TA opposition to a new property increase to buy unused parcels of “open space.”
Felder misinforms readers that the TA opposed the Bluebird Canyon slide restoration project. To the contrary, TA supported that tax and helped pass it, once our proposal for an expiration date was adopted to protect taxpayers. Strike one for Felder.
Felder states that the Taxpayers Association “never wants to pay for anything but ends up the beneficiary” of government spending. The TA supported the last school bond to rebuild aging schools, after the school board accepted our terms for scheduled maintenance so another bond to address deferred repairs would not be necessary in the future. Most of us won’t be around when our efforts to enhance the school bond benefit future generations, so Felder’s unfair accusations are simply mean-spirited. Strike two.
Felder claims buying open space will save the city cost of electricity, water, and sewage if developable lots are converted to open space. But unlike the canyon purchase, this proposal does not identify land to be purchased, and instead of development costs the city is far more likely to incur costs for upkeep and liabilities that come with city ownership and public use of unusable parcels scattered through our neighborhoods that would remain open under private ownership. Strike three, she’s outa’ there.
Measure CC means at least $20 million will be siphoned out of the private economy, with landlords passing costs on to renters and consumers. Worse than the tax itself, the ballot proposal is for a new City Hall governing body made up of political appointees who will oversee spending up to $1.5 million annually and control open space policy.
You can put a tuxedo on a turkey, but it is still a turkey.
Martha Lydick, Laguna Beach