2017-05-18 / Letters

City leaders are grandstanding the deficit

Incompetence. That is the word used by experts to describe city administrations (Los Angeles) that have a budget deficit in times of record-high tax revenues and record-high property values.

This can then also be used for the City of Thousand Oaks.

Finance Director John Adams said the $30.3 million in sales tax revenue was the highest for the city on record. Mr. Adams also said the city will budget $18.2 million for street maintenance.

Along with the city’s annual share ($3 million) of the gas tax increase Gov. Brown ramrodded though the Legislature, Mr. Adams said, this will close 75 percent of the budget deficit.

According to the math, 75 percent of the $18 million plus $3 million means about $5 million in budget deficit remains. How do you let a budget deficit of $20 million accumulate?

That is exactly it. The city is allowing it to accumulate to grandstand the deficit.

They prefer to spend it on aesthetic projects like undergrounding utilities on the boulevard.

To top it off, I heard Adams suggest a citywide sales tax hike of half a cent for the streets budget deficit. This would bring in $14 million a year. That is about $10 million more than the deficit, which tells me the tax is not needed.

This is six months after we, the public, voted down a countywide half-cent tax. This is after Gov. Brown raised gas taxes, cigarette taxes and vehicle registration fees.

There is no more blood in the turnip. I’ve heard that the exorbitant city executives’ salaries are justified by how well the city is run. I think not. I see incompetence.

David Schneider
Newbury Park

Return to top