March 20, 2009

The Public Forum . . . El Foro Publico

Opponents of Proposition A deny the reality of Chula Vista’s budget crisis.

If Prop A is defeated, Chula Vista families, neighborhoods and businesses will be harmed. Chula Vista already has too few police officers and firefighters – the fewest per capita of any city in the county. Prop A prevents cuts of 24 more officers and maintains K-9 and anti-gang officers. If Prop A is defeated, police and fire response times will increase and library and after school programs critical for your children will be cut.

Additional cuts will not solve this problem. The city has already eliminated 165 positions. City workers voluntarily gave up pay raises. Everything that can be cut without compromising your safety and health has been cut. That’s why Mayor Cox and Councilmembers Ben-soussan, Castaneda and Ramirez all support Prop A. They’ve disagreed on many issues in the past, but they know Prop A is desperately needed to preserve basic city services.

Don’t be fooled by political shell games. A few local politicians want to exploit this emergency for personal gain. But their “solutions” – like selling land slated for a university and a job park – are just shell games that don’t begin to solve the city’s financial problems.

YES on A will also bring local control and accountability. Prop A keeps local tax dollars in Chula Vista to serve residents, not diverted to Sacramento, and it provides for independent citizen oversight to ensure funds are used as promised and to hold politicians accountable for future expenditures.

Please vote YES on A to preserve basic city services and our quality of life.

Mariana Lopez
Chula Vista

Rotten Judgement

Mayor Cox continues to add to her legacy which we will remember long after she is out of office. Let me itemize. The latest and greatest is an additional 1% sales tax for Chula Vista that will last 10 years. Another is the new tax on thousands of Chula Vista business’s labeled as a fire inspection fee that is being imposed even if inspections don’t occur. Yet another is a move made last December 16 to take $5.2 million from the TDIF (traffic facilities) fund to balance the budget. No repayments at all are to occur for three years (past her current term) and then are payable by future administrations over a total 13 year period.

Decisions like the first two put Chula Vista business at a disadvantage and slow our recovery. Add these accomplishments to losing Gaylor for the Bay Front, hiring and firing a City Manager with a fondness for visiting web sites with women in provocative poses, and hiring and defending an expensive chief of staff that improperly did outside consulting from his city office.

What is her legacy? I would vote for rotten judgment and taxes.

Robert J. Garcia
Chula Vista

Mayor Lori Pfeiler and City Council members:

Our organization has received a number of complaints from both Escondido and SD County residents about the following matter:

· A full-color four-page flyers mailed to17,000 Escondido residents by the Escondido Police Officers Association depicting highly tattooed Latino gang members.

The political, racist “scare tactic,” employed by the Escondido Police Officers Association is unfortunately a time-tested tactic (ex. Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona) that has been used historically against persons of Mexican ancestry by racist vested law enforcements organizations such as the Texas Rangers and U.S. Border Patrol.

The flyer mailed by the Escondido Police Officers Association including the following racist and untruth printed statements,

· Escondido Depicted as gang infested and on the verge of a major crime wave,

· Gang members outnumbering Escondido police officers BY ALMOST 6 TO 1

· Violent crime and thefts, “sharply on the rise”

· Questioning why “isn’t the city council putting your safety first?”

The Escondido Police Officers Association flyer and past political incidents (rent ordinances, so-called check points, etc.) manifests that Escondido with a 50% population of persons of Mexican ancestry has an out of controlled police force, and a major community-police problem. Problems that you as elected officials have yet to address and resolve. Question to many people is who governs Escondido; its elected leadership, or the money grabbing vested Police Officer Association?

That the Escondido Police Officers Association has stooped to using race (Mexican) as a ploy to protect their obscene benefits and pension funds, at a time when taxpayers are reeling from increase taxes, job losses, home foreclosures and a national deepening recession, is unconscionable. Further, that the Escondido Police Officers Association is demanding raises and benefits clearly represents the height of unadulterated greed and adds insult to injury. The Association’s greed can only be compared to the present $178 million AIG executive’s bonuses scandal.

With the mailing of its racist flyer the Escondido Police Officers Association has crossed the line, and we with many other persons in SD County demand that you as mayor and the council city call for the following measures to address this issue:

1. A public condemnation of the Escondido Police Officers Association by the City Council for mailing the racist flyer,

2. A demand calling on the Escondido Police Officers Association to issue a public apology to the Chicano/Mexicano/Latino community,

3. Initiate disciplinary actions and dismissal of any Escondido police officer involved, or responsible for the mailing of the racist flyer,

4. Suspend automatic pay raises, 401(K) contributions and employee benefits to the Escondido Police Department that other city employees have accepted.

Herman Baca, President
Committee on Chicano Rights
National City

Blackwater and Southwestern College

I hate to say it but I just don’t care what Blackwater or Xe or the KGB or the CIA or any of those paramilitary outfits do down at Southwestern College. Why? Well, look at the name—Southwestern COLLEGE. It isn’t like they are roaming the halls of Southwestern JUNIOR HIGH handing out back issues of Soldier of Fortune magazine. This is a real COLLEGE and I have to assume that MOST of the real college students affected are mature enough to decide if they want to enlist as a nutty mercenary.

In fact it should be up to the students not our elected officials or some of us constantly concerned citizens to decide if they want a couple of aging Blackwater Rambos in sweat stained shirts with the sleeves cut off and headbands made from the guts of the tiger they killed with their bare hands hanging out on their campus. If the college customers (aka students) are not happy with the way their school is being run they have every right to fire the incumbent management (trustees and administration) and replace them with more responsive members.

If we did want to HELP we would encourage them to get out there and rally and protest and registered to vote if they haven’t already.

Ted Kennedy
Chula Vista

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