February 13, 2004

Editorial

Prop. C is more about Marketing than Emergency Services

Proposition C. City of San Diego. EMERGENCY SERVICES, ROADS, PARKS, TOURISM AND OTHER SPECIFIED USES ORDINANCE. This proposition requires approval by two-thirds of the voters.

PROP C: Shall the City increase the transient occupancy tax (TOT) paid by hotel and motel visitors by 2.5%, and shall these funds, along with some current TOT funds, be earmarked to fund Fire-Rescue and Police emergency services, equipment and facilities; road improvements; park and coastal improvements; tourism promotion; and library and arts programs; and shall public audits be conducted of the uses of these funds?

Whenever you read or hear politicians talking about this proposition, they all qualify their remarks that ‘this proposition is not good for the city in the long run, but…’ then they go on and endorse Prop. C. The question is if this proposition is not good for the city, then why endorse it?

TOT monies has become the catch all when it comes to funding city projects, in fact, so much money is going out that the TOT monies can no longer keep up, and as such, many city services and programs are losing funding, or worse yet falling by the wayside. In great part much of this loss of funds for city services can be attributed to the construction of the Padres ballpark, which now has priority on TOT funds. Suffering in the long run has been many community arts programs, protection of our local beaches from sewage spills, infrastructure (pot holes), and highlighted by the recent fires, lack of monies for fire and police equipment.

In order to make up for this loss of funding, the city council has put Prop. C on the ballot. Ironically, while the language of the proposition highlights Fire-Rescue and Police emergency services, the bulk of the monies are earmarked to go towards the Tourism Marketing and Promotion Fund. This proposition earmarks two and one-half cents ($0.025) for marketing, versus the three quarters of a cent ($0.0075) and one quarter of a cent ($0.0025) for fire and police needs. Come on, this prop should be listed as Marketing and Promotion Fund and Other Specified Uses Ordinance if there was truth in advertising.

This proposition doesn’t make sense and should be rejected. The city council needs to set priorities for the city and see that those are funded. In the past, they made the Padre ballpark their priority, and now the services that every city is obligated to provide for its citizens are lacking, highlighted by the recent fires. They are trying to make up for their shortsightedness through this bad proposition.

Vote No on Proposition C!

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