I was very surprised to read about the proposed $35 million bond for a fire station (“Council to consider $35M bond for fire station,” Dec. 16). I was shocked and disappointed City Hall would even consider a way around the required two-thirds vote. There is a reason for a two-thirds vote and it is to insure that a large majority (not just 50 percent) of citizens approve of future tax increases. While City Hall may have found a loophole around it, I would question if it is legal and it is certainly not moral.
I was also surprised to read that just under half of the residents were against the bond. Generally in this city of nearly 75 percent renters, any bond is approved as the renters do not directly see the impact on property tax bills. Landlords are not necessarily allowed to pass through the full impact of bond costs due to rent control and renters have a very low relocation cost if at some point they can’t afford the higher costs. Homeowners have no choice. The cost of selling a home, paying realtor fees, etc., is really not a very realistic option.
This would indicate to me that for once residents are fed up with new taxes and expenditures. If the fire station was so important, why did you spend $43 million on a new park, which is located where nobody lives? Why are you building a new library when the perfectly adequate Fairview Branch is only 0.7 miles or three minute drive or 13 minute walk away? Why are you paying police and fire employees over $200,000 per year?
All I seem to hear about is affordable housing. Why is City Hall seemingly always trying to make this an unaffordable place to live for the people who already live here? Let’s stop worrying about providing inexpensive rental properties for people who are currently not residents and making it affordable for those of us who have invested their life savings to live here.
Please reduce expenditures and reduce property and sales taxes.