Sonoma County:: News and Notes


In an update to our Rent Control, it seems that a curveball has been thrown into that plan. A petition was sent around that asked for a public vote on the issue. This is interesting because it will cause the City Council to take one of two paths. First, they could pull back and withdraw the law. Second, they could put it up for a public vote. I am led to understand that it is too close to the November ballot to be on that ballot. The next opportunity would be November 2018, unless a special election is held. Those elections cost about $350,000. Not sure how this will proceed. I don't expect a withdrawal nor do I expect to wait until 2018. I will keep everybody informed as new information emerges.

The first debate was Monday and it reminded me that we will have an election in November. Now, I don't pay a lot of attention to the Presidential races. California (where I vote) is going to vote for Hillary, so there is little point to my vote or opinion in any way shape or form.

However, we will have a number of initiatives. I am not a fan of Propositions for a single reason: Time. We hire professionals to sit in Washington and Sacramento, and I think they should do their job. By putting these things to the public, they are rejecting their responsibility to manage the issues. They can blame us for the consequences of the Measure that is passed. I think they are just passing the buck so that we find it harder to be accountable for voting for or against different measures.

When we talk about resources, we know that they are always limited. However, the way the proposition system works it makes it seem that they are unlimited. If you read my Friday blogs, you will know that I was against Net Neutrality because I thought it was the wrong issue and we were going to spend our political capital on something that was actually a non-issue for now. I think the propositions are like that.

Let me give you an example, last year Sacramento was up in arms for a lack of money to rebuild the water supply and control systems. I read about politicians from the Governor on down concerned that we were not investing in our water. However, we did spend a whole LOT of money on the Bullet Train from San Francisco to Los Angeles. We are going to spend over $65B to build a train that will run from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 3 hours when we already have planes that do so from all the local airports in about 1/2 that time. If you were concerned about cost, then take 1/2 that money and give out free plane tickets to those that can't afford them and put the other 1/2 to water conservation projects.

So, before you vote on a proposition. Read it. The whole thing. Every word. If you are not willing to do that, then you are being led around how to vote by advertising dollars and not what you want. In that case, vote against the propositions. Don't vote for something that you don't understand. You are investing your tax dollars and they should be as precious to you as the dollars you get to keep.

Jim Sackman
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