• Story alerts
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

On Monday, March 9, Ed Herrera and 10 other Chula Vista residents were on the front steps of Chula Vista City Hall, chanting “No Way on Prop A!” Fifty of their fellow community members sat comfortably inside council chambers and participated in a forum led by councilmember Rudy Ramirez. Both the forum and protest pertained to the May 5 ballot measure that would raise the city’s sales tax by 1 percent.

At the meeting (cosponsored by the Southwest Chula Vista Civic Association and Ramirez), residents were encouraged to express their opinions on the mail-in ballot that will be sent out on April 5.

The format of the meeting consisted of a four-person panel that included Patricia Aguilar from community activist group Crossroads II; Theresa Acerro, member of the Southwest Chula Vista Civic Association; Jim Sandoval, Chula Vista city manager; and National City mayor Ron Morrison.

At the beginning of the meeting, Ramirez stated the intent of the meeting. As he read from a sheet of paper and as residents entered council chambers, the shouts from Herrera and his fellow demonstrators could be heard. “The purpose of this meeting is informational only (“No way on Prop”…). It is intended, simply, to provide the public with an objective, fair, and impartial presentation of the relevant information relating to Prop A (“No way on”…) in response to the community’s request and need for information (“...Prop A!”). It should be perfectly clear that during the meeting, no city official or employee is advocating for or against or attempting to promote a political viewpoint.”

After Ramirez finished his introduction, an older male in attendance commented on the four-person panel. “This seems like it’s going to be a very biased panel if you don’t have any opposition to it.”

“Anyone that’s opposed to it is welcome to state their view. That will be acceptable. You’re going to be provided all the time you want,” responded Ramirez as he stepped away from the front of the room. “I’m going to take off my jacket. It’s already getting a little warm.”

Following the introduction by Ramirez, city manager Jim Sandoval explained what the benefits of the tax — which the city estimates will cost each citizen of Chula Vista 24 cents per day — might afford the citizenry. Those benefits include suspending plans to layoff an additional 112 city employees, preventing the closures of libraries and recreational centers, and saving police and fire personnel from any layoffs.

But, for 22-year old Herrera, who is leading the charge against Prop A, the tax is poorly timed and will adversely affect the lower-income citizens of Chula Vista. “My main concern is basically we cannot afford an increase to cost of living, especially with the state already coming down with additional sales-tax increases.”

As for the community forums sponsored by Ramirez, Herrera feels they are biased and one-sided. “Councilmember Ramirez and the proponents of the measure are utilizing taxpayer dollars by using council chambers. This is a concerted effort to support Prop A in the guise of a community meeting.”

For more on Prop A, go to the next community forum, hosted by councilmember Pamela Bensoussan, at council chambers on Thursday, March 12, at 4 p.m. For more on the opposition to Prop A, see cleanupchulavistacityhall.com.

  • Story alerts
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

More from SDReader

More from the web

Comments

ProtectChulaVista March 11, 2009 @ 1:25 p.m.

*It should also be noted that the Mayor of La Mesa (the Pro-Sales Tax Mayor), was scheduled to also participate on the panel according to a printed mailed invitation to residents.

0

CVReaderReader March 13, 2009 @ 4:15 a.m.

Why is Earl Jentz associating himself with these whackos?

0

ProtectChulaVista March 11, 2009 @ 11:24 a.m.

Official NO on A website address can be found: www.ProtectChulaVista.com where more information and upcoming events can be found. A special thanks to all who sent in their regards on behalf of their families who were present in spirit, to those who attended such as concerned parent and Eastlake Library advocate Isabelle Espino, the many residents who have already endorsed NO on A: Protect Chula Vista, and for the steadfast leadership of Councilmember John McCann and Chula Vista Taxpayer President Larry Breitfelder.

Please remember to mail in your ballot "NO on A" by the May 5 deadline!

To get involved email info@protectchulavista.com

Thank you for all your support!

0

Woodchuck March 11, 2009 @ 5:09 p.m.

Although Mr Herrera's group was disruptive to the proceedings, their point that opponents of this measure have a valid viewpoint should be respected. The make-up of the panel was very biased toward approval of the tax increase with only the Southwest Civic Association voting to not support prop A as written. The moderator,(Rudy Ramirez),might have been more bonafide if not part of city government. His comment that if the city budget only allows a pay scale of peanuts, only monkeys could be hired was offensive. Mr Ron Morrison also made the ridiculous statement that this was not a regressive tax for low income people are not affected because the necessities of housing and food are not taxed. Without a doubt it was refreshing to have an open forum for everyone to state their opinion. The love for our city was in abundance.

0

thacerro March 11, 2009 @ 8:43 p.m.

Almost everyone who spoke at the meeting expressed distrust of the city council and how they would spend the money. Many wanted guarantees, which would make the ballot measure a 2/3rds vote to pass. As it is now the money will go to the General Fund and only require 50% plus 1 to pass. The City Manager tried to convince us that there would be safeguards to make sure past mistakes did not happen again, but nothing has been brought to council to discuss, and he indicated even though he was working late every night the details have not been worked out yet. This is really disappointing and not at all reassuring. Sitting in a building leased from the Finance Authority and requiring development fees to pay the rent, people were wise to be hesitant to trust. Since there are no development fees at this time the debt will need to be restructured at added cost. We need guarantees about how these funds will be spent. Since police and fire only delayed their raises for two years likely in three years some of money will go to paying these raises. We were recently told the new projection for the budget gap is now $15,163,000. A one cent tax increase should produce between 20 and 26 million per year unless the economy continues to deteriorate. There are so many unknowns.

0

CVReaderReader March 14, 2009 @ 8:36 a.m.

Why is Earl Jentz associating himself with these people?

0

WheresWaldo March 22, 2009 @ 4 p.m.

Protect Chula Vista or Promote Chula Vista's Waldo aka Larry Breitfelder? Putting the infomration up about the opposition site was cool. But using it to promote yourself with McCAnn is self serving. Chula Vista needs factual information and serious debate on the proposed tax increase. Where sides are lining up their support for the tax issue I think we all need to be aware of those that use our community issues soley to promote their personal agenda which is really to promote themselves for the city council. Breitfelder is so lucky to be on a community board already but the tactic of going behind the scenes to stir the pot just to appear as a community leader on the issues is desperate! Keep an eye out for Where's Waldo... the fact that you don't credit Ed Herrera for his sincere effort and try to steal the value of his role in the opposition is again DESPERARTE!!! Better Waldo why not promote your leadership and role on the water board.. opps sorry forgot you don't have one your board members merely put up with your existence.

0

ProtectChulaVista March 30, 2009 @ 7:25 p.m.

Yard Signs are now availble! Please call 619 261 5214 to request yours or get involved! Help stand up for families, jobs, and businesses, today!

Ed Herrera, NO on A: Protect Chula Vista

0

CVPFEP April 9, 2009 @ 1:31 p.m.

The sample Ballot and Voter Information Pamphlet we received with the Official Ballot regarding Proposition A, is very misleading. The pamphlet states on p. 4, that Proposition A would among other points:

"MAINTAIN after-school programs like STRETCH and DASH that keep kids away from drugs, gangs and crime." In fact, There is a pamphlet in the mailbox today in favor of prop. A, in which, among others, Pat Aguilar, President of Crossroads II, states: "Prop. A will ........ maintain after school programs that give kids alternatives to gangs and drugs."

I will call Pat Aguilar and ask her to specify exactly what after school programs will be maintained with prop. A. and see what her response will be.

Several weeks ago, the city of Chula Vista officially handed over the running of the after school programs in the 33 elementary schools where DASH and STRETCH is operating today to the YMCA as of the new school year starting in July. Nancy Kerwin, the Executive Director of Student, Family, and Community Services and Support, called me before the March 10th district meeting and told me that even if Prop. A passed, it wouldn't be nearly enough to save DASH and STRETCH. In fact, the money first goes into the general fund and is then dispersed down the totem pole. DASH and STRETCH are towards the bottom of that pole, besides, the City no longer has a say. When they withdrew their funds, they lost their voice.

The district has already officially voted to 'seamlessly transfer' the said programs to the YMCA. They have already contacted parents in multiple ways just to inform us that all is saved even without the tax initiative.

To date, the transition thus far has been anything but seamless. Some principals are pulling in DASH and STRETCH staff to tell them that they won't be here next year. Teachers are congratulating the two time award winning staff, only it's not for a job well done for these past ten years, it's for being saved. Only thing is, they haven't been saved. Children are confused and crying to their coaches, giving of their own money in an attempt to save these programs, while trusting parents are being carefully misled. We are tired of being misled.

I feel it is very important that the thousands of families whose children attend DASH and STRETCH, and others who support them, know all the facts before deciding whether to vote Yes or No on Proposition A. After all, we’re the one’s paying the price with more than just our wallets.

Elisa Betancourt www.StretchDash.com

0

Sign in to comment

Join our
newsletter list

Enter to win $25 at Broken Yolk Cafe

Each newsletter subscription
means another chance to win!

Close