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The following commentary was submitted by David Voncannon.
We are proud to live and work in Culver City. We enjoy high quality services and programs that provide an exceptional quality of life. But since the 2008 recession, the City has lost $4.5 million in state funding, an additional $6 million in local revenues, plus $40 million annually through Sacramento’s elimination of Redevelopment, threatening our successes.
We have taken unprecedented measures to deal with this crisis: reducing the City workforce by nearly 18 percent and reducing the operating budget deficit through a combination of departmental cuts, retirements and healthcare concessions. In addition, all our labor unions agreed to pay their full share of pension costs and to cap health care expenses, reducing the City's costs for pensions and health benefits, now and into the future.
Yet despite these steps our reserves are being drained to pay for essential daily services, resulting in an annual general fund deficit of nearly $8 million. To close this gap we need a balanced approach that continues to reduce expenditures and generates new revenues.
A ½ cent City sales tax (example: 5 cents on a $10 purchase) will enable Culver City to continue to provide its many essential services.
All tax funds from Measure Y will stay in Culver City and cannot be taken by the State. The ½ cent tax will end in 10 years and a Public Advisory Committee will ensure full accountability and transparency.
Measure Y enables us to avoid cutbacks in vital services such as 911 emergency and paramedic response, police and fire protection, programming for parks, recreation, and seniors, as well as fixing streets and potholes.
We urge a Yes vote on Measure Y - a vote for locally controlled funding - to maintain and protect the continued safety, security and services for Culver City residents.