I agree with Eric Pierce's preference for candidates running for three City Council seats as expressed in the editorial for the Oct. 27 issue of the Patriot. For the strength of our wonderful city it is crucial that we have a competent and honest city manager (which we currently have in Gilbert Livas) and five competent and honest council members. We will have this if your choices win.
Of course, having adequate funding also is crucial for the smooth functioning of Downey. This brings up the issue of Measure S on the Nov. 8 ballot (which, if passed, would impose a half of 1% added sales tax on many items sold in Downey).
Although I generally don't like more taxes, I will vote yes for S. Here are some of the reasons for my planned vote:
1.) Over the past decade Downey's budget has been breaking even in the best of years and more funds are needed for future years;
2.) Over the past eight years the state has cut more than $50 million in city funds (by terminating funds from redevelopment agencies etc., resulting in a reduction of 10% of the city's workforce, including some police and fire positions);
3.) Downey's population has grown substantially over the last decade and there is a need for more public safety employees with updated equipment to permit them to do their job efficiently;
4.) Downey receives only a small portion of the general sales tax that the state collects (if Measure S is approved, Downey will receive all of the added funds -- about $9 million -- raised by the measure);
5.) The added sales tax funds will go into the city's general fund, of which police and fire expenses consume about 62%;
6.) Public works, parks, recreation and other services provided by our wonderful full-service city have growing needs for funds.
Hopefully the new council can carefully allocate the new sales tax funds to better our already wonderful city (in which I and my wife, Jean, have volunteered in many activities since the early fifties).