Proposed tax increase

Dear Editor:Now let me get this right: the city council agreed to provide a consulting firm $156,000 to help inform voters regarding tax increases? ("City Proposes Tax Hike to Fund Police, Fire," 2/21/13) Well, Downey, someone here thinks you are idiots. Here we go again with disaster capitalism. City manager Gilbert Livas suggests a tax increase to keep you safe. We have seen this managing by disaster before in the White House. Now the Lee Edwards Group proposes a feasibility study. How much money did these politicians pay them? Total liars paid for by the politicians of Downey. Wake up, people of Downey. Never let them fool you again. Margaret Hittinger Downey

Dear Editor: I was disappointed, but not surprised, to read of another proposed tax increase for the residents of Downey. I'm all in favor of paying essential taxes for essential services. Whereas the proposed tax increase is for essential services (police and fire protection), hasn't the city of Downey managed to fund those services for all these years with the current tax structure? Of course when budgets are tight, the first items that all government officials propose to cut are the essential services. But how about this novel (not) idea: cut non-essential services first. If the city of Downey conducted itself in a fully transparent manner, wherein residents could go to the city website and see the exact budgets for all the departments, we could surely assist the city officials in determining the proper priorities. Please, say no to any new taxes, and say yes to eliminating unnecessary services. I'll even offer the first suggestion: don't spend $156,000 to "inform" residents how higher taxes would be a good thing. Martin Backe Downey

Dear Editor: I don't get it. The City Council has unanimously given an information gathering firm $156,000 of Downey funds (that could have paid the first-year salaries of two rookie police officers) so I can be further accosted by poll takers and signature gatherers on my front porch and at the supermarket? Oh, please. We all know death and taxes are inevitable. If the council would just say that they need our help funding the city, that would be the honest approach. But to have the city council throw away our funds on some outside agency to "soften the blow" of the inevitable tax hike doesn't make sound financial sense. Maybe I'm just blinded by my annoyance that the city council looks at us city folk as just stupid tax-paying sheep. Has the city council given any thought to curtailing parades, floats, park concerts and fireworks (and their related costs) in these recessionary times? The savings would be immediate and no paid third parties need to be involved. Get real, city council. And stop wasting money! Joseph Palmieri Downey

********** Published: February 28, 2013 - Volume 11 - Issue 46