Saturday, January 24, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Fairfield has other options

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From page A10 | September 06, 2012 |

Many voters in the city of Fairfield recently received a so-called “information only” flier stating that the only option they have to maintain services will be for the community to vote for a 1 percent sales tax that will generate almost twice the amount of money needed to sustain services.

The city had several other options that were brought forward but were quickly shelved, including:

  • Employees taking an actual wage reduction rather than a reduction in hours.
  • Restructuring the management and mentoring employees rather than laying off employees and hiring new employees.
  • Restructuring pension funds similar to what the county did recently.
  • Selling nonproductive real estate assets.
  • No longer wasting money on consulting services rather than networking with other cities, possibly combining public safety groups

These and many more ideas were quickly extinguished in an effort to preserve jobs and salaries and raise taxes.

Why did the city choose to have a 1 percent sales tax increase when a 0.5 percent tax would have gotten the job done and would have made the management be more frugal with our tax dollars instead of handing out retirement handshakes to retire with ridiculous 30 percent-plus increases in retirement with only one or two years of service in their new position?

Perhaps a no vote on an excessive 1 percent sales tax will send the message to our decision makers to not be so greedy asking more than they need, spend down some of their surplus, evaluate more options, and consider a 0.5 percent tax next year.

Mike Wright

Fairfield

Letter to the Editor

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Discussion | 2 comments

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  • FFresSeptember 06, 2012 - 6:30 am

    Mike, since you are a former FF City employee then you should know that your letter is completely misleading. You know first-hand that the City has restructured management positions including eliminating some, consolidating departments, and giving managers more than one department to manage in order to save costs. You know first-hand that after the state has taken $44 million through gas taxes, VLF fees and RDA elimination, that a 1/2 cent sales tax doesn't cover the remaining $7.75 m structural deficit. You know first-hand that pensions have been restructured as bargaining contracts come up for renewal and you know first-hand that employees are paying more of their share of the cost. You know first-hand that employees are working on a continued 4-day a week furlough, which is a minimum of 10% reduction in pay, with an increased workload and 150 less staff positions. And you know that the City has approximately 800 volunteers, which is more positions than staff. Your letter is misleading - these options weren't 'quickly shelved' as you say, but were implemented. Go ahead and attack the City for the myriad of reasons that most cities in CA and many throughout the country are experiencing difficult fiscal times - go ahead and make it even worse. Will that help you sleep better tonight?

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  • Joe PikeySeptember 06, 2012 - 6:03 pm

    Wow, I didn't know PD was on furlough or had giving up anything close to 10% in pay cuts. Did they even cough up any more towards PERS? Maybe the city should have looked at the biggest cost to the General Fund before they consider a 1 cent sales tax. Good luck with that council...

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