Monday, March 30, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Take a close look at propositions

By
From page A9 | June 01, 2014 |

This week’s election has two propositions tucked in among all the primary races; propositions that haven’t created the media frenzy that other more controversial propositions of years past have.

Proposition 41 seeks to sell bonds for veterans housing programs and Proposition 42 seeks to amend the state constitution to mandate transparency for government agencies.

Concerning Proposition 41, my initial reaction to any bond proposal is that bonds are a terrible method to finance anything (half of the revenue stream spent to pay off the bonds goes to interest). Additionally, although housing veterans is a noble cause, if the targeted goal is to make housing more achievable, changing laws and removing restrictions to homebuilding and homeownership should be the method, not subsidizing an inefficient bureaucratic method.

Moreover, what other worthy groups should have targeted bonds to enable them to achieve homeownership? The disabled? Homeless? The long-term unemployed?

The catch with this proposition is that the plan is to convert $600 million (out of $900 million) of a previously voter-approved bond (Proposition 12 from 2009) that has not been officially exercised to support this new bond initiative. The terms and conditions of the previous bond have not enticed veterans to access the funding offered by bond proceeds.

The key term that is being changed is that Proposition 12 specifically targeted single-family residences, mobile homes and farms. This proposition adds “multifamily residences” to the list of eligible properties. The marketing pitch makes it seem like the state is merely changing the terms and conditions of an existing bond, with no additional cost to the taxpayer.

I pored over the language of Proposition 41 and it does not clearly indicate where $600 million of potential Proposition 12 bond sales are being retired and being replaced with $600 million of Proposition 41 bond sales. I feel that the proposition should clearly state that Proposition 12 is being retired, and Proposition 41 is an all-new bond request.

My personal opinion thus far is that although it may be a noble cause, I would not support it.

Proposition 42 is a constitutional amendment to codify the benefits derived from the Ralph M. Brown Act. The Brown Act is important law that mandates transparency and open communication for local governmental agencies.

Unfortunately, the way it is worded made it mandatory only as long as the state government reimbursed the local agency for its costs to comply. With the recent budget turmoil, those reimbursement dollars were eliminated, and technically the local agencies did not have to comply with the Brown Act. Proposition 42 mandates that the local agencies comply with transparency laws, regardless of funding availability. It essentially puts the cost of compliance on the local agencies.

There have been several local issues where taxpayer groups have been able to use the Brown Act (and accompanying threat of lawsuit) to get requested information on contracts and deals that were not so great for the people. With the state no longer covering the cost of compliance, the current Brown Act is technically void and if someone chose to file a lawsuit under the Brown Act, it could get tossed out. Retaining the tool to enforce agencies to publicly disclose information outweighs any issue of mandated costs.

Most agencies have voluntarily complied with the Brown Act, even without the state funding. Most documents are sent out electronically anyway (pdf files seem to be the standard), so costs generally are not that substantial.

I’m of the opinion that this constitutional amendment is an improvement, since it would eliminate a loophole that unscrupulous agencies could use to avoid public disclosure of agency business and activities.

These propositions may seem rather milquetoast in an already-uninspiring June primary. However, we the people have the responsibility to consider and analyze each proposal and candidate that appears on our ballots.

Brian Thiemer is chairman of the Solano County Libertarian Party. He can be reached at [email protected]

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Easter activities, events abundant

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Christians begin Holy Week with Palm Sunday celebrations

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

2 drivers killed in same area, an hour apart

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

 
My guide to dining out

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2, 4 Comments

Local governments post week’s meeting times

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Top young spellers to compete for Solano title

By Glen Faison | From Page: A3

Police investigate shooting off North Texas Street

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 6 Comments | Gallery

 
Vallejo police seek leads in weekend homicide

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

Biz Buzz: Re/Max hires new Realtor

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Biz Buzz: PAL receives donation from glass company

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Biz Buzz: Wiseman officer names Perez to key post

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A10

.

US / World

Police ramp up rail-crossing citations after recent crashes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Analysis finds unequal pay for women on California Capitol

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

Songwriter injured in California crash; motorcyclist killed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
Taylor Swift wins artist of the year at iHeartRadio Awards

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Grandma is a centerfold: Rest home bares all for calendar

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Police: 2 bodies found in NYC building explosion rubble

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Islamic State group beheads 8 Shiites in Syria’s Hama

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Waving fronds around the world, Christians mark Palm Sunday

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Air Canada plane makes hard landing short of Halifax runway

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Small tsunami generated in Pacific after earthquake

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: March 30, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: March 30, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: March 30, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B6

 
Parenting: If a father is abusive, a mother must act

By The Washington Post | From Page: B8

 
Horoscopes: March 31, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B8

.

Entertainment

TVGrid March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

 
TVGrid March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

Michelle Obama declares ‘Black Girls Rock!’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

 
.

Sports

Spartans Final Four-bound after 76-70 OT win over Louisville

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Duke back in Final Four after 66-52 win over Gonzaga

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Hamlin wins for 25th time, and fifth time at Martinsville

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Jimmy Walker wins hometown Texas Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Oakland OF Josh Reddick won’t be ready for start of season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

California Chrome heads to Britain, to race at Royal Ascot

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Vettel wins Malaysian GP to end Mercedes streak

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Joe Gibbs on son: most courageous person I’ve been around

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Chodounsky defends slalom title at US Alpine Championships

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

South Carolina earns 1st Final Four berth, beats FSU 80-74

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Turner says Saturday regional finals highest-rated in decade

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Apology for wrong anthem for El Salvador before game in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Montoya holds off Power to give Penske 1-2 sweep at St. Pete

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Stanford’s Randle chases school scoring record, title at NIT

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Hamlin wins for 25th time, and fifth time at Martinsville

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Cain goes 4 innings in Giants win over LA

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Graveman pitches into 7th inning as A’s beat Brewers 7-0

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

.

Obituaries

Robert Roberts

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Janice Jewel Thompson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Peanuts March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Zits March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Blondie March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Pickles March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Get Fuzzy March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Sally Forth March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

For Better or Worse March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Baldo March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Garfield March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Dilbert March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Baby Blues March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Frank and Ernest March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

B.C. March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Wizard of Id March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Beetle Bailey March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Rose is Rose March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Bridge March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Word Sleuth March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Crossword March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Cryptoquote March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
B.C. March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Blondie March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Peanuts March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Baldo March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Rose is Rose March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Beetle Bailey March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
For Better or Worse March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Dilbert March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Garfield March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Pickles March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Zits March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Sally Forth March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Get Fuzzy March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Wizard of Id March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Baby Blues March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Frank and Ernest March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

Bridge March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

 
Sudoku March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

Cryptoquote March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

 
Crossword March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8