Monday, May 4, 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

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

    New Torah being written for Solano County Jews

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    May the 4th be with you . . . and me

    By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

    Napa Valley College site of Girls on the Run event

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
    Putah Creek Council plans bat outing

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
    Vacaville centers hosts holiday-related events

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

    Vacaville Museum celebrates historic pioneer girl

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Chambers of commerce plan Cinco de Mayo event

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
    Tickets available for Dixon May Fair, sneak peek

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
    Local governments set to meet

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
    Fairfield police log: May 2, 2015

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

     
    Suisun City police log: May 2, 2015

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

    Suisun City police log: May 1, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

     
    Fairfield police log: May 1, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

    Biz Buzz: First Northern Bank announces earnings

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A10

     
    Weather for Monday, May 4, 2015

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B10

    Biz Buzz: Sleep Train continues clothing drive

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

     
    Biz Buzz: Solano College site of business expo

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A10

     
    .

    US / World

    Google embeds engineers as professors

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Touching, funny, messages in obits getting wide audience

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

    Oyez! Town crier at royal baby birth captures attention

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Quakes hit California, but no damage or injuries reported

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

     
    With rescue near, Boko Haram stoned Nigerian girls to death

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Survey: States spent heavily to clear winter snow and ice

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    City: 2 gunmen killed outside Muhammad cartoon contest

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Slain trooper’s parents say they forgive suspected ambusher

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Baltimore mayor lifts curfew 6 days after riots

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Merkel joins survivors, US vets to mark Dachau liberation

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Italy: At least 10 migrants found dead in sea off Libya

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Arab coalition ‘reconnaissance’ troops land in Yemen

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Nepal shuts airport to big jets; more bodies found

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    .

    Living

    Catholics honor mother of church with special event

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

     
    Today in history: Monday, May 4, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Community Calendar: May 4, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

     
    Returning home puts far-flung choices in relief

    By Sharon Randall | From Page: B5

    Horoscope: May 4, 2014

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

     
    Family member has still not paid for commissioned artwork

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

    .

    Entertainment

    Ashes of ballerina Plisetskaya to be spread over Russia

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

     
    New project in US South promotes music “triangle”

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

    ‘Avengers’ sequel is second biggest US opener of all time

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

     
    TVGrid May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

    Wanted by the US, Roman Polanski gets film award in Poland

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

     
    TVGrid May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

    .

    Sports

    JC softball: Solano eliminated after late rally comes up short

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    AP Source: Warriors star Stephen Curry to be named NBA MVP

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Dale Earnhardt Jr. cruises to 1st Talladega win since 2004

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    McIlroy top of the world at Match Play Championship

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Warriors roll past Grizzlies 101-86 in Game 1 of West semis

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Unusually wild Gray, Vogt HRs carry A’s past Rangers 7-1

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Texas the front line on high school ECG debate

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Giants beat Angels 5-0 behind Lincecum for 3-game sweep

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Mayweather takes his $100 million check and runs

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Vonn says relationship with Woods is over

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    5-year drought ends as Chelsea is champion of England again

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Montoya fastest on opening day of Indy tests

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    LeBron, Cavs ready to take on raging Bulls

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Paul questionable as Clippers and Rockets begin series

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    James Taylor debuts new song about Fenway, at Fenway

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Westbrook, Valiante win IMSA Tudor race at Monterey

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Inbee Park wins North Texas Shootout for 2nd time

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Ian Woosnam wins Champions Tour’s Insperity Invitational

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Royals’ Lorenzo Cain drops appeal, begins serving suspension

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    This date in sports history for May 4

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Beal leads well-rested Wizards past Hawks 104-98 in Game 1

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    Cable, pay-per-view problems leave viewers fighting mad

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Arthur Martin

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Ora May Bray

    By Daily Republic | From Page: A4

    Lois G. Johnston (Leib) (Bayard)

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Wizard of Id May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Rose is Rose May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Zits May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    For Better or Worse May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    B.C. May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Sally Forth May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Get Fuzzy May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Garfield May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Baldo May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Blondie May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Peanuts May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Pickles May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Frank and Ernest May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Dilbert May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Word Sleuth May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Bridge May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Cryptoquote May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Crossword May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Sudoku May 5

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Zits May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Garfield May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    B.C. May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Peanuts May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Sally Forth May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Frank and Ernest May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Blondie May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Baldo May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Wizard of Id May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Beetle Bailey May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Baby Blues May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Pickles May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    For Better or Worse May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Get Fuzzy May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Dilbert May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Rose is Rose May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Bridge May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

    Word Sleuth May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

     
    Crossword May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

    Sudoku May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

     
    Cryptoquote May 4

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7