Regarding "Pro tax group gets signs up," Sept. 20:
After reading this article, it was crystal clear to me why California cities are collapsing one after another. And Huntington Beach will be next to fall if the electorate does not wake up and see what is happening!
I am one of the signature gatherers to get Measure Z on the ballot. Currently, a simple majority (four of the seven council members) can increase our taxes and have done so by 115% since 2002, rather than roll up their sleeves and deal with the real issues facing city employee pensions. To make matters worse, the city employee unions can "pay for" the election of certain council members, thereby "buying" their vote to increase this tax rather than "negotiate" the old-fashioned way. Right now, "we the taxpayers" are paying both the employee and the employer share of lifetime pension benefits.
Huntington Beach is the only city in Orange County that has a property tax like this. Measure Z is very simple. It changes our city charter to stop this tax. It does not eliminate any of the negotiating and/or collective bargaining that the unions can (and will) continue to do. For that matter, the unions could submit their own ballot measure to increase taxes and put it to a vote of the people...the way it should be done.
I am not anti-police, anti-fire, anti-anything! I am a hard-working taxpayer who would like to see some common sense and sustainable solutions. I'm tired of watching public employee unions pay for political campaigns so that they have "carte blanche" for pay, benefits and pensions. I am more than happy to pay "my fair share"...but how is it reasonable that there is no limit to my fair share? The economy in California is collapsing more and more each day. It doesn't matter how hard I work, it's never enough to feed the government beast. It has to stop, and "Yes on Z" is just one tiny little step in that direction.
Stephanie and Craig Billington
College is worth a coyote
At the risk of sounding insensitive, regarding the impact the Coastline building is having on its neighbors ("Coastline campus affecting its neighbors," Sept. 27) we should all be so lucky to trade our problems with those he listed: coyotes howling and reflected light and heat. Yes, it is an inconvenience to be a member of humanity, but the benefits of educating our citizens far outweigh the negative impact on his lifestyle. For heavens sake, buy a tree or patio umbrella. And the coyotes were here first anyway.
A welcome tribute to vets
Just want to commend you on a great story on World War II veterans, Harold Tor in particular ("Veterans just keep giving," City Lights, Sept. 27). When I was principal at Harbour View Elementary School, Mr. Tor came to speak to the students and left a great impression on all of us. Your words were beautiful in describing what we will lose after the last of our "heroes" is gone. Thanks for keeping the spirit alive.
Roni L. Ellis
The writer is the Ocean View School District's director of administration and community relations.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun