The City Council would like to give
$2,500 and sponsor the school’s participation in the annual Solar Cup Race. Sunny Hills High School
Interestingly, the race is being put on by our water supplier, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
The idea behind the race, according to the City of
staff report, is for the high school students to build and race solar powered boats. Fullerton
And what are the benefits to the taxpayers? According to the same staff report, the benefits to MWD and its member agencies include:
- Promote stewardship of natural resources, water quality and recreation
- Increase understanding of water conservation and many issues, perspectives, and science of water
- Greater ties to secondary education audience (high schools) in our service area
- Legislative outreach opportunities both locally and regionally
- Intense collaborative effort between MWD and sponsoring agencies
- Community outreach opportunities to service groups retirees or organizations – Lions, Elks Clubs
- Increase awareness to paths into water industry careers
And where will the $2,500 come from? The Water Fund. This is the same fund that, just a few short months ago, city staff were crying was underfunded and that they just had to raise our water rates. They said they wanted to sell tens of millions of dollars in bonds to fund replacement of the City's ancient water system.
How is it we went from “Captain, Captain, the ship is sinking!” to floating a $2,500 sponsorship fee (made payable to a public agency – MWD) for a high school outreach program?
What could have changed? Did ending the decades-long franchise tax on the Water Fund result in more cash on hand for “outreach” efforts like this? Was there a sudden revenue spike in Water Fund revenue resulting in a massive surplus?
Is this water education allocation a good use of public funds at a time when we are being asked to pay nearly double on water rates? Does the Water Fund’s “water education” allocation need some scrutiny?
If any of these questions have raised the hair on the back of your neck, you might want to ask your City Council to justify this $2,500 expenditure. In 2009, the City Council voted to support the Sunny Hills Team for the 2011 race in name only and not give them any funding. That was responsible.
So what changed since 2009? Our City Council voted to approve a two-year budget with a $8-million deficit and passed a $29-million tax bond that will cost
taxpayers $45.5-million! Oh, and in 2010, the City Council voted to resume sponsorship of the team. Now we’re broke! Fullerton
Time and again, we see
’s failed leadership implement meaningless policies with little benefit to the taxpayer who makes it all possible. Fullerton