Monday, October 31, 2011

The Taxpayer-Subsidized Racing Boat?

The City Council would like to give Sunny Hills High School $2,500 and sponsor the school’s participation in the annual Solar Cup Race.

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 Fullerton staff report, is for the high school students to build and race solar powered boats. 

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 Fullerton taxpayers $45.5-million!  Oh, and in 2010, the City Council voted to resume sponsorship of the team.  Now we’re broke!

Time and again, we see Fullerton’s failed leadership implement meaningless policies with little benefit to the taxpayer who makes it all possible. 

Waste at any level is waste and when we have a massive deficit coupled with out of control spending, it's time to stop the party bus. 

I know some of the teachers involved in the Solar Cup Race at Sunny Hills.  These are truly some of the brightest minds our high school district has to offer.  My opposition is to the City's use of our funds for the sponsorship and not extracurricular activities that help students learn.

I suggest the Sunny Hills team have fundraisers like the other clubs and athletic teams.  They should start soliciting donations from the District’s Board Members and Superintendent. 

The team should contact all of the City's, as well as the District's, employee unions and ask for donations.  Come election season they always seem to be flush with cash for campaign signs and glossy mailers - surely their members would like to contribute to such a worthy cause.

They can even call me, I'd love to chip in.  When the City said no in 2009, Marty Burbank jumped in and donated.  (MY HAT'S OFF TO YOU, MARTY!!)  But please don’t ask for money from City Hall until we can pay off the mounting debt and balance the budget. 

1 comment:

  1. Not that the effort was wrong, but these funds could've been generated privately. THis is like banks taking stimulus money from tax payers then imposing a fee hike. The city council clearly thinks in the dark ages, allowing the sins of their behavior be paid for by others. OUt with them!!!

    ReplyDelete

Greg Sebourn

Orange County Bail Bonds

The Beauty of a Storm

The Beauty of a Storm
Orange County, Ca.

My Grandma - A Eulogy

LET'S TALK ABOUT 1914 FOR A MOMENT.



FOR STARTERS, GRANDMA WAS BORN TUESDAY, DECEMBER 22, 1914 IN HER FAMILY'S ATWOOD RANCH HOUSE.



IT IS WORTH NOTING THOSE ALSO BORN IN 1914:

JACK LALANNE

JOE DIMAGGIO

DANNY THOMAS



AND WHO DIED IN 1914:

JOHN MUIR, THE FAMOUS NATURALIST FOR WHICH NUMEROUS ROADS, PARKS, HOTELS, AND NATURE RESERVES ARE NAMED.



IT IS ALSO WORTH NOTING THAT IN 1914 WOODROW WILSON SIGNS MOTHER'S DAY PROCLAMATION AND BABE RUTH MAKES HIS MAJOR LEAGUE DEBUT WITH THE RED SOX. MOTHER'S DAY AND BASEBALL- TWO OF MY FAVORITES!! (PERHAPS HER NICKNAME "BABE" CAME FROM BABE RUTH???)



GRANDMA WAS BORN INTO A PERIOD OF TIME FILLED WITH TURMOIL. IN JUNE OF 1914 ARCHDUKE FRANZS FERDINAND WAS ASSASSINATED. WITHIN ONE MONTH WORLD WAR I RAGED ACROSS EUROPE. TWO DAYS AFTER HER BIRTH HOWEVER, GERMAN AND BRITISH TROOPS INTERRUPTED WWI TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS. (PERHAPS THEY PAUSE KNOWING THAT A GREAT WOMAN WAS BORNE) WORLD WAR I CONTINUED UNTIL THE TREATY OF VERSAILLES IN 1919.



ALTHOUGH SHE WAS ONLY 5 YEARS OLD, SHE SAW THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS CREATED AND THE 19TH AMENDMENT WAS APPROVED BY THE U.S. CONGRESS GUARANTEEING THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN TO VOTE.



SHE LIVED THROUGH MANY NOTABLE EVENTS. LIKE THE 1933 LONG BEACH EARTHQUAKE OR WHEN ATWOOD FLOODED ALONG WITH MOST OF ORANGE COUNTY IN 1938 AND THE FLOOD-WATERS CLAIMED MORE THAN 50 PEOPLE, 43 OF WHICH WERE FROM ATWOOD! ALL OF THIS DURING A TIME THAT WE READ ABOUT IN SCHOOL AND KNOWN AS "THE GREAT DEPRESSION". SOMEWHERE IN ALL OF THAT SHE FOUND THE LOVE OF HER LIFE, GRANDPA LEO, GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL, GOT MARRIED, AND HAD KIDS!



THEN THERE WAS WORLD WAR II. FROM PEARL HARBOR TO HIROSHIMA, GRANDMA WAS RAISING MY UNCLE BOB AND MOM ARLINE. WITH AIR-RAID SIRENS AND BLACKOUTS SHE WAS A WIFE AND MOTHER. WHAT A TIME TO RAISE CHILDREN! I BET GRANDMA'S PARENTS WERE ABEL TO TELL HER A THING OR TWO ABOUT RAISING KIDS IN WARTIME.



GRANDMA WAS THERE WHEN THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA HELD THEIR 3RD ANNUAL NATIONAL JAMBOREE IN 1953. SHE SAW AIRBASES OPEN IN '42 AND CLOSE IN '99. SHE WATCHED WALTER KNOTT START UP HIS BERRY FARM AND WALT DISNEY TURN ORANGE GROVES AND STRAWBERRY PATCHES INTO DISNEYLAND!



SHE SAW THE HORSE AND CARRIAGE FADE AWAY INTO HISTORY AND SPACE TRAVEL EXPLODE BEFORE HER WITH THE FIRST LUNAR LANDING. JUST IMAGINE HOW MUCH TECHNOLOGY HAS CHANGED OVER THE LAST 100 YEARS. FROM TUBE RECTIFIERS TO SUPERCONDUCTORS; FROM TRANS-ATLANTIC TELEGRAPH CABLES TO SATELLITE TV.



SHE SAW MORE IN HER 93 YEARS THAN MOST OF US WILL EVER READ ABOUT, LET ALONE LIVE THROUGH!



OF THOSE 93 YEARS IT IS MY HONOR TO HAVE BEEN HER GRANDSON FOR 35 OF THEM. SHE WAS MY MOTHER WHEN MOM HAD TO WORK. SHE WIPED MY NOSE AND PUT FOOD IN MY MOUTH. SHE LET ME PLAY WITH GRANDPA EVEN THOUGH SHE NEEDED HIM TO TAKE HER TO THE STORE. SHE WAS MY GRANDMA AND I WILL MISS HER IMMENSELY.



JUST LOOK AROUND THIS ROOM; SHE DID THIS. SHE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR BRINGING SO MANY GOOD PEOPLE INTO THIS WORLD AND TOGETHER TODAY. THIS IS HER LEGACY.



A Dedication To My Loving Wife, Stacey. Thank you for all you do for me!

Brad Paisley - I Thought I Loved You Then


I remember trying not to stare the night that I first met you
You had me mesmerized
3 weeks later in the front porch light taking 45 min to kiss you goodnight
I hadn’t told you yet but I thought I loved you then

Chorus
Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it’s ever been
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I remember taking you back to right where I first met you
You were so surprised
There were people around
But I didn’t care I got down on one knee right there
And once again I thought I loved you then

Chorus
Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it’s ever been
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I can just see you with a baby on the way
I can just see you when your hair is turning gray
What I can’t see is how I’m ever gonna love you more
But I’ve said that before.

Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Well look back some day at this moment that we’re in
And I'll look at you and say I thought I loved you then
And I thought I loved you then...

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