This past Friday was the last day to submit arguments for possible inclusion in the official voter information pamphlets for the June 3, 2014 election. For Hayward's sales tax measure, now designated as Measure C, I submitted the text below as an argument against. Strict rules limit the number of words that can be used to no more than 300, so I presented my narrative in a rhetorical question style for greater effect. Will these words actually find their way into the voter's pamphlets? Probably not. So here they are now for your consideration...
Why does the City believe it’s entitled to greater relief from the effects of the recession and future inflationary costs than its residents and businesses?
Why does the City contend that it has over half-a-billion dollars in unmet capital needs, yet provides no reference to any document supporting this incredible claim? Why does the City’s Capital Improvement Program list unfunded capital projects valued at $325M of which more than half this amount can be attributed to Caltrans interchange projects traditionally funded by federal, state, and regional sources?
Why is the City proposing a $60M library that is 50-percent more costly than even the most expensive new Bay Area library built within the past decade? How will the City afford to stock, staff, and otherwise operate this proposed three story facility that would be more than twice the size of the existing?
Why does the City believe that it’s managing its finances responsibly when the 20-highest compensated city employees in 2012 each received a quarter-of-a-million dollars or more in salary and benefits? Or when the top six received more than $300,000 in compensation—nearly six times Hayward’s median household income?
Why hasn’t the city’s existing supplemental taxes (the emergency facilities tax and the 5.5-percent utility tax) accomplished what they were intended to do? Why is the City not concerned by the burden that this unprecedented combination of taxes will have on Hayward’s residents and businesses? Why is the City not concerned that this measure in combination with the possible augmentation of the county transportation sales tax will set Hayward’s sales tax rate at an even 10-percent?
Why does the City believe that its residents and businesses are an endless source of revenue?