NO on Y and YY

By Peter Tigler

Voters should be mindful that Prop Y is a tax. Prop Y is a sales tax increase making local purchases subject to a 10.25% sales tax. Voters should note this is near the highest in the state and entire country. The proponents ignore and obscure this basic fact that voters need to know.

During the Council discussions regarding this tax, Mayor Bobby Shriver made three very important points.

He said:
1.”The City is rich… and to say the City is in some sort of financial extremis is just not borne out by the facts.”
2. “In the conduct of the campaign we don’t want there to be a fear that services will be lost if this measure does not pass. (Saying) your 911 service, your emergency service is at risk is not true.”
3. ”Because we have not managed the cost side of the budget well enough, I don’t think it’s the right time to ask the people for more tax revenue.”

Readers may recall, we are taxed for the stated purpose already. In 2008 voters passed a 10% utility tax that the city said is needed “to preserve essential City services and school programs.”
Again, this proposal is a sales tax increase. You will pay more for every taxable purchase you make in Santa Monica. Shopping near home will simply be more expensive. And it is forever, as this tax does not expire or sunset.

The Dispatch Endorses Susan Hartley, An Independent Woman

Susan Hartley, candidate for City Council, two-year term, had just spent most of the day walking the neighborhoods, distributing her hot pink signs and flyers, and talking to the people she met along the way, and she was exhilarated. She enjoys the walks and the talk  —  impromptu, honest, curbside  exchanges with people she hopes to represent on the Council. And every time she goes out, she learns something she didn’t know.   And Hartley knows a lot.

She was a teacher, with an secondary education, emphasis on remedial reading, for ten years, and then went to law school. She’s  been a lawyer for 30 years, specializing in employee and tenant law. She has lived in Santa Monlca for 15 years. Her daughter went to Santa Monica schools.

Hartley was a renter, and is a home owner  and ardent organic gardener. She is also a very active activist.

A resident of Sunset Park, she has been on the board of Friends of Sunset Park and an Airport
Commissioner, and has been a volunteer with Veterans for Peace at the Arlington West Memorial on the beach from the beginning. Co-founder of Tree- Savers, she led the fight to save several dozen healthy ficus trees in downtown Santa Monica from the City chainsaw crew. They lost the trees – on a technicality, but won the war. Over 10,000 people signed petitions, opposing the removal of the trees, and the City now  has an Urban Forest Task Force, comprised of residents, that is developing comprehensive policies that see trees as essential  parts of the townscape, not decorations.

She believes residents must “take back  Santa Monica” in order to do the things the current regime has neglected to do, such as limiting growth, height and density, protecting existing housing supply, including rent control units, preserving  and improving beaches, reducing traffic,  curtailing fumes and noise at Santa Monica Airport, and closing it in 2015, continuing funding to support excellence in our schools and equal educational opportunities. practicing fiscal discipline rather than increasing taxes. Hartley is a fighter, smart, fearless, and independent, and she believes that residents must not only be heard but heeded in City Hall.

We agree and urge everyone who cares about this gloriously idiosyncratic beach town to vote for Susan Hartley, two-year term.

The Dispatch Endorses Ted Winterer, Ready and Able

In a very real sense, Ted Winterer, Council candidate, four-year term, has been preparing to be a City Council member for years.

He has been a renter and is a home owner. He has been active in his neighborhood organization, Ocean Park Association, has been a Rec and Parks Commissioner and is a Planning Commissioner.

He is a soccer coach and was the co-author of Prop T, which would have limited commercial growth.

Winterer and his wife have two young children, and Winterer is committed to ensuring that the schools
have ample local funding to insulate them from the state’s mindless budget cuts.

Winterer’s priorities include preserving Santa Monica’s beach town charm and diversity, expanding
open space, parks and community gardens, getting serious about managing traffic, supporting neighborhood schools, tackling the challenge of our airport. creating a sustainable city and budget, supporting local small businesses.

Like Susan Hartley, whom we have also endorsed, Winterer believes residents, not developers should make the crucial  decisions, and, unlike the majority of current Council members, they do not see Santa Monica as a business, they see it as home — unique, gorgeous, legendary — and sufficient.


As we report in the following story, the Santa Monica Coalition for a
Livable City (SMCLC) has filed a complaint with local authorities,  citing the makers of bogus mailers that appear  to be issued by the Santa Monica Police Officers and Fire Fighters Associations.

A police spokesperson described the mailers as “disengenuous.”
They were  attributed to “Santa Monicans for Quality Government,”
(SMQG) headed by Fred Huebscher, who is said to have spearheaded the attacks on Kevin McKeown during his 2006 campaign.

SMQG was dissolved before it filed a financial disclosure statement,
a specialty of Kinde Durkee, a Burbank consultant. According to the
Pasadena Weekly, she has paid “thousands of dollars” in fines for failing to file disclosure statements Durkee  is said to have been the treasurer of  SMQG, and was treasurer of  Friends of Terry O’Day  until it was dissolved earlier this year. She is currently treasurer of Committee to Protect Our Community and Schools, which is lobbying
for passage of Props Y and YY.