Letters to the editor for Jan. 26, 2012

Union Democrat staff

GCSD Fire Tax

To the Editor:

In your article, "Fire tax bound for June ballot," you focused on the obvious - GCSD is going to ask the pubic to pay more through a tax measure. Regrettably, what you didn't cover is one of the reasons why over half of Americans are fed up with politics - lies, deceptions and greed. Yes, the Board is leaving the tax matter up to the public. They have, however, failed to represent the public's need for transparency, truth and full disclosure.

When the fire chief deliberately understates what staff takes from the taxpayer's wallet, and the board refuses to post for public review that information, the public loses trust in the whole governance process. Likewise, when the general manager states that the tax will be used exclusively for wages (and benefits not mentioned in the article), and not for "toys," as if the other $800,000 received in property taxes doesn't exist, the whole process leaves a foul taste. The GM previously stated that the tax is not perpetual. Another huge deception.

Doesn't the public want to know that a fire captain receives $107,203 in total pay and perks not just the $59,725 in base wages as presented? How about a fire engineer's actual compensation at $84,418 versus the $41,321 reported?

The public asked the fire department to tighten its belt. Instead, their response is to tack on another $240,000 in new taxes, extend the tax for another ten years, with automatic cost of living increases. Lies, deceptions, and greed.

Craig Maxwell

Groveland

11866173
The Union Democrat
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