|~ The Great Tax Fighter ~|
I don't know about Bill, but I had no idea that our city funded adjudicated and highly partisan weekly newspaper, "The Mountain Views News," was already running Capoccia's piece. Naturally when I later found out that was the case I was both a bit irked and very glad I didn't post it here. I should have been told, and it really does smack of a dirty trick.
As you might recall, John Capoccia ran for his City Council seat as a stalwart fiscal conservative who would bring the wild spending downtown under control. He was real big on that. And where he really stepped out and strutted his stuff was on the extension of the Utility User Tax. He was adamantly opposed to our having to pay the highest utility taxes in California, and in 2012 he rode that mighty wave all the way to political success and a City Council seat.
Sadly, once elected John Capoccia never met a rate, fee or tax increase he didn't want to vote for. He flipped way higher than Joe Mosca ever even dreamed of doing. And today he is pushing for Measure UUT like it is his own health benefits and retirement package that are at stake. Which, of course, is not the case.
Unlike the SMPOA and other municipal employee unions calling the shots on both this utility tax increase and at City Hall these days, the poor guy won't see a single thin dime of it.
The Great Tax Fighter's legacy will be, should he succeed, a city with eight more years of double digit utility taxes plus insanely high municipal employee health plan costs. Both of which lead the entire State of California.
Who could have imagined this would be the case when he was saying things like the following in March of 2012?
For the upcoming April 10 election, Sierra Madre voters will weigh in on two Ballot Measures. Measure 12-1 will authorize an increase to the Utility Users Tax (UUT) from the current ten percent to twelve percent on July 1, 2013 and delay the sunset dates by four years. Measure 12-2 is a companion “advisory” measure, which is intended to allow voters to advise the council to spend the increase in the UUT on public safety.
As a candidate for Sierra Madre City Council, I want voters to know where I stand - I recommend a NO vote on both measures. Now is NOT the time for voters to authorize the increase and extend the sunset. Let me make one thing perfectly clear – Voting NO on Measure 12-1 WILL NOT reduce the current UUT revenue stream, and it WILL NOT jeopardize Public Safety in any way!
Why should anyone be surprised that another Sierra Madre pol wasn't telling us the truth about his real intentions? The list of such people is a long and sad one.
But I digress. Let's get to yesterday's e-mail exchange, because that is where the new information is. It really is quite revealing. With Bill Coburn on copy, this is the request for publication that we received from John Capoccia. And then a bit more. Here John actually tells a little truth. It is good to see he stills knows what that is.
The sentence from John Capoccia's editorial being referred to here reads: "Measure UUT is not raising your utility tax rate."
Capoccia: Bill and John, Attached is the first of a three part editorial in support of Measure UUT. Please post on your respective website/blog as you feel appropriate. Please call if you have questions. Thanks.
Crawford: Here is a question. The 2012 vote is currently the law, put into place by a 60% vote of the people. That calls for an 8% UUT in 2015. How can this not be a UUT increase as you state in your second sentence? Going to 10% is a 25% increase. This seems misleading, to be generous.
Coburn: And here all this time, I thought the UUT in 2012 was defeated.
Crawford: Good point. That is why the UUT starts to sunset in 2015, which was the stated will of 60% of the voters in this town. Some do find that inconvenient. It also makes the 2nd sentence in Councilmember Capoccia's " editorial" untrue.
Coburn: He does have a point, though, John. How do you counter that, Mr. Capoccia?
Crawford: It is as if the people who voted as Mr Capoccia wanted them to in 2012 no longer count.
Capoccia: Sure, your point is well taken and it's out there. I don't have a problem with you calling it a tax increase. I've made my argument, no need to repeat myself. Let the voters decide. Perhaps some will change their mind and vote differently this time.
Crawford: It is a tax increase. To say otherwise is to deny the validity of the 60% of the people who killed the UUT extension in 2012. In my opinion that is what Measure UUT is really about. Employee contracts, benefits and pensions. The poor old library is just the hostage.
Capoccia: I do understand your point of view, and I'm sure a lot of voters agree with you.
Tomorrow we will be discussing the "UUT Fact Sheet" that the City of Sierra Madre illegally included in the water bills of a lot of people in town. This so-called "fact sheet" being little more than partisan political propaganda designed to get the people of this town to vote themselves a 25% utility tax increase in a few weeks. With a lot of the claims made there being untrue.
Mr. Capoccia and others might "understand your point of view," but in the mad rush to fund city employee pensions and out of this world costly health benefits they have shown that there is little they will not do. City Hall has now revealed itself as being rather ruthless. Especially when it comes to confiscating your money.
In my opinion the people responsible for the inclusion of this political document in the water bills of many people in town have now opened Sierra Madre up to both lawsuits and a potential investigation by the District Attorney.