In the weekly feature called "e-views," we invite readers to answer a question via email.
Last week's question:
Will you support Antioch's half-cent sales tax measure in November to boost police staffing and code enforcement levels?
YES, WE WILL vote for this measure. You can't complain about nothing being done and then when given the chance to help save things, say NO. I feel those who do not support it do not want things to change. Every bit helps.
Money does not grow at the footsteps of our city.
IN A WORD, no! We pay property taxes, Mello Roos, other special assessments for things like lighting/landscaping and one of the highest sales taxes in the nation. I'm done with voting for more taxes! Our government needs to learn to live within a budget just like all of its citizens do. I'm sure you've all heard about the city of Bell and its wasteful spending and the latest stories on pension spiking and abuse of overtime by government employees. The fact is that BART employees pay little or nothing into very generous pensions and on and on. If the government would clean up its own house, it would have the money to pay for the services its people have paid for and deserve.
I AND MY friend will not support another one-half cent increase in taxes. I just came back from New Jersey and the tax there is 6 and one-half percent. The gas was $3.48 a gallon. Californians are taxed to death. Hire part time police officers -- save on overtime.
YES, WE WILL vote for this measure. You can't complain about nothing being done and then when given the chance to help save things, say no.
I feel those who do not support it, do not want things to change. Every bit helps.
Money does not grow at the footsteps of our city.
YES, WE will support.
Edward and JeanAnn Dwyer
I DO NOT support a sales tax increase. This is not a solution, just a continuation of bad spending. Antioch council rejected to put a ballot to the people of Antioch to vote on this ballot. If approved it would have brought $2.3 to 2.6 million of steady money. Any other business in Antioch needs a business license, but if one owns property and rent, for profit -- no license needed.
There is also a rental inspection program on the books, but our city does not collect on it. Antioch residents come to the council meetings and ask why it is not collected. No answer.
Again, no tax increase!
NO, I WILL not. In fact, I will be campaigning against it. The proposed tax, if passed, will go into the city's General Fund and can be used for anything that a three-person council agrees to. It is not a special tax solely dedicated to increase the number of police or code enforcement.
The police officer groups have always refused to get more officers with available funds, insisting instead, on getting pay and benefit increases for themselves. Don't be fooled again. Read the proposal, and do not believe their propaganda. I'm for more police being hired, as well as the other former employees who lost their jobs, but not for continuing the madness of taxing us more so that the existing police get more than everybody else!
Do you know what the police get paid and cost? Well, I do. It's expensively shameful. They got 9 percent pay raises this past year alone and will get 4 percent more effective Sept. 1, 2013 (their MOUs verify this). That is also why the city really wants this tax -- to cover for its overspending and selective overcompensating certain employees, not for real public safety!
Ralph A. Hernandez
THE CITY OF ANTIOCH needs to produce a comprehensive plan addressing the issues negatively impacting its residents and quality of life here.
I would support paying a half-cent sales tax to elevate police and code enforcement staffing levels, but not without the city making a clear case for what it needs and understanding how the money will be used to address the issues detracting from the city's appeal.
From my perspective, the shortlist would include safety, landscape maintenance, clean streets and effective ordinances that govern rental properties. The band-aid approach has not produced results and after 22 years of responsible homeowners. I'm now looking at my options for an exit strategy.
WE SUPPORT THIS tax 100 percent. Our wonderful city needs this boost in protection and enforcement to take control of the element that tries to bring our community down.
The city council made a wise decision and our backing sends them that message. The passage of this tax measure will bring property values up and make our streets and neighborhoods a safe haven to be proud of.
Barbara J. Cowan
YES! I SUPPORT a half-cent sales tax hike to get more police on the streets of Antioch and more code enforcement officers. I think crime in Antioch is the No. 1 issue facing residents -- also that residents taking matters into their own hand due to the fact that the police won't respond because they are understaffed. I think more police is the best solution.
MY QUICK ANSWER is no unless our City Council members add the Landlord Parcel Tax to the ballot too. Time after time we are told we are in dire straits. We need money now.
I don't favor taxes, but Antioch is continuing downhill. These measures could right the ship. The sales tax as proposed would terminate in seven years while the landlord tax would not. That revenue helps offset the added burden rental properties bring to Antioch, and that's fair. If we are truly desperate, then everyone should contribute.
Antioch citizens proposed the parcel tax change and it was initially supported by the council, but when the California Apartment Association began suggesting possible legal action, Harper, Rocha and Tiscareno folded. Why? They say CAA opposition may cause both measures to fail. I say face the challenge. If we are in such dire straits then they should take responsibility and fight for balanced measures that are fair.
YES! IF IT is going to help stop the crime! The crime here is starting to get too much like Oakland and Richmond, and I think we need to stop the Section 8.
I SUPPORT the police tax
This week's question:
Brentwood is considering using surveillance cameras and license plate readers to thwart crime in the city. Would you support this in your city?
Email your response to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please limit responses to a few sentences, and be sure to include your full name and city of residence. Not all responses will be published. Note: Please respond before Monday.