Governor calls “emergency session” as state drowns in red ink while Mission Viejo “floats” along

Sorry Juice readers but I simply am disgusted that our city council majority continues to “float” down Colorado Blvd with our $360,000 plus Tournament of Roses parade expenditure.  Mind you our Treasurer has indicated his concern regarding a drop off in city of Mission Viejo revenue as I have reported previously. With regard to our sales tax let me share that the preliminary second quarter (April-June) 2008 sales tax (absent the impact of the triple flip) was down 8.66% (approximately $371,000) i.e. We received $4,284,000 in 2007 vs. $3,912,000 for the same period in 2008.
What a coincidence. Our latest float expenditures ($361,000) are virtually identical to the second quarter ($371,000) shortfall. What great fiscal management.

Today’s LA Times reports that “Schwarzenegger said this year’s deficit will be ‘much more’ than the $3 billion that state officials projected two weeks ago. Capitol budget analysts say preliminary data indicate the problem will probably grow to at least $10 billion.”
In the Times report they add: “they ignored the obvious,” said Christopher Thornberg, principal at Beacon Economics. “They refused to recognize we are heading into this painful recession. It wasn’t rocket science.”

This full speed ahead “float” is the cap off the tooth paste. While the average resident does not question specific budget related expenditures, the overwhelming majority have shared with me their amazement that we are still proceeding ahead with this “feel good” project as we fight to survive in this recession.
When the city boasts of True North’s recent survey with reports of favorable resident approval the mayor refused to follow up on my question of whether or not having an entry in the Rose Parade was asked of the 400 people contacted. I would love to see the list of questions to see if it was included in this pre-election staff effort to lift the ratings of the council members.

The city of Mission Viejo is no different from the State as it relates to our revenue streams. Beyond capital gains the Times reports that “the state also relies heavily on sales taxes. Economists are predicting that those receipts will also take a dive as consumers tighten their belts.”
Mission Viejo
is not immune to the same pain and suffering we are seeing in Sacramento. Sadly, while our governor sees the big picture, our council majority has put on blinders as they spin the broad acceptance of our float. They list hundreds of volunteers. Question. How many of those volunteers are city staff? How many are children who are not taxpayers of our city?

Several have suggested a possible “recall” of the leaders of this effort. If that be true they are referring to Mayor Kelley, Councilman Lance MacLean and Councilman Frank Ury. We do have other options starting with next Tuesday when Frank Ury is up for reelection. That is surely a more cost effective way than a “recall” to express our opinion on the float expenditure. Don’t forget to vote on Nov 4th. Thank you!

About Larry Gilbert