Mr. Feller, Mr. Kern and Mr. Felien: Every one of your budget cuts harms Oceanside residents.
You’ve already cut developer “inclusionary housing” fees, which amount to millions of dollars in giveaways to your political cronies. This hurts seniors, veterans and working families.
You’ve eliminated city services for at-risk youth and to help stop gang activity.
You’re working to get rid of those bothersome mobile home parks and the seniors who live in them.
Now you want to eliminate our highly trained paramedic/firefighters and replace them with rental technicians. Plus you want to close a fire station. (Shutter one in your neighborhood; we need ours).
You’ve told us, “The city has no business operating public parks” and shut down our swimming pool.
And you want to get rid of the entire Oceanside Police Department patrol officers and replace them with a few rental cops. How will you explain that to voters at election time? “Six cops is cheaper than 20.”
All that, and you still want to build the Melrose extension (minimum cost $30 million) and take property by eminent domain. And you’ve just hired more consultants for $71,000 to tell us how to save money!
I suggest the following steps to start saving money right now: Get rid of your council aides. Don’t spend our taxes on your personal political operatives. Stop buying new vehicles for various city departments. If you’re going to shut down the police and fire departments, why buy new vehicles that we won’t use?
Reinstate deferred developer fees. We need that money! Out-of-town rich developers don’t need our precious city dollars.
Shut down city hall! Open one day every two weeks. Hire temporary staff as needed. Period.
Now, I’m a compassionate person. I understand your commitments to the special interest Building Industry Association. They interviewed me when I was running for council last year. All they’re interested in is taking tax money from residents and putting it in their own pockets. Would you tell that small wealthy group of campaign donors there’s no money?
Or would you prefer to explain to 175,000 Oceanside taxpayers that we can’t afford police officers? Or paramedics? Or parks? Or anything?
I ask you to cut programs that do not harm the residents. Decide what’s best for us, not your political pals.
Chuck Lowery is an Oceanside native and former City Councilman.