Misleading on reserves
The way Encinitas delineates its so-called “reserves” is confusing to the average citizen, including the City’s “justification” in the 5/11/12 Coast News, “Reserves figure disputed,” which the article states, “Following a Watchdog report on government reserve fund overflows appearing in the U-T in late April, officials with the City of Encinitas claimed a chart depicting the percentage the city had in their general fund reserves for the Fiscal Year 2010/11 was misleading.”
What is actually misleading are Jerome Stocks’ statements, including those quoted in a follow-up article in the 5/4/12 U-T, and the U-T blog on 5/5/12.
The fact is S&P methodology, which compares unrestricted and uncommitted (more liquid) funds was used as a basis of comparison. Poway and Carlsbad were at the top, having the most liquid reserves; Encinitas with 4 percent and Escondido at 2 percent were at the bottom of the chart.
While operating expenses, including unfunded pension liabilities are increasing, monies are decreasing for capital improvements, here in Encinitas.
For Jerome Stocks to claim, “And in reality none of that money is ‘restricted’ in any way,” is patently false. If FUNDS ARE COMMITTED TO A PARTICULAR USE, OR EARMARKED FOR A PARTICULAR PROJECT, then in many people’s eyes, they are not ACTUALLY RESERVES.
Perhaps you feel unrestricted by the constraints of using S&P methodology as a common basis of comparison, Mr. Stocks, but your rationalizations and attempts to confuse the facts of our comparative financial health to the contrary, using your office to cloud the issue and to challenge the Watchdog’s findings is seen as disingenuous and politically self-serving, when you are running for re-election this year.
Many citizens will NOT be voting for you, Mr. Stocks, because of what we see to be your deception, bullying tactics and continuing attempts to massage City data to your political advantage.
Solving the state deficit
Here’s a simple suggestion that would solve California’s financial deficit problem. If California would impose a tax of 1 cent per gallon of water, and/or at least $1 per gallon of gas, the California deficit would quickly be eliminated.
It might also cause Californians (and following the same approach in other states, Americans in general) to be less wasteful. It would help address the crucial issue of Climate Change since pumping water uses 40 percent of the entire California state electricity. All countries in Europe charge over $4 tax/gallon of gas, covering all of their social needs. Rich America could similarly provide for its citizens.
It is a path to responsibility. Are you for it?