Rather than implement needed cost cutting measures, City Council has put Measure Y on the ballot and supported it with a “gloom and doom” scenario should the tax fail. First we hear the three-minute ambulance response is at risk, then the Oct. 18 Piedmonter cited Mayor Chiang: “public safety services will be preserved.” Proponent “facts” are constantly shifting.
In 2004 City Hall chose the most expensive pension plan in the state. Our compensation plan is so generous that a recent Piedmont Police Chief retired at an initial monthly pension of $18,918, 28% more than the final monthly salary of $14,791. This type of spending is wholly unsustainable yet City Council refuses to take meaningful action.
Beyond the structurally unsound compensation system, financial missteps have exacerbated the failing financial picture. Six weeks into the Undergrounding Debacle the overruns were already $161,000 more than the contract amount and contingency! City Hall’s response: don’t tell anyone and keep digging. Total taxpayer cost: $3,100,000 in overruns and litigation cost. Not learning from its mistakes, City Council then approved the failed Blair Park Sports Fields with the same lack of risk assessment that had taxpayers picking up overruns in the Undergrounding.
Failure of Measure Y will leave Piedmont’s quality of life entirely unaffected and will encourage Council to implement needed cost cutting measures. Respect the facts, ignore the scare tactics and vote NO on Measure Y.