Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - May 13, 2011

Letters

'Supermajority' problems

Dear Editor,

While we don't always agree with your editorial positions, we totally agree with your comments and analysis of the Measure E vote. It was well presented and summarized the problems we are all facing with the "supermajority" vote in California.

With a granddaughter just going into high school, the impact of the "negative" vote will impact her for the next four years. This is not what we wanted when we moved to Pleasanton so many years ago. Sure, we are retired, but we would have been happy to pay $98 for the future of our children and grandchildren.

Jackie and Alan Mode

Too much

Dear Editor,

I found the editorial in the May 6 edition personally offensive: I did not vote for Measure E. Nor am I a Tea Party member. I consider myself to be a liberal on most issues. So why was such a broad brush used on those not in agreement with your desire to see Measure E passed?

I read the ballot and the next day returned it, voting No. I will continue to vote No on any ballot measure that tries to circumvent Prop 13. Furthermore, I found it offensive to vote on a measure that would not directly affect me; as a senior I could opt out. I was not influenced by any of the subsequent rhetoric. I do not hear, read nor watch the local school board meetings as suggested in your editorial. I am not against education. Education is the most valuable tool this country has to offer our young people.

It appears there was no organized opposition to Measure E, which should send a signal to those who would continue to pursue such initiatives in the future. Thank goodness our state has rules for passage of any new taxes.

The daily cost of living has exceeded the funds for many in this community. Now the school system wants a new tax at the same time the free Weekly is requesting membership payments. The state has yet to tell us what we will have to pay for in the future. Our federal government is suggesting we pay for more of what was once a given. When is too much too much?

P Murray

Vote, don't pay

Dear Editor,

How many of the 65-year-old-plus affirmative votes for Measure E were "bought" with the promise of not having to pay the parcel tax? Just asking.

Barbara Clink

Failing our children

Dear Editor,

Today is a sad day for the children of Pleasanton. I never thought that I would see the day in which the schools in this town are not the main priority. I grew up in Pleasanton, was educated here, began my teaching career here, and hoped that my children might someday be educated here as well.

When my husband and I started our family, we knew Pleasanton would be the best place for our children to get an excellent education. It baffles me that Pleasanton, a "Community of Character," chose to ignore the needs of our children. In the grand scheme of things $98 per year is miniscule. It is roughly only $8 per month, and I am pretty sure most people in this town spend more than $98 per year buying coffee at Starbucks.

Yes, I know for many it was not about the money, but more about the principle. I completely agree that bailing out the state on our own dime is not necessarily the answer, but neither is failing to allow our children to have the best education possible.

As a former teacher, and now parent, I am hopeful that our community can pull together and find a solution to this mess. We need to do the right thing and put the children in this community first because they are the ones that are going to shape our future.

Heidi Werner

Two-thirds vote for new taxes is good

Dear Editor,

The Pleasanton Weekly's Opinion piece from May 6 is arguing that tax increases should be decided by a simple majority instead of the current two-thirds requirement.

When it comes to taxes, the government is requiring the citizenry they serve to pay more money to the government whether the citizen agrees or not. Because of this broad and intrusive nature, California has a two-thirds approval requirement in order to guard against the potential of abuse of taxation by the majority.

Let's take the parcel tax as an example. This is a situation where a broad range of citizens (voters) wish to impose a new tax upon a subset of the community (the property owners). Some voters are directly impacted by this new tax (property owners pay more) and other voters less impacted (renters or seniors/SSI recipients who are exempt). Likewise, some voters would benefit directly by the tax (parents/children) and others enjoy less benefit (citizens without kids in schools). With all these variables, how can we be sure that a simple majority approval of the parcel tax sufficiently reflects the "will of the community"? The simple answer is, you can't be sure. So, the two-thirds requirement is in place to ensure that the "will of the voter" is firmly and decisively established.

According to taxfoundation.org, California is the state ranked 49th worst business tax climate. This is with the two-thirds requirement to raise taxes. I don't think we need to make taxing any easier for our government.

David Miller

Proud of efforts

Dear Editor,

I would like to thank all the hardworking and dedicated volunteers who devoted their time and effort to Measure E and the Support Pleasanton Schools campaign.

While the measure did not pass, the vote was very, very close -- only 830 votes shy of victory. You should feel proud of your contribution to the quality of education our children receive.

I encourage you all to continue supporting Pleasanton schools in every way possible.

Tanya Ludden, Chair, Support Pleasanton Schools

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