One of Helene Schneider’s TV ads really makes me wonder. She says, “I fought for a balanced budget.” I’m trying to figure out who she was fighting with. Was there actually someone who was “fighting” for an unbalanced budget? The fact is, municipal governments in California must have a balanced budget. City government must either match expenses with revenue or deplete reserves if they chose not to reduce expenses. What Helene Schneider fights to do is deplete reserves to the point that they are practically nonexistent, rather than be a responsible steward of taxpayer funds and “fight” for the taxpayer. She has repeatedly voted to spend reserves rather then cut expenses.

Speaking of irresponsible use of taxpayer funds, the bulb-outs come to mind. The city is in the process of spending millions of taxpayer dollars for these trendy, ridiculous, and dangerous bulb-outs. She says, “Well, these are paid for with grants, so we are not using local funds.” Excuse me, but those grants are taxpayer funds, and they are being spent irresponsibly. Anyone on the council who voted for this taxpayer funded expenditure is not qualified to be a steward of our money and does not deserve to be returned to the council.

Then there is her ridiculous Blue Line project. Yes, it was eventually going to be paid for by private fund, but just think of all the staff time, debate time, resources, etc., that were consumed for this ill-conceived expenditure of public resources.

I’m sure Helene is a very nice person and I have nothing personal against her, it’s just that she has no business being on the council, much less serving as our mayor.-Doug Van Pelt


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