Governor Brown has taken the boldest, most practical, steps in recent years to deal with California’s desperate economy: presenting to the state’s voters options to ameliorate the profound debt.

In Santa Barbara, Mayor Helene Schneider has taken similar action, but the narrowly focused interests here are howling. She has proposed giving voters the chance to decide whether painful but necessary, and fairly distributed, measures should be adopted to help us weather our crushing financial shortfalls.

Does anyone really think you are not going to have to bear your share of this burden? Do you really believe you shouldn’t have to ante up a bit more on your local taxes? That you shouldn’t help bear some of the cost of overtime police protection of your business? That you should be assured business as usual with the city paying your share of your pension costs? That – should the Unified School District’s own June ballot measure fail – any increase in taxes may not be shared between city and Santa Barbara’s education system?

And most of all, do you really believe that the people of Santa Barbara should not be given an opportunity to express their opinion on these matters?

My hope is that some of the politicos in this town who think themselves progressive will tell their political advisers to take the day off and stand up for – gulp! – a democratic attempt to deal with a crisis.


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