Vote No on Measure U - Newark's Utility User Tax
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10/4/2010 - John Becker, City Manager is quoted as saying Newark's budget is balanced.  We are getting new business, ie, Burlington Coat Factory and Ross.   We just received a grant for new police officers.  How can there be a fiscal emergency under these conditions?

Here is one example of where they could cut the budget and not need a Utility TAX.  In looking at the budget one can't help but notice a Human Resource budget of 2.35% of the total budget or an amount of $877,600.   This number seems very high compared to Pricewaterhouse Coopers study of Human Resources Departments effectiveness where the average HR dept budget is about $1,462 per employee.   With less the 200 full time employees Newark should have a budget of less then $292,000 yet we have a budget 3 times higher then average.    How can you ask people of Newark for more money with these types of inefficiencies?

 

The City of Livermore was facing many of the same problems as Newark.  The wise City Manager eliminated all the contract employees and costly consultants and trimmed the staff.  The city is functioning well with a much smaller budget.  Bloat is a thing of the past for them.

Congressman Pete Stark announces a grant to the City of Newark.  The Newark Police Department will receive $758,682, which will support two police positions.  This funding covers entry-level salaries and benefits for three years.  Since the City spent $1.5 million in overtime last year, the savings these two officers will give them is another reason that they will not need the utility tax.

Link: Congressman Pete Stark announces a grant to Newark Police Department.

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From an excerpt from the 9/30/2010 City Council Meeting Agenda, Putting it All Together, the rational is clear - “In our view, this land use program must be fully in place BEFORE the economic recovery is in full swing…would squander the opportunities that are now available.”   In other words, it is more important to them to be spending money on development projects than on crossing guards or many of the other services they say they can't afford.   What don't they understand about cutting back.  Cut this development expense until we recover.  Use those funds for the services you say you can't afford.  

Link: City Council agenda 9/23/2010 (be patient, it takes time to load - see page 67 of 85)

Growth is not the answer to Newark's problems.

Contrary to the Mayor's statements, no city in Southern Alameda County has a Utility Tax.  Most cities that have Utility Taxes got them before it was ruled that citizens had the right to vote for them.  Prior to that ruling the City Councils could just adopt the tax whether or not the citizens wanted it.

Counties and Cities with and without Utility Taxes.

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Mayor Dave sees a "No on U" sign

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A strategy meeting with HIGH priced consultants, the Mayor,  and WELL PAID City managers.

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In no context or definition can Newark's financial problems be characterized as an Emergency.  Not by Webster or State law.   Only in the eyes of Mayor Smith, The City Council and developers want to build 1200 houses - could this be an emergency.  The development fund which has a $1.844 million budget and a shortfall, has to borrow $514 thousand from the general fund to pay for redevelopment costs of those 1200 houses.  The general fund which pays for the expenses of parks department, the police department, the infamous crossing guard program, fire department and all other day to day expenses of running a town has plenty of money if not for being raped by the expenses of redevelopment.   An Emergency according to State law precedent requires an unforeseeable event, like an earthquake.   Below is a link to City of San Diego's attorney's brief synopsis of what constitutes an emergency.  Please citizens of Newark demand accountability and honesty from our city officials.  The Mayor and City Council are misleading and misrepresenting the financial health of Newark.

Compare Newark Salaries to other Cities. Salaries range from $218,545 for Newark City Manager to $27 for a Silliman Center lifeguard:

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Sample Salaries

Letter to the Editor regarding fiscal mismanagement (see second letter)

San Diego City Attorney report

Additional FAQ's regarding Measure U

 
We need to keep Newark Newark!
 
Help preserve Newark's Quality of Life and Affordability.

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