Wednesday, November 27, 2013

San Leandro May Spend $110k To Study Potential Tax Measure in 2014

San Leandro may eye a road improvement tax
next year. It has struggled in recent years to find
money to repair its roads.
SAN LEANDRO CITY COUNCIL | With the coming mid-term election season just around the corner, voters in Alameda County, including those in San Leandro, may be asked to pass another round of revenue-generating tax measures. A potential reauthorization of Alameda County’s Measure A hospital tax may head to the voters next year, in addition to another try at a countywide transportation sales tax and the renewal of Oakland’s Measure Y covering public safety.

In San Leandro, the City Council raised possibility Nov. 18 of adding yet another tax or bond measure in 2014. It formed an ad hoc committee to study a menu of potential measures, including a tax on its nascent medical cannabis dispensaries, a local road improvements tax, an increase in the city’s hotel tax and the reauthorization of its successful quarter-cent sales tax, Measure Z, passed in 2010. In fact, Measure Z, has been so successful, many credit it with bringing the city’s finances into the black. Last week, the city announced a $3.2 million surplus this year.

However, a successful ballot measure is often about timing and how much the public is willing to bear in increased taxes. According to a consulting bid from Oakland’s Lew Edwards Group, its initial analysis states San Leandrans may be willing to support a bond for road improvement. Although the state of many streets in Alameda County are mediocre to poor, San Leandro’s roads are rated as some of the worse and with few years remaining on their use, if left unattended.

The Lew Edwards Group has worked with the city in the past. It helped pass Measure Z three years ago, in addition, to a school parcel tax last year. Their bid, however, comes with a $49,500 price tag. The City Council is set to discussed the offer at its Dec. 2 meeting. An additional $60,000 bid from polling firm Godbe Research is also on next Monday's agenda. 

Potentially muddling the success of San Leandro raising taxes next year is the presence of a mayoral election in San Leandro and three council races, two of which, feature open seats. Depending on the campaign stances of individual candidates, a tax measure could be hurt by the political posturing. In contrast, wide support can also allow the tax measure to piggy-back on the candidate's door-to-door campaigning.

However, it does not always work out this way, at least, in San Leandro. In 2010, then-mayoral candidate Stephen Cassidy ran a successful campaign on the premise of fiscal responsibility and pension reform. He also opposed the sales tax increase, Measure Z. Cassidy won, but so did Measure Z.

UPDATE: On Monday night, the San Leandro City Council approved both contracts as written, 6-0. Mayor Cassidy was absent.


To all San Leandrans out there, please join with me in opposing any tax measure as being proposed by the City Council; yes Lewis group assisted in 2010 to help in passing measure z, but measure Z, a measure opposed by Cassidy, has been immensely successful in easing financial problems in the City; do not forget, we are faced with paying down School bond measures, including Measure M passed in 2010 and we as homeowners are being asked to bare the burden of these bond measures. For the time being I do not believe we should pass any tax measure in 2014. Measure Z extends to 2017 and the council should wait till then to consider a reauthorization tax measure. Even for streets, I say NO. We may be asked to pass a new transportation tax in the County; the City will be able to benefit from that measure. I say to the Council save your money and look else where to spend $140,000. Everyone join with me and oppose any future tax measure here in San Leandro. Tony Santos, former Mayor

At least the people will have the opportunity to vote on a proposed tax. Unlike the fraudulent method used to tax the Downtown business owners with our new Downtown San Leandro Community Benefit District. http://www.sanleandro.org/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?blobid=13561
Wait to the voters figure this one out. This tax was conceived out of lies, misdirection, and by a balloting process so complicated the Council couldn't even understand it.30% of the property in the CBD was either city, county,or state property which we were told from the beginning had no voting power, but not convenient obviously, Because in the end all the property's owned by Government had a vote.We spent close to 80,000 on New City's America help in that scam.

Read My Lips if you like your Insurance you can keep your insurance.


Dave, can you explain a bit more of your meaning here? Tony santos

In 2012 the City provided $65,000 to hire a consultant to lead the Community Benefit District formation process. That consultant, New City America, worked with a steering committee comprised of downtown property owners and businesses to determine the boundaries of the Community Benefit District and the services that it will provide. The voting process was a sham, with little to no outreach to the "Community" and being that it was a weighted ballot the larger property had more voting power. 30% of the property was either owned by the city, county, or state so it was easily passed.During the process it was stated that the property owned by the city had no vote, but in the end they needed the votes. There was no discussion and very little push back. The only opposition was the condo residents who got a pass for now. Now that area will be managed by a "non Profit" and they will get to chose who will do business in that area for at least the next 4 years. This thing is about imposable to end. It is a corporate entity that I believe will end up in the hands of David Johnson and the Chamber who, from what I have witnessed is no friend of small business So I guess my meaning is if and when the people figure this out they will vote accordingly. Oh ya they also need to realize that staff is who really runs the show.


Dave, had lunch today at luke's. Luke is furious at City. First, he opposes the Food Trucks that parks at the old Lucky site on 14th street across from his restaurant. One of his complaints was that the trucks take business from uptown restaurants and he too was/is not happy with the downtown assessment program. I asked if he participated in the process; he did not. But his opinion is not much being done for the downtown-I did tell him at one time or another all of worked on doing something about downtown, but in SL, it was always a tough sell. one thing for sure: SL needs morre foot traffic in the downtown-we have always known that. Tony Santos

need more comments on this one-c'mon folks-it is your money the Council is talking about-Tony Santos

Sir you are spot on, I have been saving my energy for the next election cycle. I often will speak to Council when issues like this arise, but after the CBD was passed I have decided to take a different approach. I am sure our paths will cross in the near future, in fact I look forward to it, We are truly in interesting times, I try to give every one I meet a little nudge with the truth, most of the time they just look at me like Lew Flipivich has just been resurrected. But once in a great while someone will actually wake up.


Maybe take a good look at how the bus money gets spent.

As long as it is voted on it is O.K. by me. The voters will decide.

I still say tax increase not necessary; the Council this week has now passed on hiring consultant to poll the voters on opinion on raising taxes; I have advised my email addresses to tell the pollster no on new taxes. Again, we are paying down three School Bond measures, and sales tax, which I supported, passed in 2010 along with School parcel tax in 2012-enough for time being-Tony Santos

Let the voters decide. I don't mind if it goes to help our city and someone can convince me it's necessary.

Agree with above post and I live in San Leandro and voted for measure Z and will vote to extend it.

San Leandro needs more money to improve their parks, libraries, roads, downtown and hire more police. These have deteriorated under your watch Mr Santos.

At some point people are going to have to come to terms with the fact that Californians will have to continue passing local measures to secure funds for services we need as long as Federal taxes are kept as low as they are, and as long as California continues to get back only 70 cents from every dollar we pay in Federal taxes.

A little-known fact is that states controlled by Republicans tend to be "debtor states"; in other words, their citizens get back more in Federal funds than they pay out. And then those same citizens complain about California and other States which are helping pay the bills Texas and Alabama ring up.

Quite a racket, eh? Next time you talk to your nitwit friend in Arizona, or your California neighbor who wants Republican rule, tell them the GOP no tax-no spend policies are hurting the finances of San Leandro and the California budget, and that we're filling their structural budget holes with our tax money.

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