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Why I support Measure F

I thank Steve Sprague of Hesperia for his recent “Vote for Measure F” editorial (Daily Press, Oct. 21). I support Measure F because it’s a way for taxpayers to show we want better control of how our taxes are spent. There are many misrepresentations and truths. I am for the truth. It’s difficult for me to understand the ins and outs of government funding sources and expenditures but my knowledge is growing. One thing is clear: We have to keep an eye on those we voted in to City Council to help them understand public needs. Public safety is the primary duty of any government agency, and every elected official is sworn in to abide by this. After years of pleading with council members and staff on government policies, procedures and expenditures on numerous issues, some requests were granted and some were not.

In my pursuit of fairness and truth, I started my “Support Measure F” campaign by appealing to the city council not to pass the city’s Fiscal Year 2011-12 Budget due to proposed cuts of nine firefighter/paramedics and five sheriff deputy positions by staff. I voiced my concerns at the cuts to public safety at the regularly scheduled public meetings earlier this year discussing the fiscal budget (how the city spends our taxes). The budget was passed with a change to subsidize the fire district and avoid the layoffs of nine fire-fighters and paramedics, but they voted no to funding the five vacant sheriff’s deputy positions. I started then to realize city staff, council members and city legal staff weren’t interested in pursuing other funding options, and they indeed passed a poor budget which did not do a proper budget analysis. There needs to be a better review of all city expenditures, personnel staffing levels and all outside contracts along with a thorough review of funding of our fire district, past, present and future.

In the meantime, the council voted to place the burden of the decision on the citizens of Hesperia to fund our fire district on election day through a special tax, Measure F. The duty of placing Measure F on the ballot falls on the Local 935 Firefighters Union by law, not by choice. When asked to support Local 935 Firefighters in support of Measure F, I said yes because it’s time for us, the people, to show our city council we’re not in favor of cutting our public safety services, and we will make sure these tax dollars will be used specifically for our local fire safety needs for at least the next five years. This is a special tax that will only fund the Hesperia Fire District, the funds will only be used to provide fire safety services in Hesperia. And it is key to note that only City Council has the right to approve all expenditures of the Hesperia Fire District. When passed, I guarantee I will continue working with local government to ensure sound spending measures are put in place to guarantee the safety of our community.

Help keep Hesperia Safe, show support and vote for Measure F.

Sophie Steeno

Hesperia

Nice effort

In a recent letter, Mr. Steve Sprague made the following comment about Tax Measure F: “The real culprit here is Hesperia’s mayor and two council members who apparently saw an opportunity to pad city coffers a little.” In reality, the coffers would be padded a lot.

The three city council members promised a tax amount, under Measure F, of $5.5 million. In reality, when the measure was printed and placed in the ballot book the tax became $13.6 million, more than two and one-half times the stated amount.

Incidents of this type create distrust of politicians and apathy by the voters. The deception of Tax Measure F is very notable.

Thanks to Mr. Steve Sprague for his effort.

Al Vogler

Hesperia


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