Reasons to vote against the levee assessment
Everyone seems to agree that the Salsipuedes and Pajaro levees need repair. The public relations information from the new Pajaro Flood Agency isn’t emphasizing some issues that deserve to be considered before you vote—and there are about 3,000 of us who will receive ballots asking us to raise our property taxes. These issues should be particularly relevant to no- and low-income residential homeowners who are 70, 80 and 90 years old.
- The tax will be added to your property tax bill arriving later this year.
- You will be taxed for at least three years before any dirt is moved.
- This tax can be increased each year up to 4% and will go on forever.
- Many taxpayers will pay taxes twice what the Agency states is the average: $192. Personally, my property tax will increase $371 the first year.
- Taxpayers in the assessment area will be paying both flood insurance and this property tax for 8-10 years.
- When the project is completed in 8-10 years, an application will be made to FEMA to have the area declared a 100-year flood zone. This process will take 1-2 years after the construction is complete, if at all.
- The older adult communities will bear the brunt of construction noise and dust on our streets and behind our homes for many months.
- Property value could be affected negatively during this earth-moving construction period.
- Many people in the most affected area are 70-90 years old and most of these people have no income.
- There is no substantial consideration in the Agency’s proposal for the age, income level and inconvenience of many of the 1,747 homeowners who are in this new tax district.
Please think this through and return your ballot by June 8.
Sandra Haven, Watsonville
Our county cannot afford a rail line
Ask yourself this: 1. Do you think 67% of the voters in SC County will vote for sales tax increase to pay for a coastal commuter train or tourist trolley? 2. Would you prefer to build a train system instead of fixing our roads, expanding Metro Bus Service and saving Watsonville Hospital? If you answer no to either of these questions then you should vote yes on Measure D on June 7. Gary Plomp writes a dreamy letter about rebuilding an 1880s train depot so a Watsonville family can travel by train to Southern California. That family can already take that trip with the express bus to San Jose Diridon Station. Mr. Plomp lives in Santa Clara County where they might be able to afford his fantasy. If you look at the Santa Cruz County budget you will see that we cannot.
Steve Plumb, Capitola
Vote no on D
Last Wednesday it took us 53 minutes to get from Morrissey Boulevard to Bay Porter. On Thursday it took us 46 minutes to get from Freedom Boulevard to Morrissey Boulevard. I see the banners declaring Greenway’s Measure D will get us moving now with a bike trail and removing rail. I know that if passed, the planning, permitting, need redoing and lawsuits will delay the currently designed trail up to a decade. We have waited long enough. Let’s not waste the millions and years so that those that will benefit from lost rail easements capitalize. Don’t be frightened by the claim of a train that costs a billion dollars based on an old RTC concept of full-on diesel locos. We can have service now with a nominal investment, instead of a 50 million per mile highway widening. We saw it happen last year with the Coast Futura rail vehicle. Stay on track with the trail and rail. Vote down the ill-conceived, well-financed, deception that is Measure D.
Frank Rimicci, Jr., Santa Cruz County
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