While the 2016 presidential campaign continues to make its presence felt on The Desert Sun’s “You’ve Got Issues” Facebook page, group members shifted some of their focus back to subjects closer to home in recent days.
The CV Link-related measures on the April 12 ballot in Rancho Mirage and the possibility of new tax measures that could go before La Quinta voters all drew comments from the group’s members.
Richard Fox, on March 25, made his case to Rancho Mirage residents, urging them to vote on the four questions included in their mail-in ballots in a way that would show support for the Coachella Valley Association of Governments plan that would have CV Link run through the heart of Rancho Mirage. approval if they seek to allow the Link in at some future date.
“The decision on whether CV Link will move forward has already been made,” Fox wrote. “Rancho Mirage voters now need to decide whether they want to ruin this asset for the rest of the valley by making a big gap smack in the middle of it.”
About 40 or so responses by Thursday afternoon were about evenly split for and against the position stated by Fox, author of “enCYCLEpedia Southern California: The Best Easy Scenic Bike Rides.”
“Amen! Richard,” wrote LeGrand Einbender Velez. “(You) eloquently explained the lunacy of Rancho Mirage’s petty but costly war against CV Link. Thanks for speaking out.” Others, like Nancy Cobb and frequent Link advocate Keith Coleman, added similar sentiments.
“I see all the children laughing and having fun every morning at the Smoketree McDonald’s,” Cobb wrote. “Sure they would love being with their grandpa on the CV Link in the summertime.”
Steve Jerome, a critic of the project, took aim at Fox’s assertion that the lack of a trail like the Link cast the valley in a “negative light.”
“REALLY??!!,” Jerome wrote sarcastically. “People around the world “looking down on us” for not having a bike path? Yeah, they call every day to CANCEL their reservations!”
For the record, The Desert Sun Editorial Board has recommended votes supporting the Link concept – No on Measure 1, Yes on Measures 2, 3, and 4.
Further east, the La Quinta City Council’s deliberation of potential tax measures to present to voters stirred some debate.
I posted links to two of Sherry Barkas’ stories on the issue. I was curious whether the long “education” process officials had undertaken would pay off if and when voters make their choice.
Ralph Payne suggested recent valley history in such cases might not help predict future success.
“Palm Springs and Cathedral City did it, but the voter profile is a little different in La Quinta,” Payne wrote. “That’s why it will be interesting.”
La Quinta residents David Arnce and Desirée Nieblas-Mofidi suggested the increases would be OK if justified by the city’s needs.
“My general feeling is it’s never a good feeling being charged more in taxes,” Nieblas-Mofidi wrote. “However, my question is how are they coming up with the figure — $50 million (shortfall) in the next 10 years?”A special citizens advisory committee spent six months reviewing city books and came to the same conclusion as the council: Current revenue and expenditure trends will create a $50 million budget gap over the next decade. The advisory committee has suggested various tax increases, including a 1 percentage point bump to the sales tax and an increase in the hotel tax and how it is levied as ways to bridge the budget gap. Much of the budget pressure is seen as coming from future jumps in public safety costs. Jerome and William Cain suggested thorough scrubbing of city spending should be done before any tax increases are considered.
“Non-LaQuinta residents will then be making up for the ineptitude of La Quinta Government “officials” by their charging a higher sales tax when we go to the City of La Quinta shop?,” Jerome wrote.