Language of Argument for Charter City Ballot Initiative Sparks Disagreement Amongst Supporters

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In mid July, the Davis City Council by a 4-1 margin, voted to put a Charter Proposal on the November Ballot. The Vanguard has learned that Councilmember Sue Greenwald has decided not to sign the ballot argument in favor of the measure out of concerns for the accuracy of the language.

The language in question is:

“There are no additional taxes involved in becoming a charter city, nor does it increase the city’s ability to raise or impose taxes in the future.”

According to Councilmember Greenwald she did not sign the ballot statement because in her view, the phrase was not accurate.

The concern here is that under a charter, a city can impose a property transfer tax which would impose a tax any time an individual moved from one home to another.

Under general law status, a city cannot invoke a property transfer tax. So the first step a city must take is to adopt a charter city. Becoming a charter city therefore removes a major hurdle towards imposing the tax.

On the other hand, neither City Manager Bill Emlen nor City Attorney Harriet Steiner agree with this assessment. As Bill Emlen pointed out to the Vanguard via a phone conversation, even if the Charter passes, the only way to impose a property transfer tax is to amend the charter by a vote of the people of Davis. That is a significant hurdle and similar to the hurdle that it would require under Prop. 218 standards for other types of taxes.

In City Attorney Harriet Steiner’s “Impartial Analysis of Measure N” she argued that Davis would “remain subject to all State Constitutional limitations.”

These include:

“… those on taxation and property related fees, such as Propositions 13 and 218. No new taxes could be imposed without voter approval.”

For those concerned about taxation, this is a key point that is formalized by the City Attorney putting it into writing. It therefore appears that by-and-large the ballot language is largely correct–for most practical purposes it does not increase the city’s ability to either raise or impose taxes in the future. It may give the city an ability to have additional means by which to raise taxes, which is I think what Sue Greenwald’s point is. However, even those additional means by which to tax are still subject to voter approval–this is the current process by which taxes can be increased now.

Councilmember Stephen Souza who signed the document along with Mayor Ruth Asmundson, Councilmember Lamar Heystek, and former Mayor Jerry Adler, said that he and co-signers of the argument “stand by the truthfulness of the Argument for Measure N.”

While I understand the point that Councilmember Sue Greenwald makes–becoming a charter makes it possible to have a property transfer tax–I think that the argument’s language is accurate. If this charter passes, it will be no easier to raise or impose taxes under a charter than it is now. The voters of Davis will still make the final determination on taxation although they may have more options to choose from in terms of the means by which taxation can be imposed.

I have not decided whether I will support or oppose this charter. I still believe I have a good deal to learn about the charter before I can make an informed decision. However, from what I have read and from those I have spoken with in the last few days, I do not believe the issue of taxation should be a determination as to whether or not people support the charter. Everything I have found indicates that the protections in place under a General Law City will remain under the proposed Charter.

That said, I do agree with Councilmember Greenwald that a property transfer tax is unfair as it puts the tax burden on those who either wish to upgrade to their “dream home” or who wish to downsize to a smaller more affordable home, perhaps later in their lives. There it puts a burden on younger families looking to get a better home and older citizens who are looking for a smaller and more manageable home as they enjoy their later years. This does not seem to be an equitable distribution of the tax burden.

Moreover, I am concerned about the burden being placed on citizens to live in Davis with the growing pressures of the city’s budget. The current salary structure and increase in budgetary allocation to upper management salaries is putting a strain on city resources. It is currently forcing the city to forestall critical repairs to roads and other infrastructure in order to balance the budget. We are going to have to pay for this imbalance either through less services, more taxes, or greater pressures to continue to develop. This does not even include the current discussion on water and the possible large increases to water rates that residents may have to face. For those worried about the cost of homes pricing people out of this community, the high taxes and high utility rates at the very least will exacerbate that trend.

However, from the perspective of this initiative on the ballot, it does not appear to change the protections that residents have against future taxes.

The question before us should examine the reasons why such a change should be necessary. Councilmember Don Saylor has been the only consistent dissenter on council on this issue. He has repeatedly questioned whether there was a reason that we need to do this right now and has termed it “a solution in search of a problem.”

Proponents have pressed for these changes out of a desire to see a Choice Voting system be implemented. Choice Voting requires the city adopt a Charter in order for it to be legal to implement. The question I think people need to look into is what the possible unintended consequences of a Charter City might be and then whether those potential consequences are ultimately outweighed by the benefits of a possible Choice Voting system.

These questions will not be resolved today, however at this point it appears that tax concerns should not be a reason to oppose a Charter City initiative and Measure N.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting
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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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180 thoughts on “Language of Argument for Charter City Ballot Initiative Sparks Disagreement Amongst Supporters”

  1. Anonymous

    A charter city will allow more local control for our city and allow us to do innovative things in the city. What is everyone afraid of?

    The ability to move to “choice voting” is just one example. Berkeley’s innovative program to help its citizens install solar energy systems on their homes is another example.

    The City already has ways to raise taxes with the current system. I don’t see that as a reason to not vote for the charter city.

  2. Anonymous

    A charter city will allow more local control for our city and allow us to do innovative things in the city. What is everyone afraid of?

    The ability to move to “choice voting” is just one example. Berkeley’s innovative program to help its citizens install solar energy systems on their homes is another example.

    The City already has ways to raise taxes with the current system. I don’t see that as a reason to not vote for the charter city.

  3. Anonymous

    A charter city will allow more local control for our city and allow us to do innovative things in the city. What is everyone afraid of?

    The ability to move to “choice voting” is just one example. Berkeley’s innovative program to help its citizens install solar energy systems on their homes is another example.

    The City already has ways to raise taxes with the current system. I don’t see that as a reason to not vote for the charter city.

  4. Anonymous

    A charter city will allow more local control for our city and allow us to do innovative things in the city. What is everyone afraid of?

    The ability to move to “choice voting” is just one example. Berkeley’s innovative program to help its citizens install solar energy systems on their homes is another example.

    The City already has ways to raise taxes with the current system. I don’t see that as a reason to not vote for the charter city.

  5. Anonymous

    Of course, Saylor sees no value in pursuing the Charter City option. He likes the old-time Davis politics just fine with Davis being controlled by his patrons.

  6. Anonymous

    Of course, Saylor sees no value in pursuing the Charter City option. He likes the old-time Davis politics just fine with Davis being controlled by his patrons.

  7. Anonymous

    Of course, Saylor sees no value in pursuing the Charter City option. He likes the old-time Davis politics just fine with Davis being controlled by his patrons.

  8. Anonymous

    Of course, Saylor sees no value in pursuing the Charter City option. He likes the old-time Davis politics just fine with Davis being controlled by his patrons.

  9. Sue Greenwald

    David Greenwald,

    As I wrote you, I support the charter, although with reservations. After much thought, I voted for it, and was willing to sign the ballot statement.

    I just can’t sign a ballot statement that is not accurate.

    You e-mailed me and asked me why I thought the ballot argument was inaccurate.

    I explained to you that, as the City Attorney said, a charter city can impose a property transfer tax, but it would still be subject to a vote of the people.

    That is not the same thing as saying “If this charter passes, it will be no easier to raise or impose taxes under a charter than it is now.”

    Again, I explained to you that without a charter, there can be no real estate transfer tax. With a charter, there can be such a tax, subject to a vote of the people.

    As we have seen with Prop. 13, a vote of the people does not necessarily protect us from unfair taxes.

    Unfortunately, if a majority of people believe, rightly or wrongly, that they can pass off a tax burden to a minority of people, they often will.

    There are many other ways that the ballot statement could have been written that would have been accurate.

    For instance, it could have merely said that the charter does not in any way compromise the citizens’ right to vote on new taxes.

    If it had been written this way, I would have signed it.

  10. Sue Greenwald

    David Greenwald,

    As I wrote you, I support the charter, although with reservations. After much thought, I voted for it, and was willing to sign the ballot statement.

    I just can’t sign a ballot statement that is not accurate.

    You e-mailed me and asked me why I thought the ballot argument was inaccurate.

    I explained to you that, as the City Attorney said, a charter city can impose a property transfer tax, but it would still be subject to a vote of the people.

    That is not the same thing as saying “If this charter passes, it will be no easier to raise or impose taxes under a charter than it is now.”

    Again, I explained to you that without a charter, there can be no real estate transfer tax. With a charter, there can be such a tax, subject to a vote of the people.

    As we have seen with Prop. 13, a vote of the people does not necessarily protect us from unfair taxes.

    Unfortunately, if a majority of people believe, rightly or wrongly, that they can pass off a tax burden to a minority of people, they often will.

    There are many other ways that the ballot statement could have been written that would have been accurate.

    For instance, it could have merely said that the charter does not in any way compromise the citizens’ right to vote on new taxes.

    If it had been written this way, I would have signed it.

  11. Sue Greenwald

    David Greenwald,

    As I wrote you, I support the charter, although with reservations. After much thought, I voted for it, and was willing to sign the ballot statement.

    I just can’t sign a ballot statement that is not accurate.

    You e-mailed me and asked me why I thought the ballot argument was inaccurate.

    I explained to you that, as the City Attorney said, a charter city can impose a property transfer tax, but it would still be subject to a vote of the people.

    That is not the same thing as saying “If this charter passes, it will be no easier to raise or impose taxes under a charter than it is now.”

    Again, I explained to you that without a charter, there can be no real estate transfer tax. With a charter, there can be such a tax, subject to a vote of the people.

    As we have seen with Prop. 13, a vote of the people does not necessarily protect us from unfair taxes.

    Unfortunately, if a majority of people believe, rightly or wrongly, that they can pass off a tax burden to a minority of people, they often will.

    There are many other ways that the ballot statement could have been written that would have been accurate.

    For instance, it could have merely said that the charter does not in any way compromise the citizens’ right to vote on new taxes.

    If it had been written this way, I would have signed it.

  12. Sue Greenwald

    David Greenwald,

    As I wrote you, I support the charter, although with reservations. After much thought, I voted for it, and was willing to sign the ballot statement.

    I just can’t sign a ballot statement that is not accurate.

    You e-mailed me and asked me why I thought the ballot argument was inaccurate.

    I explained to you that, as the City Attorney said, a charter city can impose a property transfer tax, but it would still be subject to a vote of the people.

    That is not the same thing as saying “If this charter passes, it will be no easier to raise or impose taxes under a charter than it is now.”

    Again, I explained to you that without a charter, there can be no real estate transfer tax. With a charter, there can be such a tax, subject to a vote of the people.

    As we have seen with Prop. 13, a vote of the people does not necessarily protect us from unfair taxes.

    Unfortunately, if a majority of people believe, rightly or wrongly, that they can pass off a tax burden to a minority of people, they often will.

    There are many other ways that the ballot statement could have been written that would have been accurate.

    For instance, it could have merely said that the charter does not in any way compromise the citizens’ right to vote on new taxes.

    If it had been written this way, I would have signed it.

  13. supporting a charter city

    Sue,

    It sounds like you simply wanted total control of the wording for the ballot statement. You did not want to work with other council members to reach an agreement from the way I read it. This is unfortunate and one of the problems that always seems to come up when people attempt to work with you. Please try to be more reasonable.

  14. supporting a charter city

    Sue,

    It sounds like you simply wanted total control of the wording for the ballot statement. You did not want to work with other council members to reach an agreement from the way I read it. This is unfortunate and one of the problems that always seems to come up when people attempt to work with you. Please try to be more reasonable.

  15. supporting a charter city

    Sue,

    It sounds like you simply wanted total control of the wording for the ballot statement. You did not want to work with other council members to reach an agreement from the way I read it. This is unfortunate and one of the problems that always seems to come up when people attempt to work with you. Please try to be more reasonable.

  16. supporting a charter city

    Sue,

    It sounds like you simply wanted total control of the wording for the ballot statement. You did not want to work with other council members to reach an agreement from the way I read it. This is unfortunate and one of the problems that always seems to come up when people attempt to work with you. Please try to be more reasonable.

  17. davisite

    Sue.. your explanation is well-thought-out as you ask that the wording be truly accurate. The posting of “suporting the city charter” is, as usual, a personal attack rather than addressing your argument. We ,in Davis. are very fortunate to have someone with your experience, work ethic and intellect willing to represent us on our city council.

  18. davisite

    Sue.. your explanation is well-thought-out as you ask that the wording be truly accurate. The posting of “suporting the city charter” is, as usual, a personal attack rather than addressing your argument. We ,in Davis. are very fortunate to have someone with your experience, work ethic and intellect willing to represent us on our city council.

  19. davisite

    Sue.. your explanation is well-thought-out as you ask that the wording be truly accurate. The posting of “suporting the city charter” is, as usual, a personal attack rather than addressing your argument. We ,in Davis. are very fortunate to have someone with your experience, work ethic and intellect willing to represent us on our city council.

  20. davisite

    Sue.. your explanation is well-thought-out as you ask that the wording be truly accurate. The posting of “suporting the city charter” is, as usual, a personal attack rather than addressing your argument. We ,in Davis. are very fortunate to have someone with your experience, work ethic and intellect willing to represent us on our city council.

  21. Anonymous

    DPD:

    I don’t understand Bill Emlen’s response. If the charter does not specifically address a real estate transfer tax, why would it be necessary to amend the charter in order to impose such a tax? And, can such a tax be imposed without a vote of the people under a charter? I am still not convinced that Harriet is correct when she says that under a charter, we are still governed by the same state regulations and laws. That is not my information. Charter cities can choose not to abide by some state regulations and laws, and taxation is included in this, I believe.

    I believe that the subcommittee and council acted hastily in placing this on the ballot. I believe that such a fundamental change in how we are governed requires a great deal of public discussion and education. This should not have gotten this far so quickly. This should have required many public hearings and discussions before being presented in its final form. It is all well and good that a subcommittee drafts an ordinance, but that should then be vetted with the public, and not as part of a campaign where you have a final product with no negotitating room.

    I predict that this will fail and will cause the school tax to fail as well. It is evidence of government running amok, just as the school board did when they chose to ignore the consultant’s recommendation and to go with the $120 tax rather than the $80 tax. There is no reason to change how we are governed here in Davis. There has been no public movement to even consider becoming a charter city. This arose out of the desire of some to move to choice voting. That vote of the people asked the council to “consider” choice voting , not to implement it and certainly not to change how we are governed by shifting us to a charter city with no public debate. If people who voted to consider choice voting all knew it meant becoming a charter city with all its potential pit falls, that vote would have been very different.

  22. Anonymous

    DPD:

    I don’t understand Bill Emlen’s response. If the charter does not specifically address a real estate transfer tax, why would it be necessary to amend the charter in order to impose such a tax? And, can such a tax be imposed without a vote of the people under a charter? I am still not convinced that Harriet is correct when she says that under a charter, we are still governed by the same state regulations and laws. That is not my information. Charter cities can choose not to abide by some state regulations and laws, and taxation is included in this, I believe.

    I believe that the subcommittee and council acted hastily in placing this on the ballot. I believe that such a fundamental change in how we are governed requires a great deal of public discussion and education. This should not have gotten this far so quickly. This should have required many public hearings and discussions before being presented in its final form. It is all well and good that a subcommittee drafts an ordinance, but that should then be vetted with the public, and not as part of a campaign where you have a final product with no negotitating room.

    I predict that this will fail and will cause the school tax to fail as well. It is evidence of government running amok, just as the school board did when they chose to ignore the consultant’s recommendation and to go with the $120 tax rather than the $80 tax. There is no reason to change how we are governed here in Davis. There has been no public movement to even consider becoming a charter city. This arose out of the desire of some to move to choice voting. That vote of the people asked the council to “consider” choice voting , not to implement it and certainly not to change how we are governed by shifting us to a charter city with no public debate. If people who voted to consider choice voting all knew it meant becoming a charter city with all its potential pit falls, that vote would have been very different.

  23. Anonymous

    DPD:

    I don’t understand Bill Emlen’s response. If the charter does not specifically address a real estate transfer tax, why would it be necessary to amend the charter in order to impose such a tax? And, can such a tax be imposed without a vote of the people under a charter? I am still not convinced that Harriet is correct when she says that under a charter, we are still governed by the same state regulations and laws. That is not my information. Charter cities can choose not to abide by some state regulations and laws, and taxation is included in this, I believe.

    I believe that the subcommittee and council acted hastily in placing this on the ballot. I believe that such a fundamental change in how we are governed requires a great deal of public discussion and education. This should not have gotten this far so quickly. This should have required many public hearings and discussions before being presented in its final form. It is all well and good that a subcommittee drafts an ordinance, but that should then be vetted with the public, and not as part of a campaign where you have a final product with no negotitating room.

    I predict that this will fail and will cause the school tax to fail as well. It is evidence of government running amok, just as the school board did when they chose to ignore the consultant’s recommendation and to go with the $120 tax rather than the $80 tax. There is no reason to change how we are governed here in Davis. There has been no public movement to even consider becoming a charter city. This arose out of the desire of some to move to choice voting. That vote of the people asked the council to “consider” choice voting , not to implement it and certainly not to change how we are governed by shifting us to a charter city with no public debate. If people who voted to consider choice voting all knew it meant becoming a charter city with all its potential pit falls, that vote would have been very different.

  24. Anonymous

    DPD:

    I don’t understand Bill Emlen’s response. If the charter does not specifically address a real estate transfer tax, why would it be necessary to amend the charter in order to impose such a tax? And, can such a tax be imposed without a vote of the people under a charter? I am still not convinced that Harriet is correct when she says that under a charter, we are still governed by the same state regulations and laws. That is not my information. Charter cities can choose not to abide by some state regulations and laws, and taxation is included in this, I believe.

    I believe that the subcommittee and council acted hastily in placing this on the ballot. I believe that such a fundamental change in how we are governed requires a great deal of public discussion and education. This should not have gotten this far so quickly. This should have required many public hearings and discussions before being presented in its final form. It is all well and good that a subcommittee drafts an ordinance, but that should then be vetted with the public, and not as part of a campaign where you have a final product with no negotitating room.

    I predict that this will fail and will cause the school tax to fail as well. It is evidence of government running amok, just as the school board did when they chose to ignore the consultant’s recommendation and to go with the $120 tax rather than the $80 tax. There is no reason to change how we are governed here in Davis. There has been no public movement to even consider becoming a charter city. This arose out of the desire of some to move to choice voting. That vote of the people asked the council to “consider” choice voting , not to implement it and certainly not to change how we are governed by shifting us to a charter city with no public debate. If people who voted to consider choice voting all knew it meant becoming a charter city with all its potential pit falls, that vote would have been very different.

  25. Anonymous

    All right. Enough with the personal attacks on Sue. She was absolutely right to refuse to sign the ballot argument. It is not factual and should be challenged. Sue also had nothing to do with writing the ballot argument, and made no attempts to try to control language. She did not even see it until Friday afternoon, when she went to sign it. The drafters did not afford her even that courtesy. I have helped draft many ballot arguments, and we always, and I mean always, run the language by the potential signers well in advance of obtaining their signature. That is not only common courtesy, it is necessary, as you can see what happens when a signer does not agree with the language–they don’t sign, and rightfully so.

    And on another issue, charters supposedly give more power to the people, though I have never seen obvious evidence for that, but they do give more power to the electeds, and that scares the heck out of me.

  26. Anonymous

    All right. Enough with the personal attacks on Sue. She was absolutely right to refuse to sign the ballot argument. It is not factual and should be challenged. Sue also had nothing to do with writing the ballot argument, and made no attempts to try to control language. She did not even see it until Friday afternoon, when she went to sign it. The drafters did not afford her even that courtesy. I have helped draft many ballot arguments, and we always, and I mean always, run the language by the potential signers well in advance of obtaining their signature. That is not only common courtesy, it is necessary, as you can see what happens when a signer does not agree with the language–they don’t sign, and rightfully so.

    And on another issue, charters supposedly give more power to the people, though I have never seen obvious evidence for that, but they do give more power to the electeds, and that scares the heck out of me.

  27. Anonymous

    All right. Enough with the personal attacks on Sue. She was absolutely right to refuse to sign the ballot argument. It is not factual and should be challenged. Sue also had nothing to do with writing the ballot argument, and made no attempts to try to control language. She did not even see it until Friday afternoon, when she went to sign it. The drafters did not afford her even that courtesy. I have helped draft many ballot arguments, and we always, and I mean always, run the language by the potential signers well in advance of obtaining their signature. That is not only common courtesy, it is necessary, as you can see what happens when a signer does not agree with the language–they don’t sign, and rightfully so.

    And on another issue, charters supposedly give more power to the people, though I have never seen obvious evidence for that, but they do give more power to the electeds, and that scares the heck out of me.

  28. Anonymous

    All right. Enough with the personal attacks on Sue. She was absolutely right to refuse to sign the ballot argument. It is not factual and should be challenged. Sue also had nothing to do with writing the ballot argument, and made no attempts to try to control language. She did not even see it until Friday afternoon, when she went to sign it. The drafters did not afford her even that courtesy. I have helped draft many ballot arguments, and we always, and I mean always, run the language by the potential signers well in advance of obtaining their signature. That is not only common courtesy, it is necessary, as you can see what happens when a signer does not agree with the language–they don’t sign, and rightfully so.

    And on another issue, charters supposedly give more power to the people, though I have never seen obvious evidence for that, but they do give more power to the electeds, and that scares the heck out of me.

  29. FastFwed

    “She is benefiting from low property taxes under prop 13”
    You’re not paying attention but SO ARE YOU. Without the annual limits imposed by “13” you too probably wouldn’t be able to afford the taxes on your home! How much do you think we’d all be paying in taxes if prop. 13 had not passed?? Anyone ever ask that? If you feel that GUILTY about how much you have, send in a check every couple of weeks–see if they don’t cash it….you know they will…just donate all you have to the City and DJUSD!!

  30. FastFwed

    “She is benefiting from low property taxes under prop 13”
    You’re not paying attention but SO ARE YOU. Without the annual limits imposed by “13” you too probably wouldn’t be able to afford the taxes on your home! How much do you think we’d all be paying in taxes if prop. 13 had not passed?? Anyone ever ask that? If you feel that GUILTY about how much you have, send in a check every couple of weeks–see if they don’t cash it….you know they will…just donate all you have to the City and DJUSD!!

  31. FastFwed

    “She is benefiting from low property taxes under prop 13”
    You’re not paying attention but SO ARE YOU. Without the annual limits imposed by “13” you too probably wouldn’t be able to afford the taxes on your home! How much do you think we’d all be paying in taxes if prop. 13 had not passed?? Anyone ever ask that? If you feel that GUILTY about how much you have, send in a check every couple of weeks–see if they don’t cash it….you know they will…just donate all you have to the City and DJUSD!!

  32. FastFwed

    “She is benefiting from low property taxes under prop 13”
    You’re not paying attention but SO ARE YOU. Without the annual limits imposed by “13” you too probably wouldn’t be able to afford the taxes on your home! How much do you think we’d all be paying in taxes if prop. 13 had not passed?? Anyone ever ask that? If you feel that GUILTY about how much you have, send in a check every couple of weeks–see if they don’t cash it….you know they will…just donate all you have to the City and DJUSD!!

  33. Sue Greenwald

    In the past, when the council has signed ballot statements concerning measures that the council puts on the ballot, the attorney has instructed us to appoint a subcommittee to write the ballot argument, and leave it at the city clerk’s office for other councilmembers to sign, in order to avoid Brown Act violations.

    Thus, it was impossible for me to give input. I will ask the city attorney to review that determination for the future.

    Regarding the previous posts: To me, it is seriously dishonest to say:

    “If this charter passes, it will be no easier to raise or impose taxes under a charter than it is now.”

    Note: I did not make an issue of this; David Greenwald (DPD) did.

    I was willing to let it slide in order to avoid the appearance that I was criticizing the council subcommittee, and write my own letter to the editor supporting the charter.

  34. Sue Greenwald

    In the past, when the council has signed ballot statements concerning measures that the council puts on the ballot, the attorney has instructed us to appoint a subcommittee to write the ballot argument, and leave it at the city clerk’s office for other councilmembers to sign, in order to avoid Brown Act violations.

    Thus, it was impossible for me to give input. I will ask the city attorney to review that determination for the future.

    Regarding the previous posts: To me, it is seriously dishonest to say:

    “If this charter passes, it will be no easier to raise or impose taxes under a charter than it is now.”

    Note: I did not make an issue of this; David Greenwald (DPD) did.

    I was willing to let it slide in order to avoid the appearance that I was criticizing the council subcommittee, and write my own letter to the editor supporting the charter.

  35. Sue Greenwald

    In the past, when the council has signed ballot statements concerning measures that the council puts on the ballot, the attorney has instructed us to appoint a subcommittee to write the ballot argument, and leave it at the city clerk’s office for other councilmembers to sign, in order to avoid Brown Act violations.

    Thus, it was impossible for me to give input. I will ask the city attorney to review that determination for the future.

    Regarding the previous posts: To me, it is seriously dishonest to say:

    “If this charter passes, it will be no easier to raise or impose taxes under a charter than it is now.”

    Note: I did not make an issue of this; David Greenwald (DPD) did.

    I was willing to let it slide in order to avoid the appearance that I was criticizing the council subcommittee, and write my own letter to the editor supporting the charter.

  36. Sue Greenwald

    In the past, when the council has signed ballot statements concerning measures that the council puts on the ballot, the attorney has instructed us to appoint a subcommittee to write the ballot argument, and leave it at the city clerk’s office for other councilmembers to sign, in order to avoid Brown Act violations.

    Thus, it was impossible for me to give input. I will ask the city attorney to review that determination for the future.

    Regarding the previous posts: To me, it is seriously dishonest to say:

    “If this charter passes, it will be no easier to raise or impose taxes under a charter than it is now.”

    Note: I did not make an issue of this; David Greenwald (DPD) did.

    I was willing to let it slide in order to avoid the appearance that I was criticizing the council subcommittee, and write my own letter to the editor supporting the charter.

  37. Doug Paul Davis

    Anonymous:

    “If the charter does not specifically address a real estate transfer tax, why would it be necessary to amend the charter in order to impose such a tax? And, can such a tax be imposed without a vote of the people under a charter?”

    The charter is set up to basically keep the current laws on the books intact. A real estate transfer tax is not permitted under general law status. In order allow it there must be a specific change the charter.

    Think of the new charter as a constitution for the city, any time you change–in order to change requires a vote of the people.

    No new taxes can be imposed nor can old ones be increase without the consent of the voters.

    That why I believe that the language of the ballot argument is accurate–it doesn’t make it easier to pass a tax than under the existing system, it does mean that certain taxes are now possible that may not have been before but these still require voter consent.

  38. Doug Paul Davis

    Anonymous:

    “If the charter does not specifically address a real estate transfer tax, why would it be necessary to amend the charter in order to impose such a tax? And, can such a tax be imposed without a vote of the people under a charter?”

    The charter is set up to basically keep the current laws on the books intact. A real estate transfer tax is not permitted under general law status. In order allow it there must be a specific change the charter.

    Think of the new charter as a constitution for the city, any time you change–in order to change requires a vote of the people.

    No new taxes can be imposed nor can old ones be increase without the consent of the voters.

    That why I believe that the language of the ballot argument is accurate–it doesn’t make it easier to pass a tax than under the existing system, it does mean that certain taxes are now possible that may not have been before but these still require voter consent.

  39. Doug Paul Davis

    Anonymous:

    “If the charter does not specifically address a real estate transfer tax, why would it be necessary to amend the charter in order to impose such a tax? And, can such a tax be imposed without a vote of the people under a charter?”

    The charter is set up to basically keep the current laws on the books intact. A real estate transfer tax is not permitted under general law status. In order allow it there must be a specific change the charter.

    Think of the new charter as a constitution for the city, any time you change–in order to change requires a vote of the people.

    No new taxes can be imposed nor can old ones be increase without the consent of the voters.

    That why I believe that the language of the ballot argument is accurate–it doesn’t make it easier to pass a tax than under the existing system, it does mean that certain taxes are now possible that may not have been before but these still require voter consent.

  40. Doug Paul Davis

    Anonymous:

    “If the charter does not specifically address a real estate transfer tax, why would it be necessary to amend the charter in order to impose such a tax? And, can such a tax be imposed without a vote of the people under a charter?”

    The charter is set up to basically keep the current laws on the books intact. A real estate transfer tax is not permitted under general law status. In order allow it there must be a specific change the charter.

    Think of the new charter as a constitution for the city, any time you change–in order to change requires a vote of the people.

    No new taxes can be imposed nor can old ones be increase without the consent of the voters.

    That why I believe that the language of the ballot argument is accurate–it doesn’t make it easier to pass a tax than under the existing system, it does mean that certain taxes are now possible that may not have been before but these still require voter consent.

  41. Sue Greenwald

    David,

    I don’t see how you can seriously maintain that overcoming the hurdle of becoming a charter city does not make it easier to pass a real-estate transfer tax. It would clearly be harder to pass a charter and the tax together.

    Taxes are frequently put on the ballot during low turnout elections, where proponents use “get out the vote” to get only supporters to the polls. If the voters had to decide to make a fundamental change in our form of government in order to pass a tax, clearly some would think twice.

  42. Sue Greenwald

    David,

    I don’t see how you can seriously maintain that overcoming the hurdle of becoming a charter city does not make it easier to pass a real-estate transfer tax. It would clearly be harder to pass a charter and the tax together.

    Taxes are frequently put on the ballot during low turnout elections, where proponents use “get out the vote” to get only supporters to the polls. If the voters had to decide to make a fundamental change in our form of government in order to pass a tax, clearly some would think twice.

  43. Sue Greenwald

    David,

    I don’t see how you can seriously maintain that overcoming the hurdle of becoming a charter city does not make it easier to pass a real-estate transfer tax. It would clearly be harder to pass a charter and the tax together.

    Taxes are frequently put on the ballot during low turnout elections, where proponents use “get out the vote” to get only supporters to the polls. If the voters had to decide to make a fundamental change in our form of government in order to pass a tax, clearly some would think twice.

  44. Sue Greenwald

    David,

    I don’t see how you can seriously maintain that overcoming the hurdle of becoming a charter city does not make it easier to pass a real-estate transfer tax. It would clearly be harder to pass a charter and the tax together.

    Taxes are frequently put on the ballot during low turnout elections, where proponents use “get out the vote” to get only supporters to the polls. If the voters had to decide to make a fundamental change in our form of government in order to pass a tax, clearly some would think twice.

  45. Derrick

    Sue:

    This is what DPD said in his article…

    While I understand the point that Councilmember Sue Greenwald makes–becoming a charter makes it possible to have a property transfer tax–I think that the argument’s language is accurate. If this charter passes, it will be no easier to raise or impose taxes under a charter than it is now. The voters of Davis will still make the final determination on taxation although they may have more options to choose from in terms of the means by which taxation can be imposed.

    I tend to agree with his assessment, in general taxes are no easier to pass than before. The statement obviously wasn’t meant to cover this specific case.

    I think you should have signed the statement or at the very least have read the statement early enough to suggest a change. There is no Brown Act authority over this, it is a statement made by individuals on an electoral language, not a government action.

    I also don’t see why you believe this is a criticism of you, I don’t see it.

    It seemed like a pretty fair article, he just disagreed with you.

  46. Derrick

    Sue:

    This is what DPD said in his article…

    While I understand the point that Councilmember Sue Greenwald makes–becoming a charter makes it possible to have a property transfer tax–I think that the argument’s language is accurate. If this charter passes, it will be no easier to raise or impose taxes under a charter than it is now. The voters of Davis will still make the final determination on taxation although they may have more options to choose from in terms of the means by which taxation can be imposed.

    I tend to agree with his assessment, in general taxes are no easier to pass than before. The statement obviously wasn’t meant to cover this specific case.

    I think you should have signed the statement or at the very least have read the statement early enough to suggest a change. There is no Brown Act authority over this, it is a statement made by individuals on an electoral language, not a government action.

    I also don’t see why you believe this is a criticism of you, I don’t see it.

    It seemed like a pretty fair article, he just disagreed with you.

  47. Derrick

    Sue:

    This is what DPD said in his article…

    While I understand the point that Councilmember Sue Greenwald makes–becoming a charter makes it possible to have a property transfer tax–I think that the argument’s language is accurate. If this charter passes, it will be no easier to raise or impose taxes under a charter than it is now. The voters of Davis will still make the final determination on taxation although they may have more options to choose from in terms of the means by which taxation can be imposed.

    I tend to agree with his assessment, in general taxes are no easier to pass than before. The statement obviously wasn’t meant to cover this specific case.

    I think you should have signed the statement or at the very least have read the statement early enough to suggest a change. There is no Brown Act authority over this, it is a statement made by individuals on an electoral language, not a government action.

    I also don’t see why you believe this is a criticism of you, I don’t see it.

    It seemed like a pretty fair article, he just disagreed with you.

  48. Derrick

    Sue:

    This is what DPD said in his article…

    While I understand the point that Councilmember Sue Greenwald makes–becoming a charter makes it possible to have a property transfer tax–I think that the argument’s language is accurate. If this charter passes, it will be no easier to raise or impose taxes under a charter than it is now. The voters of Davis will still make the final determination on taxation although they may have more options to choose from in terms of the means by which taxation can be imposed.

    I tend to agree with his assessment, in general taxes are no easier to pass than before. The statement obviously wasn’t meant to cover this specific case.

    I think you should have signed the statement or at the very least have read the statement early enough to suggest a change. There is no Brown Act authority over this, it is a statement made by individuals on an electoral language, not a government action.

    I also don’t see why you believe this is a criticism of you, I don’t see it.

    It seemed like a pretty fair article, he just disagreed with you.

  49. Anonymous

    Well, I am learning just like everyone else, but I just checked out “Charter City” on the internet and find some differences under Charter City status (from General Law status), that give me cause for concern:

    Charter Cities:
    Are not bound by the California Elections Code.
    Can provide public financing for campaigns.
    Have broader assessment powers than a general law city, as well as taxation powers on a case by case basis.
    May impose real property transfer taxes.
    Zoning ordinaces are no required to be consistent with the general plan.

    These are a few that bother me.

    Where it says “may impose”, it does not specify whether that means it has to go to the voters or not. Also, even if, as David has pointed out, a property transfer tax did have to be amended to the charter and then that voted on, that is only a majority vote, not a 2/3 vote as taxes now require.

    This all needs a lot more study, and I wish we had pursued that prior to putting this to a vote.

  50. Anonymous

    Well, I am learning just like everyone else, but I just checked out “Charter City” on the internet and find some differences under Charter City status (from General Law status), that give me cause for concern:

    Charter Cities:
    Are not bound by the California Elections Code.
    Can provide public financing for campaigns.
    Have broader assessment powers than a general law city, as well as taxation powers on a case by case basis.
    May impose real property transfer taxes.
    Zoning ordinaces are no required to be consistent with the general plan.

    These are a few that bother me.

    Where it says “may impose”, it does not specify whether that means it has to go to the voters or not. Also, even if, as David has pointed out, a property transfer tax did have to be amended to the charter and then that voted on, that is only a majority vote, not a 2/3 vote as taxes now require.

    This all needs a lot more study, and I wish we had pursued that prior to putting this to a vote.

  51. Anonymous

    Well, I am learning just like everyone else, but I just checked out “Charter City” on the internet and find some differences under Charter City status (from General Law status), that give me cause for concern:

    Charter Cities:
    Are not bound by the California Elections Code.
    Can provide public financing for campaigns.
    Have broader assessment powers than a general law city, as well as taxation powers on a case by case basis.
    May impose real property transfer taxes.
    Zoning ordinaces are no required to be consistent with the general plan.

    These are a few that bother me.

    Where it says “may impose”, it does not specify whether that means it has to go to the voters or not. Also, even if, as David has pointed out, a property transfer tax did have to be amended to the charter and then that voted on, that is only a majority vote, not a 2/3 vote as taxes now require.

    This all needs a lot more study, and I wish we had pursued that prior to putting this to a vote.

  52. Anonymous

    Well, I am learning just like everyone else, but I just checked out “Charter City” on the internet and find some differences under Charter City status (from General Law status), that give me cause for concern:

    Charter Cities:
    Are not bound by the California Elections Code.
    Can provide public financing for campaigns.
    Have broader assessment powers than a general law city, as well as taxation powers on a case by case basis.
    May impose real property transfer taxes.
    Zoning ordinaces are no required to be consistent with the general plan.

    These are a few that bother me.

    Where it says “may impose”, it does not specify whether that means it has to go to the voters or not. Also, even if, as David has pointed out, a property transfer tax did have to be amended to the charter and then that voted on, that is only a majority vote, not a 2/3 vote as taxes now require.

    This all needs a lot more study, and I wish we had pursued that prior to putting this to a vote.

  53. Anonymous

    I personally don’t care if Sue Greenwald signs a ballot statement. And now that I know that she didn’t sign it for the reason that she describes, I could care even less. She should have signed it or if she felt that strongly about the wording, then she should have not and then kept quiet about it. No one would have noticed. No one would have cared. It is just not that important to the average Davis voter. Now she is creating a “bogeyman” reason for not voting for it. She has no trust in the voters of Davis. She doesn’t see that we won’t pass taxes when we don’t see a true need for them. I guess she thinks that we are all stupid and only Sue can save us from our stupidity.

  54. Anonymous

    I personally don’t care if Sue Greenwald signs a ballot statement. And now that I know that she didn’t sign it for the reason that she describes, I could care even less. She should have signed it or if she felt that strongly about the wording, then she should have not and then kept quiet about it. No one would have noticed. No one would have cared. It is just not that important to the average Davis voter. Now she is creating a “bogeyman” reason for not voting for it. She has no trust in the voters of Davis. She doesn’t see that we won’t pass taxes when we don’t see a true need for them. I guess she thinks that we are all stupid and only Sue can save us from our stupidity.

  55. Anonymous

    I personally don’t care if Sue Greenwald signs a ballot statement. And now that I know that she didn’t sign it for the reason that she describes, I could care even less. She should have signed it or if she felt that strongly about the wording, then she should have not and then kept quiet about it. No one would have noticed. No one would have cared. It is just not that important to the average Davis voter. Now she is creating a “bogeyman” reason for not voting for it. She has no trust in the voters of Davis. She doesn’t see that we won’t pass taxes when we don’t see a true need for them. I guess she thinks that we are all stupid and only Sue can save us from our stupidity.

  56. Anonymous

    I personally don’t care if Sue Greenwald signs a ballot statement. And now that I know that she didn’t sign it for the reason that she describes, I could care even less. She should have signed it or if she felt that strongly about the wording, then she should have not and then kept quiet about it. No one would have noticed. No one would have cared. It is just not that important to the average Davis voter. Now she is creating a “bogeyman” reason for not voting for it. She has no trust in the voters of Davis. She doesn’t see that we won’t pass taxes when we don’t see a true need for them. I guess she thinks that we are all stupid and only Sue can save us from our stupidity.

  57. NO ON CHARTER

    Ohmygosh!!! I can’t believe this discussion. If going charter allows another way to tax, what makes anyone think that the city won’t tax for what it needs, and implement a transfer tax on top of that for something they have determined is “core”. We’ve seen this done in the education arena. As hard as it is for me to say, I have to agree with Don Saylor on this one – becoming a charter city is a solution in search of a problem. Exactly what benefit is there to Choice Voting??? So far I haven’t heard a compelling reason.

  58. NO ON CHARTER

    Ohmygosh!!! I can’t believe this discussion. If going charter allows another way to tax, what makes anyone think that the city won’t tax for what it needs, and implement a transfer tax on top of that for something they have determined is “core”. We’ve seen this done in the education arena. As hard as it is for me to say, I have to agree with Don Saylor on this one – becoming a charter city is a solution in search of a problem. Exactly what benefit is there to Choice Voting??? So far I haven’t heard a compelling reason.

  59. NO ON CHARTER

    Ohmygosh!!! I can’t believe this discussion. If going charter allows another way to tax, what makes anyone think that the city won’t tax for what it needs, and implement a transfer tax on top of that for something they have determined is “core”. We’ve seen this done in the education arena. As hard as it is for me to say, I have to agree with Don Saylor on this one – becoming a charter city is a solution in search of a problem. Exactly what benefit is there to Choice Voting??? So far I haven’t heard a compelling reason.

  60. NO ON CHARTER

    Ohmygosh!!! I can’t believe this discussion. If going charter allows another way to tax, what makes anyone think that the city won’t tax for what it needs, and implement a transfer tax on top of that for something they have determined is “core”. We’ve seen this done in the education arena. As hard as it is for me to say, I have to agree with Don Saylor on this one – becoming a charter city is a solution in search of a problem. Exactly what benefit is there to Choice Voting??? So far I haven’t heard a compelling reason.

  61. Doug Paul Davis

    This is a case from 2001 involving the city of San Leandro:

    “Trader Sports, Inc. and several individuals1 (collectively, Traders) brought this action against the City of San Leandro (San Leandro) challenging a three-percent gross receipts tax imposed by the voters of San Leandro on businesses, such as Traders, that sell concealable firearms and ammunition for concealable firearms. Traders principally alleged that the method for submitting the tax to the voters for their approval violated the procedure set out by Government Code section 53724, subdivision (b), (hereafter section 53724), which is part of Proposition 62, a statutory initiative adopted by the voters of California in 1986. Section 53724 prohibits an ordinance proposing such a tax from being put before the voters unless it has been “approved by a two-thirds vote of all members of the legislative body of the local government or district.” Despite section 53724, the San Leandro City Council (City Council) approved placing the tax on the ballot by a simple majority, rather than a two-thirds vote of its members.

    This appeal challenges the sustaining of San Leandro’s demurrer to Traders’ complaint without leave to amend. In conducting our review, this court is required to explore the limits of the power of a home rule charter city, such as San Leandro, to follow charter provisions and ordinances that are in conflict with state statutes. We conclude that, as a charter city, section 53724 cannot override San Leandro’s core constitutional authority over the conduct of its local elections. (See Cal. Const., art. XI, § 5, subd. (a).) Accordingly, we affirm the trial court’s judgment in favor of San Leandro because the two-thirds vote requirement of section 53724 is superseded by San Leandro’s charter and municipal code, which allows a tax measure to be placed on the ballot by a simple majority vote of the City Council.

    Now Davis has no such simple majority provision in its charter, therefore it seems highly unlikely that the city could raise a tax with a majority vote by the population.

    It would seem then that the city would be required to have two votes in order to pass a real estate transfer tax. The first would be to authorize it through the charter. The second would be to pass the tax itself.

    If anyone can find another more recent case on this, I’d be curious.

  62. Doug Paul Davis

    This is a case from 2001 involving the city of San Leandro:

    “Trader Sports, Inc. and several individuals1 (collectively, Traders) brought this action against the City of San Leandro (San Leandro) challenging a three-percent gross receipts tax imposed by the voters of San Leandro on businesses, such as Traders, that sell concealable firearms and ammunition for concealable firearms. Traders principally alleged that the method for submitting the tax to the voters for their approval violated the procedure set out by Government Code section 53724, subdivision (b), (hereafter section 53724), which is part of Proposition 62, a statutory initiative adopted by the voters of California in 1986. Section 53724 prohibits an ordinance proposing such a tax from being put before the voters unless it has been “approved by a two-thirds vote of all members of the legislative body of the local government or district.” Despite section 53724, the San Leandro City Council (City Council) approved placing the tax on the ballot by a simple majority, rather than a two-thirds vote of its members.

    This appeal challenges the sustaining of San Leandro’s demurrer to Traders’ complaint without leave to amend. In conducting our review, this court is required to explore the limits of the power of a home rule charter city, such as San Leandro, to follow charter provisions and ordinances that are in conflict with state statutes. We conclude that, as a charter city, section 53724 cannot override San Leandro’s core constitutional authority over the conduct of its local elections. (See Cal. Const., art. XI, § 5, subd. (a).) Accordingly, we affirm the trial court’s judgment in favor of San Leandro because the two-thirds vote requirement of section 53724 is superseded by San Leandro’s charter and municipal code, which allows a tax measure to be placed on the ballot by a simple majority vote of the City Council.

    Now Davis has no such simple majority provision in its charter, therefore it seems highly unlikely that the city could raise a tax with a majority vote by the population.

    It would seem then that the city would be required to have two votes in order to pass a real estate transfer tax. The first would be to authorize it through the charter. The second would be to pass the tax itself.

    If anyone can find another more recent case on this, I’d be curious.

  63. Doug Paul Davis

    This is a case from 2001 involving the city of San Leandro:

    “Trader Sports, Inc. and several individuals1 (collectively, Traders) brought this action against the City of San Leandro (San Leandro) challenging a three-percent gross receipts tax imposed by the voters of San Leandro on businesses, such as Traders, that sell concealable firearms and ammunition for concealable firearms. Traders principally alleged that the method for submitting the tax to the voters for their approval violated the procedure set out by Government Code section 53724, subdivision (b), (hereafter section 53724), which is part of Proposition 62, a statutory initiative adopted by the voters of California in 1986. Section 53724 prohibits an ordinance proposing such a tax from being put before the voters unless it has been “approved by a two-thirds vote of all members of the legislative body of the local government or district.” Despite section 53724, the San Leandro City Council (City Council) approved placing the tax on the ballot by a simple majority, rather than a two-thirds vote of its members.

    This appeal challenges the sustaining of San Leandro’s demurrer to Traders’ complaint without leave to amend. In conducting our review, this court is required to explore the limits of the power of a home rule charter city, such as San Leandro, to follow charter provisions and ordinances that are in conflict with state statutes. We conclude that, as a charter city, section 53724 cannot override San Leandro’s core constitutional authority over the conduct of its local elections. (See Cal. Const., art. XI, § 5, subd. (a).) Accordingly, we affirm the trial court’s judgment in favor of San Leandro because the two-thirds vote requirement of section 53724 is superseded by San Leandro’s charter and municipal code, which allows a tax measure to be placed on the ballot by a simple majority vote of the City Council.

    Now Davis has no such simple majority provision in its charter, therefore it seems highly unlikely that the city could raise a tax with a majority vote by the population.

    It would seem then that the city would be required to have two votes in order to pass a real estate transfer tax. The first would be to authorize it through the charter. The second would be to pass the tax itself.

    If anyone can find another more recent case on this, I’d be curious.

  64. Doug Paul Davis

    This is a case from 2001 involving the city of San Leandro:

    “Trader Sports, Inc. and several individuals1 (collectively, Traders) brought this action against the City of San Leandro (San Leandro) challenging a three-percent gross receipts tax imposed by the voters of San Leandro on businesses, such as Traders, that sell concealable firearms and ammunition for concealable firearms. Traders principally alleged that the method for submitting the tax to the voters for their approval violated the procedure set out by Government Code section 53724, subdivision (b), (hereafter section 53724), which is part of Proposition 62, a statutory initiative adopted by the voters of California in 1986. Section 53724 prohibits an ordinance proposing such a tax from being put before the voters unless it has been “approved by a two-thirds vote of all members of the legislative body of the local government or district.” Despite section 53724, the San Leandro City Council (City Council) approved placing the tax on the ballot by a simple majority, rather than a two-thirds vote of its members.

    This appeal challenges the sustaining of San Leandro’s demurrer to Traders’ complaint without leave to amend. In conducting our review, this court is required to explore the limits of the power of a home rule charter city, such as San Leandro, to follow charter provisions and ordinances that are in conflict with state statutes. We conclude that, as a charter city, section 53724 cannot override San Leandro’s core constitutional authority over the conduct of its local elections. (See Cal. Const., art. XI, § 5, subd. (a).) Accordingly, we affirm the trial court’s judgment in favor of San Leandro because the two-thirds vote requirement of section 53724 is superseded by San Leandro’s charter and municipal code, which allows a tax measure to be placed on the ballot by a simple majority vote of the City Council.

    Now Davis has no such simple majority provision in its charter, therefore it seems highly unlikely that the city could raise a tax with a majority vote by the population.

    It would seem then that the city would be required to have two votes in order to pass a real estate transfer tax. The first would be to authorize it through the charter. The second would be to pass the tax itself.

    If anyone can find another more recent case on this, I’d be curious.

  65. missing something?

    “It would seem then that the city would be required to have two votes in order to pass a real estate transfer tax. The first would be to authorize it through the charter. The second would be to pass the tax itself. If anyone can find another more recent case on this, I’d be curious.”

    Think about it folks. Do you want to remain ever vigilant in fear the City Council, desperate for money to pay “unmet needs”, push the electorate to go along with another tax? This time it is a transfer tax. Next time it is an “unmet needs” tax. The schools are doing it right now with yet another parcel tax for “core curricula” which means God knows what!!! Why would you want to give the City Council any more power to raise a different kind of tax than it already has? Am I missing something here?

  66. missing something?

    “It would seem then that the city would be required to have two votes in order to pass a real estate transfer tax. The first would be to authorize it through the charter. The second would be to pass the tax itself. If anyone can find another more recent case on this, I’d be curious.”

    Think about it folks. Do you want to remain ever vigilant in fear the City Council, desperate for money to pay “unmet needs”, push the electorate to go along with another tax? This time it is a transfer tax. Next time it is an “unmet needs” tax. The schools are doing it right now with yet another parcel tax for “core curricula” which means God knows what!!! Why would you want to give the City Council any more power to raise a different kind of tax than it already has? Am I missing something here?

  67. missing something?

    “It would seem then that the city would be required to have two votes in order to pass a real estate transfer tax. The first would be to authorize it through the charter. The second would be to pass the tax itself. If anyone can find another more recent case on this, I’d be curious.”

    Think about it folks. Do you want to remain ever vigilant in fear the City Council, desperate for money to pay “unmet needs”, push the electorate to go along with another tax? This time it is a transfer tax. Next time it is an “unmet needs” tax. The schools are doing it right now with yet another parcel tax for “core curricula” which means God knows what!!! Why would you want to give the City Council any more power to raise a different kind of tax than it already has? Am I missing something here?

  68. missing something?

    “It would seem then that the city would be required to have two votes in order to pass a real estate transfer tax. The first would be to authorize it through the charter. The second would be to pass the tax itself. If anyone can find another more recent case on this, I’d be curious.”

    Think about it folks. Do you want to remain ever vigilant in fear the City Council, desperate for money to pay “unmet needs”, push the electorate to go along with another tax? This time it is a transfer tax. Next time it is an “unmet needs” tax. The schools are doing it right now with yet another parcel tax for “core curricula” which means God knows what!!! Why would you want to give the City Council any more power to raise a different kind of tax than it already has? Am I missing something here?

  69. Mike Harrington

    I do not support the charter city initiative.

    As Ken Wagstaff has said many times, “if its not broken, why fix it?”

    The charter city proponents are using the choice voting movement as a tool to get charter city.

    I do support choice voting, but not at the cost of charter city.

    Vote NO.

  70. Mike Harrington

    I do not support the charter city initiative.

    As Ken Wagstaff has said many times, “if its not broken, why fix it?”

    The charter city proponents are using the choice voting movement as a tool to get charter city.

    I do support choice voting, but not at the cost of charter city.

    Vote NO.

  71. Mike Harrington

    I do not support the charter city initiative.

    As Ken Wagstaff has said many times, “if its not broken, why fix it?”

    The charter city proponents are using the choice voting movement as a tool to get charter city.

    I do support choice voting, but not at the cost of charter city.

    Vote NO.

  72. Mike Harrington

    I do not support the charter city initiative.

    As Ken Wagstaff has said many times, “if its not broken, why fix it?”

    The charter city proponents are using the choice voting movement as a tool to get charter city.

    I do support choice voting, but not at the cost of charter city.

    Vote NO.

  73. Anonymous

    I think it’s the other way around. I think the choice voting proponents need the charter city to move ahead. Didn’t we already vote that we want to move ahead and explore the choice voting option? It you support choice voting, then you have to support the only option to implementing it, Mike.

    Becoming a charter city doesn’t make it any easier to raise taxes in the City. It’s just not as big of an issue as Sue and others are making it out to be.

    However, local control does increase along with the ability to do some really innovative things. It’s time that we join with all of the other progressive cities in California and become a charter city.

    BTW – I believe it was Ruth that stated “it’s not broken” in reference to not becoming a charter city.

  74. Anonymous

    I think it’s the other way around. I think the choice voting proponents need the charter city to move ahead. Didn’t we already vote that we want to move ahead and explore the choice voting option? It you support choice voting, then you have to support the only option to implementing it, Mike.

    Becoming a charter city doesn’t make it any easier to raise taxes in the City. It’s just not as big of an issue as Sue and others are making it out to be.

    However, local control does increase along with the ability to do some really innovative things. It’s time that we join with all of the other progressive cities in California and become a charter city.

    BTW – I believe it was Ruth that stated “it’s not broken” in reference to not becoming a charter city.

  75. Anonymous

    I think it’s the other way around. I think the choice voting proponents need the charter city to move ahead. Didn’t we already vote that we want to move ahead and explore the choice voting option? It you support choice voting, then you have to support the only option to implementing it, Mike.

    Becoming a charter city doesn’t make it any easier to raise taxes in the City. It’s just not as big of an issue as Sue and others are making it out to be.

    However, local control does increase along with the ability to do some really innovative things. It’s time that we join with all of the other progressive cities in California and become a charter city.

    BTW – I believe it was Ruth that stated “it’s not broken” in reference to not becoming a charter city.

  76. Anonymous

    I think it’s the other way around. I think the choice voting proponents need the charter city to move ahead. Didn’t we already vote that we want to move ahead and explore the choice voting option? It you support choice voting, then you have to support the only option to implementing it, Mike.

    Becoming a charter city doesn’t make it any easier to raise taxes in the City. It’s just not as big of an issue as Sue and others are making it out to be.

    However, local control does increase along with the ability to do some really innovative things. It’s time that we join with all of the other progressive cities in California and become a charter city.

    BTW – I believe it was Ruth that stated “it’s not broken” in reference to not becoming a charter city.

  77. Sue Greenwald

    Anonymous 6:09 and 4:20:

    Again, I did not make an issue of this; DPD (David Greenwald) did.

    I suspect that few would have noticed that I hadn’t signed if DPD had not made on issue of it; the ballot statement has the Mayor’s signature and two councilmember signatures.

    I just can’t sign a statement that is clearly inaccurate, and it is inaccurate to say that: “If this charter passes, it will be no easier to raise or impose taxes under a charter than it is now.” A charter takes away one of the two major hurdles to passing a real estate transfer tax.

    This is just a factual statement, and does not speak to the merits or demerits of a real estate transfer tax. I had assumed that this would be obvious.

    Sample scenario: Charter passes in high turnout election because people who vote for it are told that “it will be no easier to raise or impose taxes”. Unbeknownst to the voter who does not want a real estate transfer tax, their vote has enabled such a tax to be placed on a low turnout or special election, with a different set of voters who might be more predisposed to pass the tax.

    The subcommittee could have made their point with an accurate sentence, such as “choice voting does not take away the citizens right to vote on additional taxes”.

    I simply don’t sign ballot statements that are misleading. I was planning to write a letter to the enterprise supporting a charter for the purposes of trying out choice voting, because the people voted that they wanted to consider choice voting.

  78. Sue Greenwald

    Anonymous 6:09 and 4:20:

    Again, I did not make an issue of this; DPD (David Greenwald) did.

    I suspect that few would have noticed that I hadn’t signed if DPD had not made on issue of it; the ballot statement has the Mayor’s signature and two councilmember signatures.

    I just can’t sign a statement that is clearly inaccurate, and it is inaccurate to say that: “If this charter passes, it will be no easier to raise or impose taxes under a charter than it is now.” A charter takes away one of the two major hurdles to passing a real estate transfer tax.

    This is just a factual statement, and does not speak to the merits or demerits of a real estate transfer tax. I had assumed that this would be obvious.

    Sample scenario: Charter passes in high turnout election because people who vote for it are told that “it will be no easier to raise or impose taxes”. Unbeknownst to the voter who does not want a real estate transfer tax, their vote has enabled such a tax to be placed on a low turnout or special election, with a different set of voters who might be more predisposed to pass the tax.

    The subcommittee could have made their point with an accurate sentence, such as “choice voting does not take away the citizens right to vote on additional taxes”.

    I simply don’t sign ballot statements that are misleading. I was planning to write a letter to the enterprise supporting a charter for the purposes of trying out choice voting, because the people voted that they wanted to consider choice voting.

  79. Sue Greenwald

    Anonymous 6:09 and 4:20:

    Again, I did not make an issue of this; DPD (David Greenwald) did.

    I suspect that few would have noticed that I hadn’t signed if DPD had not made on issue of it; the ballot statement has the Mayor’s signature and two councilmember signatures.

    I just can’t sign a statement that is clearly inaccurate, and it is inaccurate to say that: “If this charter passes, it will be no easier to raise or impose taxes under a charter than it is now.” A charter takes away one of the two major hurdles to passing a real estate transfer tax.

    This is just a factual statement, and does not speak to the merits or demerits of a real estate transfer tax. I had assumed that this would be obvious.

    Sample scenario: Charter passes in high turnout election because people who vote for it are told that “it will be no easier to raise or impose taxes”. Unbeknownst to the voter who does not want a real estate transfer tax, their vote has enabled such a tax to be placed on a low turnout or special election, with a different set of voters who might be more predisposed to pass the tax.

    The subcommittee could have made their point with an accurate sentence, such as “choice voting does not take away the citizens right to vote on additional taxes”.

    I simply don’t sign ballot statements that are misleading. I was planning to write a letter to the enterprise supporting a charter for the purposes of trying out choice voting, because the people voted that they wanted to consider choice voting.

  80. Sue Greenwald

    Anonymous 6:09 and 4:20:

    Again, I did not make an issue of this; DPD (David Greenwald) did.

    I suspect that few would have noticed that I hadn’t signed if DPD had not made on issue of it; the ballot statement has the Mayor’s signature and two councilmember signatures.

    I just can’t sign a statement that is clearly inaccurate, and it is inaccurate to say that: “If this charter passes, it will be no easier to raise or impose taxes under a charter than it is now.” A charter takes away one of the two major hurdles to passing a real estate transfer tax.

    This is just a factual statement, and does not speak to the merits or demerits of a real estate transfer tax. I had assumed that this would be obvious.

    Sample scenario: Charter passes in high turnout election because people who vote for it are told that “it will be no easier to raise or impose taxes”. Unbeknownst to the voter who does not want a real estate transfer tax, their vote has enabled such a tax to be placed on a low turnout or special election, with a different set of voters who might be more predisposed to pass the tax.

    The subcommittee could have made their point with an accurate sentence, such as “choice voting does not take away the citizens right to vote on additional taxes”.

    I simply don’t sign ballot statements that are misleading. I was planning to write a letter to the enterprise supporting a charter for the purposes of trying out choice voting, because the people voted that they wanted to consider choice voting.

  81. Megan Schwartz

    Dear Sue:

    You decided to make an issue of it by not signing it. Having done so, don’t you think that the voters deserve to know why you didn’t sign it? And if you are correct, don’t you think the voters should know that as well to help them make up their mind? So didn’t DPD actually do you a favor and the voters by bringing this issue to their attention? He did not attack you, he simply disagreed with you, but he clearly laid out his rationale, your rationale, and the city’s rationale, now the voters get to decide. Isn’t that what we want?

  82. Megan Schwartz

    Dear Sue:

    You decided to make an issue of it by not signing it. Having done so, don’t you think that the voters deserve to know why you didn’t sign it? And if you are correct, don’t you think the voters should know that as well to help them make up their mind? So didn’t DPD actually do you a favor and the voters by bringing this issue to their attention? He did not attack you, he simply disagreed with you, but he clearly laid out his rationale, your rationale, and the city’s rationale, now the voters get to decide. Isn’t that what we want?

  83. Megan Schwartz

    Dear Sue:

    You decided to make an issue of it by not signing it. Having done so, don’t you think that the voters deserve to know why you didn’t sign it? And if you are correct, don’t you think the voters should know that as well to help them make up their mind? So didn’t DPD actually do you a favor and the voters by bringing this issue to their attention? He did not attack you, he simply disagreed with you, but he clearly laid out his rationale, your rationale, and the city’s rationale, now the voters get to decide. Isn’t that what we want?

  84. Megan Schwartz

    Dear Sue:

    You decided to make an issue of it by not signing it. Having done so, don’t you think that the voters deserve to know why you didn’t sign it? And if you are correct, don’t you think the voters should know that as well to help them make up their mind? So didn’t DPD actually do you a favor and the voters by bringing this issue to their attention? He did not attack you, he simply disagreed with you, but he clearly laid out his rationale, your rationale, and the city’s rationale, now the voters get to decide. Isn’t that what we want?

  85. Mike Harrington

    Charter City is absolutely NOT necessary. And the voters will be giving way, way more power to the City Council and City Manager.

    The charter as written is very broad: it is NOT limited to choice voting purposes.

    The state can give choice voting authority to the City. If Davis wants choice voting, make it a priority and get the legislative job done. I support choice voting, but I am not willing to gut our current city governance model to do it. I have told the choice voting proponents for years that they are being used …

    I have heard one CC member, personally, state that the charter will allow the City Council to way more easily adopt the utility tax and raise other ones.

    Anyone who is concerned about a power grab by the City Council and staff, and about higher taxes, should vote NO.

    I agree with Don Saylor: this fundamental change to our little city’s governance is not needed.

  86. Mike Harrington

    Charter City is absolutely NOT necessary. And the voters will be giving way, way more power to the City Council and City Manager.

    The charter as written is very broad: it is NOT limited to choice voting purposes.

    The state can give choice voting authority to the City. If Davis wants choice voting, make it a priority and get the legislative job done. I support choice voting, but I am not willing to gut our current city governance model to do it. I have told the choice voting proponents for years that they are being used …

    I have heard one CC member, personally, state that the charter will allow the City Council to way more easily adopt the utility tax and raise other ones.

    Anyone who is concerned about a power grab by the City Council and staff, and about higher taxes, should vote NO.

    I agree with Don Saylor: this fundamental change to our little city’s governance is not needed.

  87. Mike Harrington

    Charter City is absolutely NOT necessary. And the voters will be giving way, way more power to the City Council and City Manager.

    The charter as written is very broad: it is NOT limited to choice voting purposes.

    The state can give choice voting authority to the City. If Davis wants choice voting, make it a priority and get the legislative job done. I support choice voting, but I am not willing to gut our current city governance model to do it. I have told the choice voting proponents for years that they are being used …

    I have heard one CC member, personally, state that the charter will allow the City Council to way more easily adopt the utility tax and raise other ones.

    Anyone who is concerned about a power grab by the City Council and staff, and about higher taxes, should vote NO.

    I agree with Don Saylor: this fundamental change to our little city’s governance is not needed.

  88. Mike Harrington

    Charter City is absolutely NOT necessary. And the voters will be giving way, way more power to the City Council and City Manager.

    The charter as written is very broad: it is NOT limited to choice voting purposes.

    The state can give choice voting authority to the City. If Davis wants choice voting, make it a priority and get the legislative job done. I support choice voting, but I am not willing to gut our current city governance model to do it. I have told the choice voting proponents for years that they are being used …

    I have heard one CC member, personally, state that the charter will allow the City Council to way more easily adopt the utility tax and raise other ones.

    Anyone who is concerned about a power grab by the City Council and staff, and about higher taxes, should vote NO.

    I agree with Don Saylor: this fundamental change to our little city’s governance is not needed.

  89. Why Give City Council More Power?

    “Anyone who is concerned about a power grab by the City Council and staff, and about higher taxes, should vote NO.”

    Amen!!! Sue Greenwald was correct in objecting. Anything that would allow the City Council majority to have more power is a bad thing. Zoning changes to property contrary to the General Plan; the ability of the City Council to impose a transfer tax on top of all the other taxes and rate increases we are subject to; and someone indicated the City Council could impose a utility tax of some sort. Why would we do this to ourselves? VOTE NO ON CHARTER.

  90. Why Give City Council More Pow

    “Anyone who is concerned about a power grab by the City Council and staff, and about higher taxes, should vote NO.”

    Amen!!! Sue Greenwald was correct in objecting. Anything that would allow the City Council majority to have more power is a bad thing. Zoning changes to property contrary to the General Plan; the ability of the City Council to impose a transfer tax on top of all the other taxes and rate increases we are subject to; and someone indicated the City Council could impose a utility tax of some sort. Why would we do this to ourselves? VOTE NO ON CHARTER.

  91. Why Give City Council More Pow

    “Anyone who is concerned about a power grab by the City Council and staff, and about higher taxes, should vote NO.”

    Amen!!! Sue Greenwald was correct in objecting. Anything that would allow the City Council majority to have more power is a bad thing. Zoning changes to property contrary to the General Plan; the ability of the City Council to impose a transfer tax on top of all the other taxes and rate increases we are subject to; and someone indicated the City Council could impose a utility tax of some sort. Why would we do this to ourselves? VOTE NO ON CHARTER.

  92. Why Give City Council More Pow

    “Anyone who is concerned about a power grab by the City Council and staff, and about higher taxes, should vote NO.”

    Amen!!! Sue Greenwald was correct in objecting. Anything that would allow the City Council majority to have more power is a bad thing. Zoning changes to property contrary to the General Plan; the ability of the City Council to impose a transfer tax on top of all the other taxes and rate increases we are subject to; and someone indicated the City Council could impose a utility tax of some sort. Why would we do this to ourselves? VOTE NO ON CHARTER.

  93. Doug Paul Davis

    The Charter as far as I can tell does not give the council more power. In fact, it doesn’t change the power of the council. Any changes have to go through the voters in a charter amendment.

    Now Sue’s objection is that they can hide a tax initiative in a low turnout election. Maybe. The last tax initiative was the Parks Tax and that was during the City Council election. I don’t really see how having a charter changes the tax calculus that much.

    It may give the council more options for taxation, but it does not make it easier to pass taxes. That’s my reading.

    I’m not defending the charter, I have not decided if I support it or not. But let’s be accurate about our complaints.

  94. Doug Paul Davis

    The Charter as far as I can tell does not give the council more power. In fact, it doesn’t change the power of the council. Any changes have to go through the voters in a charter amendment.

    Now Sue’s objection is that they can hide a tax initiative in a low turnout election. Maybe. The last tax initiative was the Parks Tax and that was during the City Council election. I don’t really see how having a charter changes the tax calculus that much.

    It may give the council more options for taxation, but it does not make it easier to pass taxes. That’s my reading.

    I’m not defending the charter, I have not decided if I support it or not. But let’s be accurate about our complaints.

  95. Doug Paul Davis

    The Charter as far as I can tell does not give the council more power. In fact, it doesn’t change the power of the council. Any changes have to go through the voters in a charter amendment.

    Now Sue’s objection is that they can hide a tax initiative in a low turnout election. Maybe. The last tax initiative was the Parks Tax and that was during the City Council election. I don’t really see how having a charter changes the tax calculus that much.

    It may give the council more options for taxation, but it does not make it easier to pass taxes. That’s my reading.

    I’m not defending the charter, I have not decided if I support it or not. But let’s be accurate about our complaints.

  96. Doug Paul Davis

    The Charter as far as I can tell does not give the council more power. In fact, it doesn’t change the power of the council. Any changes have to go through the voters in a charter amendment.

    Now Sue’s objection is that they can hide a tax initiative in a low turnout election. Maybe. The last tax initiative was the Parks Tax and that was during the City Council election. I don’t really see how having a charter changes the tax calculus that much.

    It may give the council more options for taxation, but it does not make it easier to pass taxes. That’s my reading.

    I’m not defending the charter, I have not decided if I support it or not. But let’s be accurate about our complaints.

  97. Anonymous

    The rebuttal to the PRO Charter City ballot statement is due by 5 pm on August 18.

    From the Yolo County Elections web site:

    “8/18/08 Rebuttals Deadline
    (E-78) Last day to submit rebuttal arguments for or against a local measure to the County Clerk by 5 p.m. City measures are submitted to the city clerk.”

  98. Anonymous

    The rebuttal to the PRO Charter City ballot statement is due by 5 pm on August 18.

    From the Yolo County Elections web site:

    “8/18/08 Rebuttals Deadline
    (E-78) Last day to submit rebuttal arguments for or against a local measure to the County Clerk by 5 p.m. City measures are submitted to the city clerk.”

  99. Anonymous

    The rebuttal to the PRO Charter City ballot statement is due by 5 pm on August 18.

    From the Yolo County Elections web site:

    “8/18/08 Rebuttals Deadline
    (E-78) Last day to submit rebuttal arguments for or against a local measure to the County Clerk by 5 p.m. City measures are submitted to the city clerk.”

  100. Anonymous

    The rebuttal to the PRO Charter City ballot statement is due by 5 pm on August 18.

    From the Yolo County Elections web site:

    “8/18/08 Rebuttals Deadline
    (E-78) Last day to submit rebuttal arguments for or against a local measure to the County Clerk by 5 p.m. City measures are submitted to the city clerk.”

  101. Anonymous

    The Yolo Elections web site does not limit it to only being an option if there is a group … one person can file the rebuttal, right? What if I call 5 friends, we form a group, and file the rebuttal?

    DPD, you said: “The Charter as far as I can tell does not give the council more power. In fact, it doesn’t change the power of the council. Any changes have to go through the voters in a charter amendment.”

    However, to me, it’s clear from reading the League of Cities, and the proposed charter language, that there are big, big changes possible to city governance on majority votes of the CC. I respectfully disagree with your statement.

    Come by sometime on the weekend and let’s go through it together. You know where.

  102. Anonymous

    The Yolo Elections web site does not limit it to only being an option if there is a group … one person can file the rebuttal, right? What if I call 5 friends, we form a group, and file the rebuttal?

    DPD, you said: “The Charter as far as I can tell does not give the council more power. In fact, it doesn’t change the power of the council. Any changes have to go through the voters in a charter amendment.”

    However, to me, it’s clear from reading the League of Cities, and the proposed charter language, that there are big, big changes possible to city governance on majority votes of the CC. I respectfully disagree with your statement.

    Come by sometime on the weekend and let’s go through it together. You know where.

  103. Anonymous

    The Yolo Elections web site does not limit it to only being an option if there is a group … one person can file the rebuttal, right? What if I call 5 friends, we form a group, and file the rebuttal?

    DPD, you said: “The Charter as far as I can tell does not give the council more power. In fact, it doesn’t change the power of the council. Any changes have to go through the voters in a charter amendment.”

    However, to me, it’s clear from reading the League of Cities, and the proposed charter language, that there are big, big changes possible to city governance on majority votes of the CC. I respectfully disagree with your statement.

    Come by sometime on the weekend and let’s go through it together. You know where.

  104. Anonymous

    The Yolo Elections web site does not limit it to only being an option if there is a group … one person can file the rebuttal, right? What if I call 5 friends, we form a group, and file the rebuttal?

    DPD, you said: “The Charter as far as I can tell does not give the council more power. In fact, it doesn’t change the power of the council. Any changes have to go through the voters in a charter amendment.”

    However, to me, it’s clear from reading the League of Cities, and the proposed charter language, that there are big, big changes possible to city governance on majority votes of the CC. I respectfully disagree with your statement.

    Come by sometime on the weekend and let’s go through it together. You know where.

  105. Don Shor

    Some comparisons from the link provided earlier (http://www.cacities.org/)

    General law city: May not impose real property transfer tax.
    Charter city: May impose real property transfer tax.

    This seems really clear to me; maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see how “it does not increase the city’s ability to either raise or impose taxes in the future” is a reasonable conclusion.

    General law city: May impose business license taxes for regulatory purposes, revenue purposes, or both.
    Charter city: May impose business license taxes for any purpose unless limited by state or federal constitutions, or city charter.

    General law: May impose fines, penalties and forfeitures, with a fine not exceeding $1,000.
    Charter city: May enact ordinances providing for various penalties so long as such penalties do not exceed any maximum limits set by the charter.

    These are both very disconcerting.

    General law: Zoning ordinances must be consistent with general plan.
    Charter city: Zoning ordinances are not required to be consistent with general plan unless the city has adopted a consistency requirement by charter or ordinance.

    Very alarming.

    There are advantages to a charter city. It might make it possible, for example, to limit corporate contributions to local political campaigns. On the other hand, unless the proposal limits the ability of future councils to raise business taxes, property transfer taxes, and make zoning changes, it sounds to me that it would be opening up the possibility of abuse. This needs a rewrite or I’m guessing it will be DOA.

    I really don’t understand why anonymous people feel the need to make such derisive comments here about Sue Greenwald, or for that matter about Don Saylor. Maybe you all could just stick to the issues at hand. If you want to have public discourse, it will be more effective if you make a more welcome environment.

  106. Don Shor

    Some comparisons from the link provided earlier (http://www.cacities.org/)

    General law city: May not impose real property transfer tax.
    Charter city: May impose real property transfer tax.

    This seems really clear to me; maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see how “it does not increase the city’s ability to either raise or impose taxes in the future” is a reasonable conclusion.

    General law city: May impose business license taxes for regulatory purposes, revenue purposes, or both.
    Charter city: May impose business license taxes for any purpose unless limited by state or federal constitutions, or city charter.

    General law: May impose fines, penalties and forfeitures, with a fine not exceeding $1,000.
    Charter city: May enact ordinances providing for various penalties so long as such penalties do not exceed any maximum limits set by the charter.

    These are both very disconcerting.

    General law: Zoning ordinances must be consistent with general plan.
    Charter city: Zoning ordinances are not required to be consistent with general plan unless the city has adopted a consistency requirement by charter or ordinance.

    Very alarming.

    There are advantages to a charter city. It might make it possible, for example, to limit corporate contributions to local political campaigns. On the other hand, unless the proposal limits the ability of future councils to raise business taxes, property transfer taxes, and make zoning changes, it sounds to me that it would be opening up the possibility of abuse. This needs a rewrite or I’m guessing it will be DOA.

    I really don’t understand why anonymous people feel the need to make such derisive comments here about Sue Greenwald, or for that matter about Don Saylor. Maybe you all could just stick to the issues at hand. If you want to have public discourse, it will be more effective if you make a more welcome environment.

  107. Don Shor

    Some comparisons from the link provided earlier (http://www.cacities.org/)

    General law city: May not impose real property transfer tax.
    Charter city: May impose real property transfer tax.

    This seems really clear to me; maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see how “it does not increase the city’s ability to either raise or impose taxes in the future” is a reasonable conclusion.

    General law city: May impose business license taxes for regulatory purposes, revenue purposes, or both.
    Charter city: May impose business license taxes for any purpose unless limited by state or federal constitutions, or city charter.

    General law: May impose fines, penalties and forfeitures, with a fine not exceeding $1,000.
    Charter city: May enact ordinances providing for various penalties so long as such penalties do not exceed any maximum limits set by the charter.

    These are both very disconcerting.

    General law: Zoning ordinances must be consistent with general plan.
    Charter city: Zoning ordinances are not required to be consistent with general plan unless the city has adopted a consistency requirement by charter or ordinance.

    Very alarming.

    There are advantages to a charter city. It might make it possible, for example, to limit corporate contributions to local political campaigns. On the other hand, unless the proposal limits the ability of future councils to raise business taxes, property transfer taxes, and make zoning changes, it sounds to me that it would be opening up the possibility of abuse. This needs a rewrite or I’m guessing it will be DOA.

    I really don’t understand why anonymous people feel the need to make such derisive comments here about Sue Greenwald, or for that matter about Don Saylor. Maybe you all could just stick to the issues at hand. If you want to have public discourse, it will be more effective if you make a more welcome environment.

  108. Don Shor

    Some comparisons from the link provided earlier (http://www.cacities.org/)

    General law city: May not impose real property transfer tax.
    Charter city: May impose real property transfer tax.

    This seems really clear to me; maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see how “it does not increase the city’s ability to either raise or impose taxes in the future” is a reasonable conclusion.

    General law city: May impose business license taxes for regulatory purposes, revenue purposes, or both.
    Charter city: May impose business license taxes for any purpose unless limited by state or federal constitutions, or city charter.

    General law: May impose fines, penalties and forfeitures, with a fine not exceeding $1,000.
    Charter city: May enact ordinances providing for various penalties so long as such penalties do not exceed any maximum limits set by the charter.

    These are both very disconcerting.

    General law: Zoning ordinances must be consistent with general plan.
    Charter city: Zoning ordinances are not required to be consistent with general plan unless the city has adopted a consistency requirement by charter or ordinance.

    Very alarming.

    There are advantages to a charter city. It might make it possible, for example, to limit corporate contributions to local political campaigns. On the other hand, unless the proposal limits the ability of future councils to raise business taxes, property transfer taxes, and make zoning changes, it sounds to me that it would be opening up the possibility of abuse. This needs a rewrite or I’m guessing it will be DOA.

    I really don’t understand why anonymous people feel the need to make such derisive comments here about Sue Greenwald, or for that matter about Don Saylor. Maybe you all could just stick to the issues at hand. If you want to have public discourse, it will be more effective if you make a more welcome environment.

  109. Anonymous

    As I read the charter that is to be on the ballot it is very limited. All city matters remain as they are right now except binding arbitration. Any other change must be voted on through an amendment to the charter.

  110. Anonymous

    As I read the charter that is to be on the ballot it is very limited. All city matters remain as they are right now except binding arbitration. Any other change must be voted on through an amendment to the charter.

  111. Anonymous

    As I read the charter that is to be on the ballot it is very limited. All city matters remain as they are right now except binding arbitration. Any other change must be voted on through an amendment to the charter.

  112. Anonymous

    As I read the charter that is to be on the ballot it is very limited. All city matters remain as they are right now except binding arbitration. Any other change must be voted on through an amendment to the charter.

  113. Anonymous

    Those who continue to believe that a charter will not give the council more power, please read these exerpts from the actual charter:

    “The legislative power of the city shall be vested in the City Council—-“

    “The City shall have all powers possible for a city to have under the Constitution and laws of the State of California as fully and completely as though they were specifically enumberated in this Charter. The City shall have the power to make and enforce all ordinances and regulations with respect to other matters subject to applicable general laws. Concerning municipal affairs, this Charter shall supercede all inconsistent laws. Nothing in this Charter shall be construed as to prevent or restrict the City from exercising or consenting to the general laws of the State. This Charter is intended to be construed in favor of the exercise by the City of its powers related to municipal affairs.”

    “The Intent of this Charter is to allow the City Council and the voters to exercise the maximum degree of control over land use matters within the city of Davis.”

    All of this language gives maximum control and power to the council.

    In the Impartial Analysis, the city attorney also states: “The Charter provides that all City ordinances and all City personnel rules will remain in effect until they are modified or repealed, if ever, by City Council or voter action.” It is the “modify or repeal by the City Council” part in here that worries me.

    If it is unclear or fuzzy, and this language certainly is, vote NO.

    We cannot support anything that will conceivably give our council more power than they already abuse.

  114. Anonymous

    Those who continue to believe that a charter will not give the council more power, please read these exerpts from the actual charter:

    “The legislative power of the city shall be vested in the City Council—-“

    “The City shall have all powers possible for a city to have under the Constitution and laws of the State of California as fully and completely as though they were specifically enumberated in this Charter. The City shall have the power to make and enforce all ordinances and regulations with respect to other matters subject to applicable general laws. Concerning municipal affairs, this Charter shall supercede all inconsistent laws. Nothing in this Charter shall be construed as to prevent or restrict the City from exercising or consenting to the general laws of the State. This Charter is intended to be construed in favor of the exercise by the City of its powers related to municipal affairs.”

    “The Intent of this Charter is to allow the City Council and the voters to exercise the maximum degree of control over land use matters within the city of Davis.”

    All of this language gives maximum control and power to the council.

    In the Impartial Analysis, the city attorney also states: “The Charter provides that all City ordinances and all City personnel rules will remain in effect until they are modified or repealed, if ever, by City Council or voter action.” It is the “modify or repeal by the City Council” part in here that worries me.

    If it is unclear or fuzzy, and this language certainly is, vote NO.

    We cannot support anything that will conceivably give our council more power than they already abuse.

  115. Anonymous

    Those who continue to believe that a charter will not give the council more power, please read these exerpts from the actual charter:

    “The legislative power of the city shall be vested in the City Council—-“

    “The City shall have all powers possible for a city to have under the Constitution and laws of the State of California as fully and completely as though they were specifically enumberated in this Charter. The City shall have the power to make and enforce all ordinances and regulations with respect to other matters subject to applicable general laws. Concerning municipal affairs, this Charter shall supercede all inconsistent laws. Nothing in this Charter shall be construed as to prevent or restrict the City from exercising or consenting to the general laws of the State. This Charter is intended to be construed in favor of the exercise by the City of its powers related to municipal affairs.”

    “The Intent of this Charter is to allow the City Council and the voters to exercise the maximum degree of control over land use matters within the city of Davis.”

    All of this language gives maximum control and power to the council.

    In the Impartial Analysis, the city attorney also states: “The Charter provides that all City ordinances and all City personnel rules will remain in effect until they are modified or repealed, if ever, by City Council or voter action.” It is the “modify or repeal by the City Council” part in here that worries me.

    If it is unclear or fuzzy, and this language certainly is, vote NO.

    We cannot support anything that will conceivably give our council more power than they already abuse.

  116. Anonymous

    Those who continue to believe that a charter will not give the council more power, please read these exerpts from the actual charter:

    “The legislative power of the city shall be vested in the City Council—-“

    “The City shall have all powers possible for a city to have under the Constitution and laws of the State of California as fully and completely as though they were specifically enumberated in this Charter. The City shall have the power to make and enforce all ordinances and regulations with respect to other matters subject to applicable general laws. Concerning municipal affairs, this Charter shall supercede all inconsistent laws. Nothing in this Charter shall be construed as to prevent or restrict the City from exercising or consenting to the general laws of the State. This Charter is intended to be construed in favor of the exercise by the City of its powers related to municipal affairs.”

    “The Intent of this Charter is to allow the City Council and the voters to exercise the maximum degree of control over land use matters within the city of Davis.”

    All of this language gives maximum control and power to the council.

    In the Impartial Analysis, the city attorney also states: “The Charter provides that all City ordinances and all City personnel rules will remain in effect until they are modified or repealed, if ever, by City Council or voter action.” It is the “modify or repeal by the City Council” part in here that worries me.

    If it is unclear or fuzzy, and this language certainly is, vote NO.

    We cannot support anything that will conceivably give our council more power than they already abuse.

  117. Anonymous

    Tell me what is wrong with a real estate transfer tax. Is this really what we will be voting on with the Charter vote? Isn’t the city already collecting money with the sale of each house through its required city inspection program? Isn’t a real estate transfer tax merely a sales tax on the sale of properties – our biggest ticket items within the city? Hasn’t Sue stated time and time again that residential development is a drain on city finances (costs the city more than it collects in taxes?) Wouldn’t the transfer tax reward long-time ownership and penalize real estate speculation and out of town investors who have driven up the price of housing?

  118. Anonymous

    Tell me what is wrong with a real estate transfer tax. Is this really what we will be voting on with the Charter vote? Isn’t the city already collecting money with the sale of each house through its required city inspection program? Isn’t a real estate transfer tax merely a sales tax on the sale of properties – our biggest ticket items within the city? Hasn’t Sue stated time and time again that residential development is a drain on city finances (costs the city more than it collects in taxes?) Wouldn’t the transfer tax reward long-time ownership and penalize real estate speculation and out of town investors who have driven up the price of housing?

  119. Anonymous

    Tell me what is wrong with a real estate transfer tax. Is this really what we will be voting on with the Charter vote? Isn’t the city already collecting money with the sale of each house through its required city inspection program? Isn’t a real estate transfer tax merely a sales tax on the sale of properties – our biggest ticket items within the city? Hasn’t Sue stated time and time again that residential development is a drain on city finances (costs the city more than it collects in taxes?) Wouldn’t the transfer tax reward long-time ownership and penalize real estate speculation and out of town investors who have driven up the price of housing?

  120. Anonymous

    Tell me what is wrong with a real estate transfer tax. Is this really what we will be voting on with the Charter vote? Isn’t the city already collecting money with the sale of each house through its required city inspection program? Isn’t a real estate transfer tax merely a sales tax on the sale of properties – our biggest ticket items within the city? Hasn’t Sue stated time and time again that residential development is a drain on city finances (costs the city more than it collects in taxes?) Wouldn’t the transfer tax reward long-time ownership and penalize real estate speculation and out of town investors who have driven up the price of housing?

  121. trickyricki

    I am totally opposed to the City Charter ("Measure N"-)and thank Sue and Don Saylor for not supporting it. Sue just just needs to stick to her guns and stop capitulating to those who are criticizing her; she was absouletly right to not sign a ballot argument that contained misleading information.And make no mistake, I disagree with Don Saylor on nearly every issue and have never supported him (or Ruth or Steve), but Don is right on this one: there is absolutely no reason to change our form of city governance.In terms of personalities, I am not surprised that Ruth & Steve are supporting a Charter because it would give "supreme" power to the City COUNCIL, including issues as important as "Boundaries of the City" (Proposed Charter, Article I.) And where are the people who fought so hard to pass Measure J and defeat the Covell Village project? Have any of you actually read the "Charter?" It states that local growth is a municipal matter (i.e, not subject to state-wide general law) (Article IV) and by becoming a Charter City, the City can change zoning EVEN if it is NOT consistent with the City's General Plan!And who signed the argument in favor of this travesty? Three people who actively campaigned for Covell Village (Asmundson, Souza and Adler). The real question shouldn't be why Sue did not sign, but why Lamar DID.If you've been worried about the Council doing an end-around on Measure J for Covell Center, the proposed charter is it.  AND, take a close look at both the Charter and general law/charter city comparisons.In spite of the ballot argument rhetoric, and in combination with the loose wording of the Charter, I am not sure that the Council would actually be required to let us vote on many of the isues that have been raised in these blogs.And what do the "progressives" hope to gain from this? Choice-voting? Well, that is not mentioned anywhere in the Charter. Public power? That is already allowed for a municipality such as Davis as a general law city.As far as I can tell, there are three groups (at least) commenting on this topic: (1) those who support it because they have something to gain (i.e, Souza and developers); (2) deer-in-the-lights progressives who falsely believe that giving more power to the current Council majority will advance their goals; and (3) realists who have watched this Council in action, have read the documents, studied the issues and recognize the Charter for what it is: a Trojan-horse power-grab.If you haven't yet read the cited documents, please do so. I think you will be amazed at the power this Charter would give the Council to change City boundaries, land-use zoning, impose business license fees and property transfer taxes, and change the rules for citizens to initiate actions via intiatives or referenda: MOST,IF NOT All, WITHOUT A CITIZENS' VOTE.And, David, before you take the word of a City Manager (paid way more than a full Professor) and a "City" attorney (paid more than $0.5 million a year), at the behest of the City Council, maybe you should listen a bit more to the citizens who research and study such issues wihout compensation or financial gain. 

  122. trickyricki

    I am totally opposed to the City Charter ("Measure N"-)and thank Sue and Don Saylor for not supporting it. Sue just just needs to stick to her guns and stop capitulating to those who are criticizing her; she was absouletly right to not sign a ballot argument that contained misleading information.And make no mistake, I disagree with Don Saylor on nearly every issue and have never supported him (or Ruth or Steve), but Don is right on this one: there is absolutely no reason to change our form of city governance.In terms of personalities, I am not surprised that Ruth & Steve are supporting a Charter because it would give "supreme" power to the City COUNCIL, including issues as important as "Boundaries of the City" (Proposed Charter, Article I.) And where are the people who fought so hard to pass Measure J and defeat the Covell Village project? Have any of you actually read the "Charter?" It states that local growth is a municipal matter (i.e, not subject to state-wide general law) (Article IV) and by becoming a Charter City, the City can change zoning EVEN if it is NOT consistent with the City's General Plan!And who signed the argument in favor of this travesty? Three people who actively campaigned for Covell Village (Asmundson, Souza and Adler). The real question shouldn't be why Sue did not sign, but why Lamar DID.If you've been worried about the Council doing an end-around on Measure J for Covell Center, the proposed charter is it.  AND, take a close look at both the Charter and general law/charter city comparisons.In spite of the ballot argument rhetoric, and in combination with the loose wording of the Charter, I am not sure that the Council would actually be required to let us vote on many of the isues that have been raised in these blogs.And what do the "progressives" hope to gain from this? Choice-voting? Well, that is not mentioned anywhere in the Charter. Public power? That is already allowed for a municipality such as Davis as a general law city.As far as I can tell, there are three groups (at least) commenting on this topic: (1) those who support it because they have something to gain (i.e, Souza and developers); (2) deer-in-the-lights progressives who falsely believe that giving more power to the current Council majority will advance their goals; and (3) realists who have watched this Council in action, have read the documents, studied the issues and recognize the Charter for what it is: a Trojan-horse power-grab.If you haven't yet read the cited documents, please do so. I think you will be amazed at the power this Charter would give the Council to change City boundaries, land-use zoning, impose business license fees and property transfer taxes, and change the rules for citizens to initiate actions via intiatives or referenda: MOST,IF NOT All, WITHOUT A CITIZENS' VOTE.And, David, before you take the word of a City Manager (paid way more than a full Professor) and a "City" attorney (paid more than $0.5 million a year), at the behest of the City Council, maybe you should listen a bit more to the citizens who research and study such issues wihout compensation or financial gain. 

  123. trickyricki

    I am totally opposed to the City Charter ("Measure N"-)and thank Sue and Don Saylor for not supporting it. Sue just just needs to stick to her guns and stop capitulating to those who are criticizing her; she was absouletly right to not sign a ballot argument that contained misleading information.And make no mistake, I disagree with Don Saylor on nearly every issue and have never supported him (or Ruth or Steve), but Don is right on this one: there is absolutely no reason to change our form of city governance.In terms of personalities, I am not surprised that Ruth & Steve are supporting a Charter because it would give "supreme" power to the City COUNCIL, including issues as important as "Boundaries of the City" (Proposed Charter, Article I.) And where are the people who fought so hard to pass Measure J and defeat the Covell Village project? Have any of you actually read the "Charter?" It states that local growth is a municipal matter (i.e, not subject to state-wide general law) (Article IV) and by becoming a Charter City, the City can change zoning EVEN if it is NOT consistent with the City's General Plan!And who signed the argument in favor of this travesty? Three people who actively campaigned for Covell Village (Asmundson, Souza and Adler). The real question shouldn't be why Sue did not sign, but why Lamar DID.If you've been worried about the Council doing an end-around on Measure J for Covell Center, the proposed charter is it.  AND, take a close look at both the Charter and general law/charter city comparisons.In spite of the ballot argument rhetoric, and in combination with the loose wording of the Charter, I am not sure that the Council would actually be required to let us vote on many of the isues that have been raised in these blogs.And what do the "progressives" hope to gain from this? Choice-voting? Well, that is not mentioned anywhere in the Charter. Public power? That is already allowed for a municipality such as Davis as a general law city.As far as I can tell, there are three groups (at least) commenting on this topic: (1) those who support it because they have something to gain (i.e, Souza and developers); (2) deer-in-the-lights progressives who falsely believe that giving more power to the current Council majority will advance their goals; and (3) realists who have watched this Council in action, have read the documents, studied the issues and recognize the Charter for what it is: a Trojan-horse power-grab.If you haven't yet read the cited documents, please do so. I think you will be amazed at the power this Charter would give the Council to change City boundaries, land-use zoning, impose business license fees and property transfer taxes, and change the rules for citizens to initiate actions via intiatives or referenda: MOST,IF NOT All, WITHOUT A CITIZENS' VOTE.And, David, before you take the word of a City Manager (paid way more than a full Professor) and a "City" attorney (paid more than $0.5 million a year), at the behest of the City Council, maybe you should listen a bit more to the citizens who research and study such issues wihout compensation or financial gain. 

  124. trickyricki

    I am totally opposed to the City Charter ("Measure N"-)and thank Sue and Don Saylor for not supporting it. Sue just just needs to stick to her guns and stop capitulating to those who are criticizing her; she was absouletly right to not sign a ballot argument that contained misleading information.And make no mistake, I disagree with Don Saylor on nearly every issue and have never supported him (or Ruth or Steve), but Don is right on this one: there is absolutely no reason to change our form of city governance.In terms of personalities, I am not surprised that Ruth & Steve are supporting a Charter because it would give "supreme" power to the City COUNCIL, including issues as important as "Boundaries of the City" (Proposed Charter, Article I.) And where are the people who fought so hard to pass Measure J and defeat the Covell Village project? Have any of you actually read the "Charter?" It states that local growth is a municipal matter (i.e, not subject to state-wide general law) (Article IV) and by becoming a Charter City, the City can change zoning EVEN if it is NOT consistent with the City's General Plan!And who signed the argument in favor of this travesty? Three people who actively campaigned for Covell Village (Asmundson, Souza and Adler). The real question shouldn't be why Sue did not sign, but why Lamar DID.If you've been worried about the Council doing an end-around on Measure J for Covell Center, the proposed charter is it.  AND, take a close look at both the Charter and general law/charter city comparisons.In spite of the ballot argument rhetoric, and in combination with the loose wording of the Charter, I am not sure that the Council would actually be required to let us vote on many of the isues that have been raised in these blogs.And what do the "progressives" hope to gain from this? Choice-voting? Well, that is not mentioned anywhere in the Charter. Public power? That is already allowed for a municipality such as Davis as a general law city.As far as I can tell, there are three groups (at least) commenting on this topic: (1) those who support it because they have something to gain (i.e, Souza and developers); (2) deer-in-the-lights progressives who falsely believe that giving more power to the current Council majority will advance their goals; and (3) realists who have watched this Council in action, have read the documents, studied the issues and recognize the Charter for what it is: a Trojan-horse power-grab.If you haven't yet read the cited documents, please do so. I think you will be amazed at the power this Charter would give the Council to change City boundaries, land-use zoning, impose business license fees and property transfer taxes, and change the rules for citizens to initiate actions via intiatives or referenda: MOST,IF NOT All, WITHOUT A CITIZENS' VOTE.And, David, before you take the word of a City Manager (paid way more than a full Professor) and a "City" attorney (paid more than $0.5 million a year), at the behest of the City Council, maybe you should listen a bit more to the citizens who research and study such issues wihout compensation or financial gain. 

  125. trickyricki

    Just realized I forgot to tell folks how to find documentation for my arguments against Measure N (the Charter).The City has generated three documents: The Charter itself (that is what we are actually voting on to approve or reject); a ballot argument in favor of the charter (Signed by Ruth, Souza, Jerry Adler and Lamar – glad Lamar is keeping such "progressive" company these days); and an "impartial analysis" by the City attorney.Tried to find those documents on-line @ City web-site on Monday, August 11, but none were there; not even the monumental charter! Finally, got those docs.,via email by phoning the City clerk. Read those carefully, especially the Charter itself. Good luck.The best way to learn about Charter cities is to "Google" on charter cities.  First, three sites are very hepful, especially the side-by-side, category by row comparisons of general law vs charter city powers/restrictions.After getting those documents, read them, put them side-by-side, paying special attention to wording of the "proposed City charter" (that we'll be voting on in November.Then, maybe we can can debate the facts and issues, and not merely attack one another.But since personalities seem so important in these blogs, after you've educated yourself on the facts, who do you think has provided the most accurate depiction of the charter and its potential impacts?Souza, Asmundson, Adler, Steiner, DPD & Lamar, ORSue, Don Saylor, Mike Harrington, Don Schor and Trickyricki.Think about it. And read the documents carefully.(As an aside, I just can't understand why Lamar has abandoned his "progressive" roots by joining the pro-Covell Center crowd and signed a ballot argument that might well lead to a dilution or destruction of Measure J as we know it today.) 

  126. trickyricki

    Just realized I forgot to tell folks how to find documentation for my arguments against Measure N (the Charter).The City has generated three documents: The Charter itself (that is what we are actually voting on to approve or reject); a ballot argument in favor of the charter (Signed by Ruth, Souza, Jerry Adler and Lamar – glad Lamar is keeping such "progressive" company these days); and an "impartial analysis" by the City attorney.Tried to find those documents on-line @ City web-site on Monday, August 11, but none were there; not even the monumental charter! Finally, got those docs.,via email by phoning the City clerk. Read those carefully, especially the Charter itself. Good luck.The best way to learn about Charter cities is to "Google" on charter cities.  First, three sites are very hepful, especially the side-by-side, category by row comparisons of general law vs charter city powers/restrictions.After getting those documents, read them, put them side-by-side, paying special attention to wording of the "proposed City charter" (that we'll be voting on in November.Then, maybe we can can debate the facts and issues, and not merely attack one another.But since personalities seem so important in these blogs, after you've educated yourself on the facts, who do you think has provided the most accurate depiction of the charter and its potential impacts?Souza, Asmundson, Adler, Steiner, DPD & Lamar, ORSue, Don Saylor, Mike Harrington, Don Schor and Trickyricki.Think about it. And read the documents carefully.(As an aside, I just can't understand why Lamar has abandoned his "progressive" roots by joining the pro-Covell Center crowd and signed a ballot argument that might well lead to a dilution or destruction of Measure J as we know it today.) 

  127. trickyricki

    Just realized I forgot to tell folks how to find documentation for my arguments against Measure N (the Charter).The City has generated three documents: The Charter itself (that is what we are actually voting on to approve or reject); a ballot argument in favor of the charter (Signed by Ruth, Souza, Jerry Adler and Lamar – glad Lamar is keeping such "progressive" company these days); and an "impartial analysis" by the City attorney.Tried to find those documents on-line @ City web-site on Monday, August 11, but none were there; not even the monumental charter! Finally, got those docs.,via email by phoning the City clerk. Read those carefully, especially the Charter itself. Good luck.The best way to learn about Charter cities is to "Google" on charter cities.  First, three sites are very hepful, especially the side-by-side, category by row comparisons of general law vs charter city powers/restrictions.After getting those documents, read them, put them side-by-side, paying special attention to wording of the "proposed City charter" (that we'll be voting on in November.Then, maybe we can can debate the facts and issues, and not merely attack one another.But since personalities seem so important in these blogs, after you've educated yourself on the facts, who do you think has provided the most accurate depiction of the charter and its potential impacts?Souza, Asmundson, Adler, Steiner, DPD & Lamar, ORSue, Don Saylor, Mike Harrington, Don Schor and Trickyricki.Think about it. And read the documents carefully.(As an aside, I just can't understand why Lamar has abandoned his "progressive" roots by joining the pro-Covell Center crowd and signed a ballot argument that might well lead to a dilution or destruction of Measure J as we know it today.) 

  128. trickyricki

    Just realized I forgot to tell folks how to find documentation for my arguments against Measure N (the Charter).The City has generated three documents: The Charter itself (that is what we are actually voting on to approve or reject); a ballot argument in favor of the charter (Signed by Ruth, Souza, Jerry Adler and Lamar – glad Lamar is keeping such "progressive" company these days); and an "impartial analysis" by the City attorney.Tried to find those documents on-line @ City web-site on Monday, August 11, but none were there; not even the monumental charter! Finally, got those docs.,via email by phoning the City clerk. Read those carefully, especially the Charter itself. Good luck.The best way to learn about Charter cities is to "Google" on charter cities.  First, three sites are very hepful, especially the side-by-side, category by row comparisons of general law vs charter city powers/restrictions.After getting those documents, read them, put them side-by-side, paying special attention to wording of the "proposed City charter" (that we'll be voting on in November.Then, maybe we can can debate the facts and issues, and not merely attack one another.But since personalities seem so important in these blogs, after you've educated yourself on the facts, who do you think has provided the most accurate depiction of the charter and its potential impacts?Souza, Asmundson, Adler, Steiner, DPD & Lamar, ORSue, Don Saylor, Mike Harrington, Don Schor and Trickyricki.Think about it. And read the documents carefully.(As an aside, I just can't understand why Lamar has abandoned his "progressive" roots by joining the pro-Covell Center crowd and signed a ballot argument that might well lead to a dilution or destruction of Measure J as we know it today.) 

  129. Anonymous

    A real estate transfer tax is a tax on the seller when he sells his home. This tax would unfairly harm seniors who want to sell and downsize or move to be near their children. It would harm families who want to sell to move up in the market to a larger home. Anyone who sold a home would be faced with a huge tax just for selling it, on top of all the other home-associated taxes they paid over the years. This is an unfair, onerous burden, and having heard certain council members talk about wanting such a tax for years now, I believe the ability to institute the real estate transfer tax is one of the driving forces for a charter.

  130. Anonymous

    A real estate transfer tax is a tax on the seller when he sells his home. This tax would unfairly harm seniors who want to sell and downsize or move to be near their children. It would harm families who want to sell to move up in the market to a larger home. Anyone who sold a home would be faced with a huge tax just for selling it, on top of all the other home-associated taxes they paid over the years. This is an unfair, onerous burden, and having heard certain council members talk about wanting such a tax for years now, I believe the ability to institute the real estate transfer tax is one of the driving forces for a charter.

  131. Anonymous

    A real estate transfer tax is a tax on the seller when he sells his home. This tax would unfairly harm seniors who want to sell and downsize or move to be near their children. It would harm families who want to sell to move up in the market to a larger home. Anyone who sold a home would be faced with a huge tax just for selling it, on top of all the other home-associated taxes they paid over the years. This is an unfair, onerous burden, and having heard certain council members talk about wanting such a tax for years now, I believe the ability to institute the real estate transfer tax is one of the driving forces for a charter.

  132. Anonymous

    A real estate transfer tax is a tax on the seller when he sells his home. This tax would unfairly harm seniors who want to sell and downsize or move to be near their children. It would harm families who want to sell to move up in the market to a larger home. Anyone who sold a home would be faced with a huge tax just for selling it, on top of all the other home-associated taxes they paid over the years. This is an unfair, onerous burden, and having heard certain council members talk about wanting such a tax for years now, I believe the ability to institute the real estate transfer tax is one of the driving forces for a charter.

  133. No On Charter

    “The Charter as far as I can tell does not give the council more power. In fact, it doesn’t change the power of the council. Any changes have to go through the voters in a charter amendment.”

    In light of the intelligent arguments that have followed this comment, my hope is DPD has seen the light, and will stop exalting from over substance!

  134. No On Charter

    “The Charter as far as I can tell does not give the council more power. In fact, it doesn’t change the power of the council. Any changes have to go through the voters in a charter amendment.”

    In light of the intelligent arguments that have followed this comment, my hope is DPD has seen the light, and will stop exalting from over substance!

  135. No On Charter

    “The Charter as far as I can tell does not give the council more power. In fact, it doesn’t change the power of the council. Any changes have to go through the voters in a charter amendment.”

    In light of the intelligent arguments that have followed this comment, my hope is DPD has seen the light, and will stop exalting from over substance!

  136. No On Charter

    “The Charter as far as I can tell does not give the council more power. In fact, it doesn’t change the power of the council. Any changes have to go through the voters in a charter amendment.”

    In light of the intelligent arguments that have followed this comment, my hope is DPD has seen the light, and will stop exalting from over substance!

  137. Doug Paul Davis

    “my hope is DPD has seen the light, and will stop exalting from over substance! “

    I have definitely seen the light, but I have no idea what this phrase means.

  138. Doug Paul Davis

    “my hope is DPD has seen the light, and will stop exalting from over substance! “

    I have definitely seen the light, but I have no idea what this phrase means.

  139. Doug Paul Davis

    “my hope is DPD has seen the light, and will stop exalting from over substance! “

    I have definitely seen the light, but I have no idea what this phrase means.

  140. Doug Paul Davis

    “my hope is DPD has seen the light, and will stop exalting from over substance! “

    I have definitely seen the light, but I have no idea what this phrase means.

  141. Ooops, cant spell

    “”my hope is DPD has seen the light, and will stop exalting from over substance! “

    I have definitely seen the light, but I have no idea what this phrase means.”

    Sorry, can’t spell some days. The phrase should have read “form over substance”. What I was trying to point out is that in effect, voting for the city going charter is giving the City Council majority the power to add a transfer tax, rezone property in contravention of the General Plan, etc, etc ad nauseum. We don’t want to give the Council majority any more power than they have already, thank you very much!

  142. Ooops, cant spell

    “”my hope is DPD has seen the light, and will stop exalting from over substance! “

    I have definitely seen the light, but I have no idea what this phrase means.”

    Sorry, can’t spell some days. The phrase should have read “form over substance”. What I was trying to point out is that in effect, voting for the city going charter is giving the City Council majority the power to add a transfer tax, rezone property in contravention of the General Plan, etc, etc ad nauseum. We don’t want to give the Council majority any more power than they have already, thank you very much!

  143. Ooops, cant spell

    “”my hope is DPD has seen the light, and will stop exalting from over substance! “

    I have definitely seen the light, but I have no idea what this phrase means.”

    Sorry, can’t spell some days. The phrase should have read “form over substance”. What I was trying to point out is that in effect, voting for the city going charter is giving the City Council majority the power to add a transfer tax, rezone property in contravention of the General Plan, etc, etc ad nauseum. We don’t want to give the Council majority any more power than they have already, thank you very much!

  144. Ooops, cant spell

    “”my hope is DPD has seen the light, and will stop exalting from over substance! “

    I have definitely seen the light, but I have no idea what this phrase means.”

    Sorry, can’t spell some days. The phrase should have read “form over substance”. What I was trying to point out is that in effect, voting for the city going charter is giving the City Council majority the power to add a transfer tax, rezone property in contravention of the General Plan, etc, etc ad nauseum. We don’t want to give the Council majority any more power than they have already, thank you very much!

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