Stormwater Tax Battle Heads Into the Gutter

Residents report theft of opposition signs by town, violation of community principles, bait-and-switch in ordinance language

On Wednesday, despite public opposition comments outnumbering support comments by nearly 70%, the council voted to proceed with official balloting for the storm drain tax.

The public comment was not without drama and some important observations and analysis:

One resident reported that the town seized all opposition signs from private property on the south side of town.

Another expressed displeasure of the town's downplaying the $37,000/yr tax on public schools, and later characterized the final ordinance as a "bait and switch" that no longer limits spending to high-priority items (as the town and its advocacy group has promised) and instead allows spending on anything stormdrain-related, irrespective of category or priority.

Others took exception to the town's advocacy group comments that voting "no" is irresponsible, characterizing it as an affront to democracy.

A steady refrain of additional residents concluded the entire process and structure of the proposed tax is poorly conceived, poorly implemented, extraordinarily desperate, and without a viable financing plan. They urged the council to stop "pulling the rug over our eyes" and insisted on complete, accurate and honest information that doesn't violate community values by taxing schools and churches and that is honest and forthright.

Public comments begin at the 3:03:30 mark here.

Ballots will arrive in mailboxes before month-end. They'll

look like this:

SMARTMoraga recommends a

NO vote on the stormwater fee.

see Storm Drain Central for the myriad reasons why.