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Drop utility tax idea, cut unnecessary city spending
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin,

City Manager Steve Pinkerton’s column on Saturday, March 21, 2008 was quite revealing. Before I explain my concerns I believe I must say that I generally agree with Mr. Pinkerton and I support him as our city manager. However, he made some statements in the “Lead Balloon or Life Preserver?” column that I do not agree with.

In support of his suggestion for a utility tax he said, “Every department is doing more with less; every department in this city already operates with far fewer employees per capita than our peer group of cities.”  I appreciate our city employees working hard. I do not think our city should be compared with cities that apparently have managers, supervisors and employees that do not strive for excellence and productivity. If you must compare our city to others, compare to those doing better. We must keep our standards high and always reach for the stars in terms of quality and productivity. Do not look for excuses to accept mediocrity.

To Mr. Pinkerton I say no to any suggestion of a tax without a specific designated use for the funds. I have seen too many examples of wasteful spending by those in government.

I voted for the half cent sales tax for public safety because the use of the money was specifically tied to public safety. Without that specificity the money would be left up to the whims of future councils and city managers to build personal monuments to themselves. I do not support a utility users tax and I suggest city staff do as I must do when I don’t have enough money, cut the unnecessary spending.

Bob Busser
March 22, 2009