Thursday, November 1, 2007
PACIFIC GROVE TAX MEASURES
Measure O | YES
This measure would remove the city’s $3,000 business tax cap. This seems fair – a huge company such as Trader Joe’s shouldn’t be held to the same tax ceiling as a mid-sized one such as Grove Market. PG clearly needs additional funds to patch up its budget, and city government has made its own sacrifices by cutting department heads to shrink managerial spending.
Measure P | YES
Imposes a flat parcel tax of about $120 per year regardless of property value. We’d rather see higher taxes for higher-value parcels so that the richest shoulder more of the burden, but that kind of tax could violate Prop. 13, which limits property taxes. The flat parcel tax, which reflects the use of city services, appears to be a reasonable compromise.
Measure Q | YES
This measure would raise the city sales tax by one-half cent. We do hesitate over sales taxes, which are regressive by nature in that they tax the poor and rich equally. But the tax package will only go into effect if all three measures receive majority votes, and we feel that the package attempts to distribute the city’s financial burden across sectors of the public.
Trustee Area 1 | Polly Jimenez
With Hartnell’s accreditation status in jeopardy and a $1.3 million budget deficit looming, the community college needs new and innovative leadership now more than ever. Although former college administrator Manuel Osorio is a well-qualified candidate, retired teacher Jimenez has the Castroville connections and classroom know-how to best represent North Monterey County.
Trustee Area 2 | Bill Freeman
When Hartnell teachers took to the picket lines a year ago, Freeman joined them, defying former president Ed Valeau. While the Accrediting Commission later dinged Freeman for his open support of faculty – and we’re disappointed that Freeman didn’t bother answering a questionnaire about his candidacy – the Weekly thinks Freeman deserves another term for courageously standing up to Hartnell’s administration.
Trustee Area 3 | Pat Donohue
Donohue correctly points out that Hartnell’s enrollment troubles may stem from not offering programs and classes relevant to the community college’s large percentage of first-generation and Latino college students. Donohue’s candor along with her 35 years of government experience as Watsonville’s Parks and Recreation director make her the clear choice.
Trustee Area 4 | Elia Gonzalez-Castro
Gonzalez-Castro has deep roots in East Salinas through her job as a parent educator with the Alisal Union School District and her nonprofit experience with groups such as the Alisal Center for the Fine Arts. As a bilingual Mexican immigrant, Gonzalez-Castro also has the bicultural skills necessary to effectively represent East Salinas.
MONTEREY PENINSULA COLLEGE
Two-year term | Diane Cordero de Noriega
This race is a tough one. Both Cordero de Noriega and her opponent, Carl Pohlhammer, are well qualified, and the Weekly believes that either candidate would serve the college and the community well. They are both committed to representing the school’s diverse communities (the district reaches from Marina to Big Sur) by promoting district elections for the board, a move the Weekly welcomes. And we applaud Pohlhammer’s commitment to opening a full-service campus on the former Fort Ord property, which would better serve the school’s Marina and Seaside students. But ultimately, Cordero de Noriega’s experience trumps Pohlhammer’s. She’s the powerhouse that the MPC board needs.
Four-year term | Alvin Edwards, Charles Page, Loren Steck
Edwards, the only non-incumbent running for this seat, brings enthusiasm and a new perspective from the Seaside community to the board. Steck’s experience as a current trustee and a UC Santa Cruz faculty member will continue to benefit the board, as will Page’s vision and continued advocacy for the college.
MONTEREY PENINSULA WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT
Director Area 4 | Regina Doyle
There’s no contest here: Doyle is, hands down, the more qualified candidate. She’s got the backing of current board members Kristi Markey and Judi Lehman, who have served the community – and the environment – well, along with Assembly candidate Bill Monning and just about every other progressive-minded person in the county. The water board needs Doyle’s know-how, and her commitment to water conservation and finding a long-term water supply.
Director Area 5 | Lance Monosoff
As with most water board races, this one breaks down along slow-growth and fast-growth lines. Monosoff, who has won the endorsement of former Assemblyman Fred Keeley and the Sierra Club, represents the former and Bob Brower, backed by the Monterey County Hospitality Association, the latter. We don’t doubt Brower’s commitment to finding a new water source so we can stop overpumping the Carmel River, which hurts the river as well as steelhead and other endangered species. But we think Monosoff has the right answer to the current problem: a small desal plant to meet the water needs of current residents as opposed to large-scale future development projects.