Monday, March 11, 2013
Taxing Times…William Squidspeare, the great bard of the Seven Seas, once asked, “What’s in a name?” It’s a question that’s also been on Squid’s mind for a few weeks.
For squids and humans, a name provides identification, but not necessarily meaning. One cannot, for example, speculate anything suggestive about Chinese soccer star Wang Dong based on his unfortunate (to Westerners at least) yet hilarious name.
It’s a different story when naming an organization. The name of a group or company is a brand, chosen carefully with a purpose in mind. The owners of Pho King Vietnamese restaurant in Seaside were certainly using their noodles when they come up with that brilliant gem.
So it’s strange to Squid that the leaders of the Salinas Police Tax Committee, a group looking to fund more police officers and a police station in the crime-strafed city possibly with a new tax, can’t seem to agree on what to call themselves.
According to a recent Weekly blog post, Bob Perkins, who chairs the committee, prefers the name “Salinas Public Safety Funding Committee” to “Police Tax Committee.”
Perkins says his group is looking into ways of funding public safety that might not even involve a tax. But a few months ago, Steve McShane, a Salinas councilman and the committee secretary, said the group supports the creation of a small sales tax for the proposed building and officers.
And the notices the Weekly has gotten have invited the public to the meeting of the “Police Tax Committee.”
So what is it? Tax or no tax? Funding Committee or Tax Committee? And why so unclear, community leaders?
In any case, there’s one thing most folks would agree on: A tax by any other name would stink. The question is—will it make the city safer?