Local Politicians Seek to Stop "Sacramento Raids"

From left: Allan Mansoor, Wendy Leece, Cathy Green and Jill Hardy.
From left: Allan Mansoor, Wendy Leece, Cathy Green and Jill Hardy.

If the medical-marijuana patients and advocates protesting outside Costa Mesa City Hall Saturday want elected officials to hear their pleas against police raids, they won't have to shout loudly as Costa Mesa's mayor and mayor pro tem will be standing across the street pleading against "Sacramento raids."

Costa Mesa's top two elected officials will join their Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Fountain Valley counterparts at the entrance to the Orange County Fair & Events Center to collect signatures for a voter initiative aimed at keeping more state tax dollars local and out of the hands of what they allege are a thieving governor and state Legislature.

Scheduled to man the north and south entrances at 12:30 p.m. Saturday are: Costa Mesa Mayor Allan Mansoor; Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Wendy Leece; Huntington Beach Mayor Cathy Green; Huntington Beach Mayor Pro Tem Jill Hardy; Newport Beach Mayor Pro Tem Michael Henn; Newport Beach City Councilwoman Nancy Gardner; and Fountain Valley Mayor Pro Tem Cheryl Brothers.

According to backers, the Local Taxpayer, Public Safety and Transportation Protection Act of 2010, which they hope to qualify for November's ballot, closes loopholes to prevent the state from "stealing, diverting or borrowing" local tax dollars used for transportation, public safety, local infrastructure projects and other municipal services.

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The initiative, sponsored by Californians to Protect Local Taxpayers and Vital Services, has been supported by other government officials, chambers of commerce, public safety advocates and businesses, the South Orange County Regional Chambers of Commerce and the Orange County Fire Chiefs Association among them, say backers.

They must collect more than 1.2 million signatures to ensure it meets the required 694,354 valid signatures needed to qualify for the statewide ballot.

"California voters have overwhelmingly passed separate ballot measures to dedicate local funding sources to essential local services and to prevent the State from shifting or raiding local government, transit and transportation funds," reads a Californians to Protect Local Taxpayers and Vital Services statement. "Despite this, the State recently passed a budget that borrows and takes approximately $5 billion in city, county, transit, redevelopment and special district funds this year.

"This year's raids and previous, ongoing state raids and borrowing are jeopardizing the services Californians need most: police, fire and emergency 911 services have been cut. Healthcare services for children, seniors and the disabled are being slashed. 

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repair and maintenance, congestion relief and safety improvements are constantly at risk. Public transit like buses, commuter rail and shuttles are being slashed and fares are being raised. Parks and libraries are closing, and other local government services critical to protect our neighborhoods and improve our quality of life are shutting down."

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