Reader comments 9-25-15
Our global climate
Mark Merritt’s letter “What climate change?” in the September 18 issue of the COURIER illustrates well the confusion of some folks between local weather and global climate. A one-day local rain in southern California does not offset meteorological conditions in Africa, Australia, Europe, the Arctic and elsewhere.
Even more important in global climate discussions is the increasing temperatures of the global oceans, and the slowing of the Gulf Stream due to increasingly large amounts of cold fresh water flowing south down Davis Strait into the Labrador Sea.
It now appears that, globally, 2015 will be the hottest year on record, with 2014 running a close second.
D. D. Trent
The letters from Sally Seven and Jim Belna in the September 18 COURIER, along with the enclosed flier from the Council for a Better Police Station (CBPS), raised several issues for Claremont voters, issues which need to be clarified before we vote on Measure PS in November.
Ms. Seven pointed out that the parcel tax is going to cost an extra $400,000 each year in order to collect $95,000 from local nonprofits. Why would homeowners, over the 40-year payoff period, want to pay an extra $16 million dollars on the debt service charge as opposed to GO bonds?
The CBPS flier pointed out another problem with the parcel tax, that parcels with several high income businesses on them will pay the same as a single homeowner. So Citibank, Trader Joe’s, Buca di Beppo, Candlelight Pavilion and Griswold’s Old School House will only pay a small fraction of what a single homeowner will have to pay? Why would homeowners want to pay a significantly larger portion of the debt load than a business?
Mr. Belna’s letter pointed out how, if we approve the police station parcel tax and proceed with the water system acquisition, Claremont’s total debt would almost quadruple in size to $248 million, moving us from having the lowest debt in the region to having one of the highest.
He stated, “It is foolish to imagine there will be no consequences to borrowing so much money at once.” What he didn’t state, but is also a concern, is that if revenue from water use is reduced by 30 to 40 percent, as we have been successfully doing with water conservation, won’t this also throw off the initial calculations on the water acquisition, which will cause even more deficit and debt load?
The last issue, also raised by CBPS, was the site for the police station ended up being placed in a gravel pit, a location that was supposedly rejected by the consultant. Because of the location, this site reportedly will cost an extra $11.6 million to develop. It is somewhat understandable the city didn’t want to put the station on a site more attractive to developers because the more attractive site will, hopefully, generate more tax revenue down the road. But will obligating homeowners to an extra $11.6 million pay off? Will saving a more attractive site for home or apartment development generate income in excess of that $11.6 million? And should the potential for tax revenue even be a factor in dictating the most efficient and effective site for such an important service as public safety?
I support the need for a new police station, though not as huge as the one envisioned. However, if the issues outlined above are what they seem to be, I don’t think we are approaching this need in the best interests of homeowners.