Readers comments 6-8-18
Thank you from committee
It is with a grateful heart we reach out to all in the community that gave flight to Partners for a Safe Claremont and supported all efforts to providing our excellent Claremont Police Department officers, staff and volunteers a modern facility.
Despite all things, our voting neighbors have once again given us direction to delay a critical need. There are no regrets; there are only lessons learned, which will move this project forward.
We encourage our city leadership to remain focused on the road ahead, as the dust settles from these disappointing results. It was through the creative leadership of our then-mayor Corey Calaycay, who appointed 15 neighbors, along with the city and Claremont Police Department, to form the ad hoc committee. It is their careful analysis that conferred outstanding solutions, which gave flight and inspiration to many of us so early on. Thank you.
To the Partners for a Safe Claremont committee, your tireless support and hard work yielded a vibrant connection and a wonderful broad-reaching campaign. Thank you!
Thank you to our city council for your bold leadership, which provided another opportunity to address tough topics, rather than take safe passage.
Thank you to our community of neighbors and stakeholders, who supported Measure SC. Your support fueled the momentum on all aspects.
Most importantly, to our Claremont Police Department team; we honor your commitment to keeping our town safe. It has been our pleasure to get to know you and gain a deeper understanding of what happens when we all come together to inspire a city to take the next step.
We encourage all to continue to draw upon the bedrock of this community positivity and never allow any failure to be final. Thank you for the distinct privilege to serve as your co-chairs of Partners for a Safe Claremont and Measure SC.
Never allow failure to get to your heart but consider all that we have gained in the collective and honor the reason we all came to the table. Thank you!
Betty Crocker and Ed Reece
Co-chairs, Partners for a Safe Claremont
I have been fortunate to live in the same house in Claremont since 1983, and have voted in every election since then.
Tuesday morning, when I dutifully went to the polling place listed on my “Official Sample Ballot,” my house and I, and a number of other houses and people on my street, were not listed at the sign-in table.
We had to vote “provisionally” in an election where every single vote for SC matters. What’s that all about? Is this another dirty trick aimed at keeping Measure SC from passing?
I certainly hope this problem will be fixed before the general election.
Diane R. Andersen
What can we do?
As many writers to our COURIER, I have not written for many years. However, in this letter I am posing a question, as opposed to voicing an opinion. And I must note that I don’t have an answer to my question; I honestly do not know what to do.
I’ve lived in Claremont since 1982. I owned a home in North Claremont, rented in the Griswold’s townhouses and now own a home in what we lovingly call “Baja” Claremont. We all know we are the “City of Trees and PhDs” and we all cherish the old- fashioned and quaint ways of our city.
I’ve always locked my doors whether living in the north, central or baja section of Claremont but never have I worried about walking in the Village or taking an evening walk in the summer. I’ve never really looked over my shoulder.
It was always a comfortable Sunday or Saturday afternoon to read a book in the patio area at the Laemmle Theatre. But my comfort level is gone.
Last week on a Friday afternoon, I read and shared some homemade cookies with a fellow reader and stranger. Eventually she left and a very tall, disheveled man who was talking to himself approached me, mumbling something. It was then clear he was asking for money. I was taken aback. He continued roaming around and asked several others but had no luck.
Within 10 minutes, another person, in a similar unclean condition, also mumbling, approached me for money again. And once again I was agitated. There were only three people in the plaza at the moment and no one gave her money.
Finally, and here is my question, what do we do? What is Claremont doing? How should we handle this ever-increasing situation?
It is said we are all subject to homelessness if the black clouds line up in just the right lines. We are all aware of the thousands upon thousands of homeless people over the Los Angeles area. But I now realize how naive I’ve been that it wouldn’t happen here; not in my Claremont. Well, it’s here.
I am a senior citizen and spend wonderful times in our downtown, both east and west, but now I’m more timid and concerned for my safety.
However I am also concerned about the souls who find themselves without a warm bed, nutritional food and a soft pillow under his or her head at night. I worked very hard on the blessing box, which is located on the north side of Claremont UCC and they are always in need of more items. But donating to the blessing box is a bandaid on a very large open wound.
At the end of the day, I don’t know what to do, how to react or how to help. I know my neighbors will not be shy and will respond with many suggestions.
Prop 13 isn’t working
While a new police station may be required, the way the Claremont city government tried to allocate cost to Claremont residents was unfair and unwise over the long term.
The tax assessment of $30 per $100,000 assessed value of property parcels would have been much less for longer term residents of Claremont whose property taxes have been limited by Proposition 13, than for newer residents who have a similar value home, but whose assessed value is closer to market rate.
I was a boy when Prop 13 was passed, and I remember how California politicians were using property taxes like a piggy bank. With fast rising property values, longterm residents on fixed incomes were getting taxed out of their homes. Prop 13 was a good measure.
However, the scheme to essentially “Prop 13” police station funding for the Claremont station was not fair, and sends a bad message to the Claremont government for future spending initiatives. In essence, “index tax contributions to assessed parcel value, and win the long-time Claremont residents support for new taxes (who are getting a discount on their share of new taxes).”
Make no mistake, had this police station tax bill passed, the Claremont government and politicians would have considered this tax scheme a successful way to get more spending bills approved in the future.
Ultimately, a “make the new Claremont residents pay more” for new programs would backfire if the city gets a reputation for indexing taxes to Prop 13 adjusted assessed value of homes.
New families would be hesitant to move into a city where the “new guys” pay more than their fair share. This will drive down home sale values, including those of longterm Claremont residents.
If the police station bill allocated tax contribution based on market value of property, I’d be happy to pay my fair share.
Promoting the general welfare
Investment newsletters report that corporations plan to spend tax cuts on actions that will benefit stockholders: stock buy-backs, dividends to stockholders and acquisitions of other corporations. Very little will go to pay increases or bonuses to employees.
A survey of the 1,000 of the largest companies found that they plan to spend only 6 percent of tax cuts to benefit company employees.
Corporations will reward those who have most of the money, not those who do most of the work. The productivity of American working people has soared for the last 40 years, but almost all of the additional income has gone to the employers, i.e., top executives and investors.
Employees’ pay has stagnated, pensions have gradually disappeared and the cost of “employer-provided” health insurance has increasingly been shifted from employer to employee. That’s the way unequal power works unless our elected representatives intervene to “promote the general welfare,” which our Constitution’s preamble says is one of the purposes of our government.
Otherwise, the economic system and the government’s regulation (or non-regulation) of it primarily promote the welfare of what former President George W. Bush called “the investor class.”
Unfortunately, wealthy investors’ large campaign contributions to some Congress members, and cushy well-paid corporate jobs for them after they’re out of office, have made many in Congress reluctant to protect employees from exploitation or to make it easier for employees to organize and bargain for a better share of the income.
Progressives have tried to make such changes, but conservatives have blocked or reversed them. I hope that the election in November 2018 will give us a Congress that will “promote the general welfare” instead of serving primarily “the investor class.”