Readers comments 9-27-19
Claremont is worth it
Unlike many residents in Claremont, I haven’t lived here my entire life or for even that large of a portion of my life, but I did grow up nearby, loving the “small town but with things to actually do” feel that it had then and, in some ways, has even more so now.
Having the opportunity to buy a home, raise my family here, and participate in serving my community has been one of my greatest privileges. I have lived in many other places (including towns that compare themselves to Claremont) and there is a “lightning in a bottle” quality that Claremont has that I’ve never seen or experienced anywhere else.
I love Claremont and believe that the day-to-day personal commitment and investment its residents make to ensure that it continues to thrive is the “thing” that makes it so special.
Like any personal investment or commitment, one to a community isn’t necessarily risk- or pain-free. But the long-term rewards can be great, often even far surpassing our expectations. Because of this, I will be investing in the success of my town and my community by voting “yes” for Measure CR in November.
CR supports families
As the mother of three children in a low-income family, I strongly support Measure CR. By balancing the city’s budget through a .75 percent increase to the sales tax, the measure will preserve current city programs and services.
These programs are much more important to me and my family than the extra pennies I might pay for toilet paper or toothpaste if Measure CR passes.
My children go to Camp Claremont every summer. A typical summer day camp is over $200 a week. Camp Claremont is $50, and scholarships are available.
Other valuable programs that reach families like mine would also be in jeopardy if Measure CR fails. We can’t afford to put our children in art classes, but they participate in ART stART, through the Claremont Museum of Art, a program that receives a grant from the city.
Living in an apartment means we don’t have the space to host gatherings, so when I was a Girl Scout troop leader, we met in city parks for many activities. I’m glad they were always in good condition with well-maintained bathrooms.
Volunteerism is important in our family. I have taken my children to tree-planting events with Sustainable Claremont, co-sponsored by the city. These events wouldn’t happen without city staff to procure grant funding for the trees and to assist the volunteers. Sustainable Claremont receives grants from the city to coordinate this highly successful program, and the results will benefit our community for generations to come.
These are all ways my family is directly served by our city. Many other programs exist for our youth, seniors, and houseless populations that provide vital services valued well beyond the cost of Measure CR.
While some opponents argue that a sales tax is regressive, the true regressive act would be to cut the services that Claremont’s families, especially low-income families, rely on. Please join me in voting yes on Measure CR.
Keep Claremont, Claremont
I am writing in support of Measure CR. I support the local sales tax measure because the funding will mean that we will continue to enjoy those things that we have all come to love and appreciate in the community—community parks, recreational programs, especially for the young and seniors, walkable streets and sidewalks, public safety, the urban forest and the historic and cultural environment.
Every cent will stay in Claremont, as opposed to the current sales tax of 9.5 percent where only 1 percent comes back to the city. And, the cost of the tax will be shared by visitors to Claremont, which will only result in 75 cents for a $100 purchase. This will hardly drive visitors away.
The city leadership has already dug deep and reduced costs. Further cuts would harm the city services we have come to expect for our quality of life.
The three-quarter percent sales tax increase is a small amount to maintain the unique and special sense of place we have in Claremont that is unequaled in most small towns. Measure CR is really about community. It is about keeping Claremont, Claremont. It is about ensuring the city will be the attractive place to visit, shop, work, play and live. That is why I support Measure CR.
A sense of pride
We want to express our support for Measure CR on the ballot November 5.
As Village business owners, we have seen the results of some city cutbacks that have already been implemented. Sad landscaping, out-of-date directional maps, sidewalks not being cleaned as regularly and spotty grounds trash pickup. The city, for several years, no longer has a full team of maintenance employees but contracts out a number of services. The contract folks don’t have the same sense of pride in work that our city employees have.
There are deferred maintenance projects we see all around town. Tree maintenance, potholes, extremely faded street signs, city buildings that need new roofs and replacing aging, energy-sucking air conditioning systems with energy efficient units in our highly used community buildings (Hughes, Blaisdell, Joslyn).
Whatever the issues of the past, we need to look forward. The sales tax increase is not only borne by local shoppers but the thousands that enjoy the Claremont shopping experience. We want the revenue under local control rather than having a county agency capture it next year.
We’re willing to pay an additional 75 cents on a $100 purchase to make sure we will not see further cuts in services and other community-building activities that make Claremont the extraordinary destination we love.
Sonja Stump and Bob Fagg
Protect our services
I believe that Measure CR needs to pass to help our city to maintain necessary services by adding three-quarters of a percent to our sales tax.
There are operating costs from outside sources over which the city has no control, such as liability insurance, utilities and pension obligations already incurred. Partly because of this, recently the city has had to remove or lower some other expenditures.
Measure CR will help to prevent further reductions to our core services including deferred maintenance, tree removal and trimming, youth and senior services and animal control contracts.
When I am downtown I see out-of-town visitors enjoying our village and its products and services. The added three-quarters of a percent is one way they will pay a little more for the services they use while here. Our businesses are special and visitors will keep coming.
I respect the efforts of the city council and city staff to protect our city services by presenting the opportunity to raise the sales tax by three-quarters of a percent through Measure CR, and I will support it all the way.
Students off campus
I am entirely sympathetic with the difficulties of student renters, really, all renters and middle-class families, in finding affordable housing in Southern California.
I would be more encouraging of increased student integration into the larger community, however, if students would be more respectful of the safety and sleeping needs of the working families around them.
Specifically, we have been disturbed by loud parties that last into the early morning in single-family homes recently converted into rentals for groups of students.
The loud party problem started again last weekend at 12th Street and Harvard Avenue as the fall schedule started and young people, many away from home for the first time, took up residence in the neighborhood. This party lasted until 2 a.m., despite my polite request to attendees to quiet down.
My other concern is with cars speeding along our residential streets. New students to Claremont may not realize how many alleys, long driveways, kids, cats, dogs, and seniors cross these residential streets. Many of the streets are quite dark at night and drivers couldn’t possible react in a timely fashion to people or animals on corners or mid-street.
I’d ask students who want to live off campus to remember that they are, indeed, off campus, and to respect the lives, safety and schedules of the rest of the community.