Thank you for your Aug. 7 editorial that spoke to the State of California's current $17 billion budget shortfall and the potential impact upon local revenues. The state's latest budget crisis is the result of a tough economy and their inability to implement meaningful budget reform.
Local governments like Danville must pass balanced budgets by July 1 of each year. Like the state, local governments are affected by the economy and its effect on revenues. When this happens, your local elected representatives have two choices - spend less, or ask the taxpayers for more money. This year in Danville we chose to spend less.
Unfortunately, the state is once again considering diverting local government funds to help balance its budget - even though voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 1A in 2004 in order to prevent this from happening. Over the past several years, Sacramento has taken almost $9 million in local funds from Danville to help balance its budgets. This is akin to using someone else's credit or debit card. This year, they are considering "borrowing" more than $1.3 million in property tax and transportation funds from Danville, and permanently shifting redevelopment funds that would result in the loss of more than $3 million over the life of our redevelopment agency - funds that should be used to improve our downtown and our local economy.
Borrowing or taking money from local government is irresponsible and harmful to local services and the local economy. Structural budget reform is needed in Sacramento. It's time for legislators to cut up the local government credit card and make the tough choices that they were elected to make.
Mike Doyle, Council Member, Danville
Story prompts more funds
I would like to thank you for the wonderful article on FUNDaFIELD in the Danville Weekly on Aug. 8. It was not only well written, the pictures were great - and in color! The best part is the attention that FUNDaFIELD has received. Every day people are telling us that they saw us in the paper and would like to donate; it is so rewarding.
We really appreciate your support.
Garrett Weiss and the FUNDaFIELD team