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Marsha McLean: Domestic violence not a partisan issue

Posted: September 21, 2009 9:50 p.m.
Updated: September 22, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 

There are times when partisan politics needs to be set aside. What has happened to the funding for our Santa Clarita Valley Domestic Violence Center, and other such centers statewide, is a good example.

Regardless of what political party our state legislators belong to, digging in their heels when it comes to such an important issue is not in the best interests of anyone.

There is a possibility there will be a special session of the Legislature at the end of September, and I would hope that reasonable legislators will act responsibly on this issue.

Another important bill was not passed because of partisan politics - that is the legislation that would allow cities to participate in a JPA to be able to offset the immediate taking of local revenues by the state.

I would urge each resident to call, fax and e-mail our legislators to ask that they not punish our residents and those in need in an attempt to get back at either the Republican or Democratic side of the aisle.

As a Santa Clarita City Council member, I attended the League of California Cities' annual conference in San Jose last week.

I have participated in the League of California Cities since 2003 and am currently serving a two-year term on the state League's Board of Directors.

I am committed to the League's policy of retaining local control for our city and the other 479 member cities.

The League has been instrumental in passing voter initiatives to protect local governments' interests, but the state has found loopholes and continues to find ways to steal our tax dollars.

Our city stands to lose $3 million of redevelopment and gas and property tax monies this year.

This is money that belongs to our residents for road repairs, public safety and much-needed revitalization efforts for the entire city.

The downturn in the economy has affected local revenues, but we are required by law to balance our budget each year, and through sound fiscal management that is exactly what is achieved.

The state seems to think through some sort of distorted reasoning that it doesn't have to spend within its means and can simply steal our money year after year.

Enough is enough. At the League of California Cities' Annual Conference, League's Board of Directors unanimously voted to take action if necessary to protect local government from the state's confiscation of local tax dollars.

A resolution submitted by the board concerning additional constitutional protection of local government revenues was unanimously passed by the General Assembly of the League, authorizing the board "to take any and all necessary steps to evaluate and, if feasible, seek voter approval of a ballot measure to provide constitutional protections against future efforts by the California Legislature and the governor to divert, reallocate, borrow, redistribute or steal revenues that have historically funded local government services including, but not limited to, property tax funds, the local share of gas tax funds, the local government and mass transit shares of gasoline sales tax funds, redevelopment property tax increment, utility users tax, business license tax and transient occupancy tax."

As a Santa Clarita resident and business owner, I have pledged to support any and all efforts to work on a campaign proposed by the League to protect my local tax dollars from being raided by the state Legislature and the governor.

I will do whatever is necessary to educate our residents, our business organizations and our educational community, and I will ask anyone who will listen to sign the petition that could begin to be circulated in November or December 2009.

I have pledged my personal support to gather signatures in order to qualify the initiative to be placed on the November 2010 ballot.

For information on how you can be involved in this important process, please go to the Save Your City Web site: www.saveyourcity.net. Or you can reach me at (661) 255-1259.

If the state Legislature does somehow decide to balance the state budget without stealing our cities' money, we won't have to go through with this time-consuming and expensive process, but the League of California Cities is determined to once and for all protect our tax dollars, and I am committed to play any part necessary to help.

Marsha McLean is a Santa Clarita resident and member of the Santa Clarita City Council. Her column reflects her own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.

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