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Letter to the Editor: More to ‘Know’

April 11th, 2014 · No Comments · Letters to the Editor

I am surprised at all the debate over the Taxpayer’s Right to Know and Vote measure. Seems to be a lot of misinformation and aggression on this topic, especially towards the City Council.
Hard to believe such a small group of “concerned citizens” would create so much controversy. Each week it’s the same names representing Signal Hill Community First (SHCF)– Maria Harris and Carol Churchill. Seems they are the voice of SHCF.
Signal Tribune reported that two lawsuits were filed by SHCF. The first headline read, “Lawsuit claims Signal Hill city clerk prepared inaccurate ballot label” (March 14th, Page 3) and the second headline read [“Former Signal Hill police officials express opposition to Taxpayer’s Right to Know and Vote initiative” under the subheading] “Ongoing litigation” (April 4th, Page 15) stating, “Judge O’Brien directed both parties to come up with a compromise.” In summary, both lawsuits were denied and the judge suggested both parties work it out together.
If SHCF is truly interested in taxpayers having a say on how dollars are spent, then why did they take it upon themselves to file two lawsuits against the City, costing the City money, without asking the taxpayers first? Isn’t that the essence of what SHCF are proposing– having the electorate be involved in matters that impact the City financially? Or does this not apply to them?
Question– Why didn’t SHCF work with the city attorney to review the ballot label before it was submitted? This may have prevented a lawsuit.
Question– Has the City offered to work with SHCF to ensure full transparency so that both parties agree on all paperwork submitted?
Question– If Lori Woods, council member, was originally a proponent of Taxpayer’s Right to Know and Vote, what did she learn that reversed her position and vote against it?
Question– Are there other proponents of this measure that have reversed their position and, if so, why?
Question– Is the City and SHCF working closely together to maintain an open dialogue, thereby preventing future lawsuits by not working within a vacuum?
Seems to be more questions than answers at this point, and it’s looking more like it’s turning into a personal matter rather than what’s good for the community.
Better communication and working together more effectively is the key so that our taxpayers’ dollars are being used wisely and for taxpayers to be informed so that when it comes time to vote it’s based on accurate facts and not misinformation.

Cameron Caplen-Smith
Signal Hill

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