Robert McDonald’s article on the SLO Fiscal Sustainability Task Force (“One report to rule them all,” Feb. 10) was right on. The task of this group, many of whom have enjoyed preferential treatment by City Hall over the past decade, was to validate the city’s mantra that it’s the unions—not the city’s irresponsible financial administration—that is to blame for the city’s financial malaise. Officials know that members of the public are befuddled by government accounting and allocations and are easy to incite over baser explanations for their trouble, like someone making more than them.
Instead of eliminating expenditures on frivolous projects that only satisfy special interest groups, City Hall is playing on the resentment of the masses against their equals who have better prepared for this financial downturn. This fervor created by city hall concerning binding arbitration is nothing more than a smoke screen, and whoever looks at it objectively can see that, even if voted out, it will not change the financial situation of San Luis Obispo.
The overwhelming similarity of the many cities in financial distress is not binding arbitration, but their rush to entice developers with taxpayer-funded incentives. Doug Jenzen, in a subsequent opinion piece in the same issue of New Times (“Stop paving paradise”), explains just that.