Marcos Breton

Marcos Breton: Leaders make city look foolish

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 1B
Last Modified: Thursday, Apr. 18, 2013 - 7:45 pm

Oh, my city. You are so screwed up politically. You have big city complexities demanding big city ideas.

But on too many days, small minds rule the roost.

The capital city is cash poor and it doesn't have the resources to properly police itself, combat crime and prevent it.

Even if you don't live in Sacramento, the issue affects you if you are one of the legions who live in the suburbs but work in the city.

So what has happened? Sacramento's police union refused to have its members contribute to their own pensions and a bunch of cops got laid off.

Now the city is coming to voters with a November sales tax measure that would raise an estimated $28 million annually for the budget – except that City Council members did not submit arguments for or against the sales tax hike for the sample ballot.

Mayor Kevin Johnson is against the proposal and council members Steve Cohn, Kevin McCarty and Darrell Fong favor it, but you would never know that.

I want to see Mayor KJ do well, but good grief. You missed the deadline? Seriously?

As for the three guys in favor of the sales tax increase, they didn't write ballot arguments after saying they would.

Insert chicken sounds here.

Cohn, McCarty and Fong are not bad people – at least I don't think they are. They do good things for their districts, but on this and other citywide issues?

Like all of their colleagues, except Jay Schenirer and Angelique Ashby, they can't help but trip over themselves and their petty squabbles with Johnson.

If you don't have the courage to put your name on a sales tax increase, why should voters give it to you?

If the cops themselves won't make a sacrifice to boost public safety, why should the public?

Asking for a sales tax increase is asking for public trust. Do we trust these people?

Cohn, McCarty and Fong also are in favor of a massive, time-wasting group grope called a "Charter Commission."

If it's approved by voters in November, that's where mostly special interests in Sacramento will waste time and money rewriting city rules when most residents couldn't care less about that.

I know why the sales tax is needed. Sac PD has had to consolidate too many operations and needed services.

If we say no to the sales tax to stick it to dysfunctional politicians and the police union, we stick it to ourselves as well.

What a choice.

Sacramento is too important a regional hub to be so rudderless and distracted by insider baseball.

Right now, against all odds, there is a new buyer for the Downtown Plaza, and what's my biggest fear?

That a badly needed deal to revitalize downtown will be hurt by the same crew mixed up in this sales tax ship of fools.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Marcos Breton



Marcos Breton, news columnist

Marcos Breton

Hello, my name is Marcos Breton and I'm the news columnist with The Sacramento Bee. What's a columnist supposed to do? I'm supposed to make you think, make you laugh, make you mad or make you see an issue in a different way. I'm supposed to connect the dots on issues, people and relationships that cause things to happen or prevent them from happening in our region. I also write a weekly baseball column during the baseball season. I am a voter in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Yes, I have voted for Barry Bonds - twice. I am a native of Northern California. I am the son of Mexican immigrants. I've been at The Bee for more than 20 years, and I love Sacramento.

Email: mbreton@sacbee.com
Phone: 916-321-1096
Twitter: @MarcosBreton
Facebook: facebook.com/marcosbretonmartinez

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