Save Morro Bay — Vote for Carla, Zara and Sarah

When will it be enough?  It’s a question we all need to consider.  We live in a quaint, little vintage town, rich in history with a proud local community. We are also the last bastions of an original central coastal town, and we should all consider that moving forward. 

By now we all know about the proposed tax on homeowners in MB. We see signs asking people to “save our waterfront” as if anyone opposing B22 doesn’t care about the harbor.  But B22 is not going to save anything. The problem isn’t about saving our harbor.  The problem is about saving our town.

Remember back in 2007/08, the city instituted a policy of charging a “cost allocation” to the harbor department for administration fees.  Administrative fees?  What’s that exactly?  These fees (taxes) cost the Harbor $300K+ annually.  Where’s the money going? From what I understand, the city can lower the charge, thereby, returning much-needed funds to the harbor, but I guess, with a $175+ million dollar behemoth sewer plant draining city coffers, I don’t believe the city will be inclined to lower it or lower anything for that matter.  Have you seen the condition of our streets?

So instead of holding the city accountable with our money, we’re pivoting and going after the homeowner.  My opposition to this tax isn’t directed toward those proposing the initiative. On the contrary, I know their hearts are in the right place and I agree that the harbor is in dire need, but why are taxes the go-to answer?  We’re in the midst of skyrocketing inflation, increased utilities/food/gas, and a sales tax we passed last year, and now we’re hearing “it’s only $10/month.”  Remember when the new sewer plant was “not to exceed” $126 million dollars? 

The problem in this town is our current leadership and the mismanagement of our money.  If we have to tighten our belts, why can’t they?  It’s time for a change before our town faces ruination.

Personally, I’m concerned with the way B22 is written.  It’s divisive. It only taxes the homeowner and many don’t live here.  So while some homeowners can’t vote, all voters in MB get to weigh on a tax that affects their neighbor.  So, in essence, the only voter who can defend himself against taxation is the one who lives here.  Does that seem fair to you?  Secondly, this tax will grow.  I’ve never seen a tax that doesn’t, have you?  To put salt on the wound, the monies accrued in the first year alone won’t even put a dent in the problem.  So what are we doing? 

Our youth cannot afford to live here, and many of our retired neighbors live on fixed incomes. Folks, we are slowly but surely voting for our own gentrification!  It’s time to look at the bigger picture.  Big money is waiting on the horizon to swoop in and create another Santa Cruz or Newport Beach.  It may take 30 years, but the foundation is being set with our new, mega sewer plant.  We are a town with a population of 10 thousand and our sewer plant costs what? They’re not even calling it a water-reclamation facility anymore.  See how it works?

It’s easy to see the outside big money behind the incumbents. Have you noticed all the costly, shiny postcards flooding your mail?  How does a local compete with that?  That tells you all you need to know.

It’s time for a fresh start!  Vote for Carla/Zara/Sarah.  These ladies love this town and I am grateful they are stepping up.  As a former councilwoman and 30-year local business owner, Carla has the unique experience to help navigate us through these difficult times. Both Zara and Sarah have the same experience we all face as residents.  Like you, they would like to pass down to their children and grandchildren, a town they can continue to afford to live in!  Save your money – vote NO on B22.  Let’s find a more equitable way to save our harbor.  Vote YES for new leadership this November!  Demand accountability!  That’s how we save our waterfront.  That’s how we save our town.

Karen Aguilar

Morro Bay

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