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They Cease To Amaze Me With Their Actions

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Some members of San Bernardino continue to amaze me with their logic and actions when it comes to voting on issues in the best interest of the city. At the last city council meeting, agenda item 9.a was a vote to receive about $900,000 from the federal government to acquire, rehabilitate and resell property which had been abandoned, condemned or foreclosed on in the city, otherwise know as blight.

The presentation had been made and recommended for approval by the staff and determined to be in the best interest of the city for some of these reasons; removable of property that is a health hazard and eyesore to its neighbors decreasing current property value; contracting with local contractors to demolish and rehabilitate the property while providing jobs to local citizens; reselling the property as a livable single living housing unit to local citizens as home owners who now rent somewhere in the city. Some on the council described it as getting a piece of the American dream, home ownership.

Those who opposed the agenda opposed it on the ground of those low-income people as though low-income people are not human or something is wrong with them based on their financial status. After some discussion the question was called for and the agenda item failed. Then may0r Morris, commented, for the life of me I do not understand why you would not want to give some family the opportunity to own a home in the city and he gave an example of one Hispanic family positive impact on this city after receiving a house from “sweat equate” of Habitat For Humanity Program.

Council member Virginia Marques offered another comment with disappointment in her voice of what just happened to her by her colleagues. “I was raised on the west side of town in the neighborhood where this project was supposed to take place in my ward. These are good people who want the opportunity to owned their on home just like every American citizen, too paraphrase her statement. I agree with her and at that moment one of the council members that voted against the motion changed his vote to a yes for approval of the project.

Why does these council member amaze me by voting against this project is earlier one of them spoke about the need to create jobs in the city to help increase tax revenue. We should make sure all bid be awarded to local vendors when possible, said Council member McCammack during the meeting. Other members have echoed similar statement from the dais in the past. I wholeheartly agree with that position and want the council to start acting as such on all decision.

If they believed what they are saying, ponder this. the public safety employees receive 75% of the city’s budget but just under 90% of them reside in the city to spend any of that money. Look at it this way for every dollar that we give the city 75 cents gets in a car after each shift, bought in another city, goes to a home in another city, buys grocery in another city, pay utilities in another city, buys clothes in another city, goes to the movies in another, walks the dog in another city, send children to school in another city, pays property tax in another city with out turning over one time in San Bernardino all at the expense of these low income people of San Bernardino that the council want to deny home ownership. Only 44% of the people living in San Bernardino own their home and 42% rent.

These low income family households median earning are less than $40,000 a year with 40% at and below the poverty level pay these public employees over $100,000 dollars a year to spend in other cities with council approval. Yet these same council members wanted to deny these low income citizens the opportunity to have a slice of the American dream of owning an affordable home, while watching their hard earned money get into a car at the end of each shift and leave town. According to one report this equates to $40 million being transferred out of town each and every year. One can only imagine what that could do for a city trying to stave off bankruptcy.

The public safety employees should be angry with those council members for voting against the program because they will get 75 cent of every dollar coming into the city under the current situation.

So the council should take a look at every dime that comes into the city and see where it can be turned over into the hands of some one else in the city before it crawls into some ones car and leave town without benefiting the citizens of the city.

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