To the Editor: Where are the improvements?

In November 2012, because federal and state law makers continue to steal gasoline taxes and to place them in the general fund rather than applying them to their natural intended purpose, the construction and maintenance of highways, roads, and streets, the citizens of Ridgecrest acquiesced and approved Measure L. This caused a three-quarter-cent sales tax increase, which had the sole purpose of providing revenue for maintenance and repair of the streets of Ridgecrest.

Although this was a double tax, because of federal and state thievery, Measure L gave rise to some much-needed improvements to city streets. Measure L, coming to an end in 2017, failed to fund all the repairs and maintenance needed for the city streets. Accordingly, the city council convinced the citizens of Ridgecrest to overwhelmingly approve Measure V, which was an extension to Measure L.

This resulted in increasing the sales tax an additional quarter-cent above that of three-quarter cent of Measure L.

Measure V, which was passed by the citizens of Ridgecrest in November 2016, had additional purposes, which were secondary to the “continued street and pothole repairs.” This can be verified by consulting the official website of the Ridgecrest city council. Essentially, all secondary purposes were associated with police and neighborhood security objectives.

I emphasize that the city council seems to have hornswoggled us into believing that “continued street and pothole repair” was the primary function of Measure V, with the added policing functions coming second.

Since the passage of Measure V, one and a half years ago, why have there been no street improvements occurring anywhere within the city limits? Why hasn’t the city council posted on its website any planned street repairs with the dates that they are to occur? Has the city council again hoodwinked the citizens of Ridgecrest? Have they conned us into believing that street repairs will continue only to have all the added sales tax revenues going for police functions, which were supposed to be secondary?

The council would have treated us more worthily if they had specified a percentage of the one cent sales tax increase to be earmarked solely for “continued street and pothole repairs.” However, apparently their wording of Measure V allows them to have the wherewithal to direct all Measure V sales tax revenues toward the secondary police and neighborhood security functions with street repairs taking short shrift.

When are the next elections for city council members? Isn’t that next November? When election time comes, I fail to see how current city council members, who will be up for re-election, can be considered to be worthy of our support.

And let us remember that in succeeding elections, when the terms of additional councilmembers end, should they seek re-election, their support by the citizens must be earned.

David M. Seibel

Story First Published: 2018-05-11