Charter mailer misleads community

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A recent mailer went out to the Auburn business community that was full of misinformation and designed to frighten people into believing that a charter city would pave the way to more taxes, higher fees, penalties and increased regulation. However, a review of the charter reveals just the opposite. In fact, because the charter would allow for more local control, Auburn would not be subject to many of the stringent and costly mandates required of a general law city. The charter as proposed is based on the belief that local government has a closer affinity to the people and has greater flexibility to adopt ordinances that meet the needs of local residents. A charter is a city’s “constitution,” which empowers local residents by shifting power from the dysfunctional California Legislature in Sacramento to local city officials who are more accountable to local residents. So far, 120 cities in California, including Roseville and Grass Valley, have become charter cities. In doing so, they have realized the financial benefit of remaining in control of funds that would otherwise have been appropriated through mandates placed on various public works projects. As a charter city, many of the community projects that require volunteers are also exempt from prevailing wage. On six different occasions, the California Legislature has refused to permanently exempt volunteers from the prevailing wage when city funds are provided to support a community project. Can you imagine the devastating effect that would have on our community if we were required to pay volunteers? I doubt very much that we could afford another “Project Auburn.” The real issue here is home rule vs. being dictated to by Sacramento where many laws and regulations are enacted behind closed doors by politicians and large corporations. Is this really what we want for Auburn? BILL RADAKOVITZ, Auburn