This June, Auburn has an important decision to make about how our city operates. For well over a century, Auburn has been working well. We have the services we need and a structure of government that both serves its citizens and is accountable to them.
In your article on the meritless lawsuit recently brought by the city against the opponents of Measure A (“City clerk sues Measure A opposition authors,” Journal, March 26), the Journal did proponents of the measure a huge favor by omitting the findings of fact in the case. Let’s not forget, that’s why the city council brought this lawsuit — to try and keep the opposition silent and the rest of us in the dark. And here’s the kicker — the whole sordid affair will end up costing local taxpayers thousands of dollars.
Opponents of the charter allege that if Measure A passes, the city council would be allowed to increase their own compensation far beyond what is allowed under current law.
A Placer Superior Court judge found this statement neither false nor misleading. She also validated the claim that if Measure A passes, the council can give away taxpayer funds with no strings attached.
There’s a simple reason why these are valid concerns that should give all of us pause. The powers granted to city councils in charter cities are only limited if the charter as enacted actually limits those powers. Measure A was rushed to the ballot, and the city council never bothered to consider the huge loopholes Measure A creates through its silence.
This isn’t about whether or not this council is planning to abuse our trust, though I would argue they already have by rushing this measure to the ballot and spending our money to try and silence those who oppose it. This is about the fact that any future council could do so.
There is no good reason for Auburn taxpayers to take such a risk. I am encouraging my fellow Auburn citizens to vote no on Measure A.
George Beland, former Auburn mayor, Auburn