Responsibility falls Squarely on City Officials
City Manager Ochoa and Mayor Weaver criticize the Glendale Coalition for Better Government for filing a lawsuit challenging the City’s transfer of electric revenues to pay for general services. They focus on the implications of potential loss of revenue to City services, yet fail to recognize the implications of a city government that does not follow the law.
If Mr. Ochoa and Mayor Weaver believe the transfers are legal, then why their doom-and-gloom concern? Why take the Coalition to task? Their concerns only make sense if the court decides that transfers have been illegal all along.
In that case, the fault for any budgetary impact must fall squarely on city officials that built a budget around an illegal transfer.
The city has legal avenues to increase taxes for general services. The city can inform the public of its needs and then seek the public’s approval for increased revenues at the ballot box. If passed, that would be an upfront tax where the electorate has exercised its constitutional right to have a voice concerning taxes. The current practice is, in-effect, a backdoor tax that deprives the public of that voice. Our city officials should seek to better inform the public of the facts and listen to their wishes at the ballot box.
The Coalition lawsuit’s concern is to make sure city government follows the law. It’s a concern that should be shared by Mr. Ochoa and Mr. Weaver in their roles as public officials. A court order holding the transfers illegal would place the blame squarely on the city officials who perpetuated an illegal conduct and not on those who bring it to the court’s attention.