June 29th, 2006

we have a problem with your brain being

Dear Oakland: TANSTAAFL

From an article in the Oakland Tribune today:
City vote defeats new tax for parks
State school administrator, BART major players in measure's loss
By Heather MacDonald, STAFF WRITER

OAKLAND — Property owners voted against dipping into their pocketbooks to cover the increased cost of maintaining the city's parks, open spaces and streetlights, city officials confirmed Wednesday....

Had the fee passed, the average assessment for owners of single-family homes would have risen $42. Established in 1993, the district has been stretched to the breaking point by the addition of 300 acres of new park land and open space, 10,000 new street trees, 11,000 new street lights, and dozens of newly landscaped medians, officials said.

The tax increase would have eliminated the deficit and paid for $4.5 million worth of new services, including tree trimming, gardening, litter pick up and grass mowing.
Given this, I do not want to hear one damn word from ANYONE who owns property in Oakland bitching about the goose poop on the grass at Lake Merritt from now on. Either pay to clean it up, or shut up about it and pack a picnic blanket when you go to the park, dammit.

Hell, I've been a renter the entire time I've lived in Oakland (going on 14 years now), and I'd be willing to pay $42 a year to maintain the parks. (Especially given the upcoming improvements to the Lake. I'm particularly eager to see how the 12th Street Project turns out. I'm also hopeful that the proposal to relocate the Main Library to the now-closed Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center [link to PDF] works out.)