Ashbaugh and Carpenter debate Measure Y

May 16, 2014

sloBy JOSH FRIEDMAN

The San Luis Obispo Property and Business Owner’s Association hosted a panel discussion on Measure Y renewal Thursday that featured opposing views expressed by councilmen John Ashbaugh and Dan Carpenter.

Ashbaugh said the city has properly handled the taxpayers’ half-cent sales tax dollars and that voters deserve the right to choose whether or not to renew Measure Y.

“We have done a reasonable job of spending the money and telling you where it went,” Ashbaugh said. “I’d like to let the voters sort it out.”

Carpenter said the Measure Y money went primarily to employee salaries and benefits. He said the voters should replace the current council majority with fiscally accountable people.

“I implore you to give me some leaders on council, so I can do the right thing,” Carpenter said.

Ashbaugh countered that the city spent 60 percent of Measure Y dollars on the Capital Outlay Fund, which includes capital improvement projects as well as routine maintenance. He touted the current skate park project, funded in part by Measure Y money, as an example of city sales tax dollars going to a desired project. The world-class skate park will draw people from all over the state and the country, Ashbaugh said.

Measure Y critic Steve Barasch also participated on the panel and agreed largely with Carpenter. He said the city did not deliver the capital improvement projects that it promised voters and that San Luis Obispo now has a negative net worth.

City Public Works Director Darryl Grisby and a co-owner of Café Roma restaurant, Marco Rizzo, formed the rest of the panel.

Grigsby took issue with comments made by both panelists and audience members about the costs of city employees’ pensions. He said many public employees come from poor backgrounds or have left the private sector where they were receiving much lower pay.

“There are human beings involved, and they’re not going to go off to some bloated retirement that everyone else is paying for,” Grigsby said.

Grigsby also defended the city’s use of Measure Y dollars, saying taxpayers got more than their money’s worth.

Rizzo, who hosted the panel at Café Roma, said it was unclear where the Measure Y money went.

A third member of the city council, Kathy Smith, watched the panel discussion from the audience. Smith is the swing vote on Measure Y renewal and is currently leaning toward putting it on the November ballot.

The Brown Act precluded Smith from participating on the panel.

The council will vote Tuesday whether or not to place Measure Y renewal on the ballot.


17 Comments

  1. isoslo says:

    Sales tax started as a 2.5% tax, that has now grown to 8%. It is the old how to boil a frog story, keep raising the taxes a little at a time so the taxpayers do not realized how badly they are getting taken.

    NO to any tax increases anywhere anytime. Government spending is out of control and must be stopped for the sake of our economy. Taxes need to be proportionate and all taxes have grown in the USA disproportionately.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  2. r0y says:

    All I know is when I cannot get a bag for my groceries, and we have an un-elected bureaucracy telling merchants what they can sell an item for (i.e. the 10¢ paper bags), it just reminds me to never give this Asşhât guy the time of day… er, Ashbaugh.

    So many ‘tards, so few opportunities to send them packing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 3

    • givemeabreak says:

      roy…….And dont forget to add our Stupidvisor Mr. I can not keep my penis in my pants Gibson to the list to send packing! For all living in district 2 vote for Muril Clift .

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 3

  3. DennySLO says:

    “We have done a reasonable job of spending the money and telling you where it went,” Ashbaugh said. “I’d like to let the voters sort it out.”

    Well this VOTER has sorted it out!

    VOTE NO on measure “Y”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 2

  4. wineguyjc says:

    Ashbaugh said the city has properly handled the taxpayers’ half-cent sales tax dollars and that voters deserve the right to choose whether or not to renew Measure Y. I think the caveat here is that the phrase “has properly handled …” is based upon Ashbaugh distorted perception of what was promised versus what was done.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 1

  5. OnTheOtherHand says:

    The honest way to tell how the money was spent is to look at the percentages of the budget going towards specific expenses for the time when Measure Y was in effect and for a similar period before that. Whichever categories of expenses went up in percentage benefited from Measure Y. Claims to the contrary are based on various accounting tricks not on reality.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 2

    • kayaknut says:

      That information was presented and didn’t salaries, benefits and pensions cost go up the most if not almost exclusively?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 2

Leave a Comment