A conservative Latino’s view on politics…
I’m speaking to my fellow Valley Center conservatives on Measure SS. Those touting the mantra “no more taxes” and yes, it has legitimacy. We’re tired of politicians campaigning on fewer taxes and then voting to increase them. However, Measure SS is a local issue. Let this conservative tell you something about serving on the Valley Center Community Planning Group.
Locally, political parties don’t impact our decisions. I’ve seen Republicans and Democrats come together because community comes first. However, we can keep our conservative beliefs and get the job done. It means researching the issue, not pushing the party line while refusing to debate.
Family doesn’t always agree with one another – if we did we’d be nothing more than sheep told what to do. Conservatives don’t do that. Republican leaders understand and recognize this. I have a great relationship with the San Diego County Republican Party, but they’re wrong on this issue.
CONSERVATIVES DON’T BE LIKE THOSE YOU CRITICIZE
From the 2012 Republican Party Platform:
“Taxes, by their very nature, reduce a citizen’s freedom. Their proper role in a free society should be to fund services that are essential and authorized by the Constitution, such as national security, and the care of those who cannot care for themselves. We reject the use of taxation to redistribute income, fund unnecessary or ineffective programs, or foster the crony capitalism that corrupts both politicians and corporations.”
That statement still holds true. Measure SS epitomizes that platform. There’s no redistribution of income. It funds a necessary program. It doesn’t foster crony corrupt capitalism.
Measure SS representatives are transparent and available to speak to anyone, anytime. Most important, they’re community members. They’ll show you the data, and I’ve never seen any politician this open. Don’t be like those we accuse of following the herd. Ask questions to make an informed decision.
When you compare Valley Center Fire Protection District to Deer Springs Fire Protection District as conservatives, you’ll find it impressive. Our fire department runs efficiently but like a startup, at times it needs investment dollars to grow. Let’s look at the numbers:
Deer Springs Fire Protection District – three fire stations, covers 20 square miles for a population of 12,000:
- 2018-19 operating budget- $6.5 million.
- 2018-19 Cal Fire contract – $5 million.
Valley Center Fire Protection District – two fire stations, covers 85 square miles for a population of 20,000.
- 2018-19 operating budget – $2.9 million.
- 2018-19 operating personnel budget – $1.3 million.
Valley Center with Measure SS Passing
- Operating budget – $4.1 million
- Operating personnel budget – $2.4 million
As a conservative or Republican, these numbers make a clear case for Measure SS and why we can’t just say, “no more taxes.” These numbers show we can save today and tomorrow.
WHY I’M VOTING FOR MEASURE SS
- These funds stay local – legally no other entity can use them.
- If you live within 5 miles of the new station, you may save 30 percent on insurance.
- We’ll have a new, “staffed” station that’ll lessen response times.
- Low-income senior citizens are eligible for an exemption.
- 401(k) plan versus state pension.
What sold me was the 401(k) plan versus state pension plans that are crushing us. If Measure SS doesn’t pass, odds increase our fire department will eventually fold, giving control to Cal Fire. When that happens, the hammer drops with increased costs.
THERE ARE CONCERNS
There’s a “pass the buck” attitude that new developments should pay 100 percent of everything. When there’s a major fire, all units respond. You may have been here for 30 years, your home 50 years but that new fire station will still send its new hires, fire trucks and ambulances to save you. To think new homebuyers should foot the full bill is morally wrong. We can’t gouge families that are already struggling to find and afford a home.
THE CAL FIRE DILEMMA
Cal Fire has good men and women working for them who’ll risk their lives for us. The issue are state pensions crippling Californians. Taxpayers are struggling to survive continual tax increases designed to pay pensions. It’s forced millions to leave this beautiful state. Once resolved we can revisit Cal Fire and Valley Center but until then, and as the numbers bear out, conservatives need to go with Measure SS and local control.
My fellow conservatives and Republicans, voting for Measure SS is the right thing to do. Financially, the funds stay in Valley Center. They’re not part of the pension system. As conservatives, we demand transparency, accountability and a need for funding essential services. Measure SS gives this. Don’t hide behind the “no more taxes” chant, as that makes us no better than those we accuse of being sheep and sticking their heads in the sand.
This article originally appeared in Valley Roadrunner, Nov. 2, 2018.
William Del Pilar is politically active, currently sitting on the Valley Center Community Planning Group (VCCPG). As an entrepreneur, Del Pilar drove his fantasy sports company to set the standard for analysis and news distribution, helping to commercialize the industry from 1997-2008. Del Pilar sat on the boards of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA) and Fantasy Sports Ventures (now owned by Gannett Co., Inc.).