Larry talking to the Green Tea Party rally, spring 2011
Keeping peoples basic needs addressed (Credit Kelly Dunleavy, San Anselm-Fairfax Patch)
Supporting community building events that make Fairfax what it is.
Joining a growing number of public bodies, the City Council of Fairfax, CA voted July 7, 2010 to explore ways of blocking installation of so-called 'smart meters' by PG&E. In this excerpt, Vice Mayor Larry Bragman and Mayor Lew Tremaine present the case for that decision.
Response: False. No on D bases its assertion on the fact that the Disaster Recovery fund had approximately $48,631for fiscal year 2011-12. This is akin to saying that if you have some money in your bank account after your house burned down, you have a positive financial balance. The truth is that the Town has unrecovered costs of over $800,000 from the 2005 flood which were not reimbursed by FEMA. While we have repaired or replaced two bridges, repaired and rebuilt the tennis courts and adjacent creek bank, repaired and strengthened Town Hall, cleared streets of mud and debris, FEMA did not and will not cover all flood related costs. The fact that the Disaster fund had a small positive balance in no way reconciles the debt incurred from the flood.
Claim 4: “The Town spends 60% not 80% on payroll.”
Response: False. No on D disputes the fact that approximately 80% of Fairfax 's general budget is spent on salaries and personnel. But No on D's assertion is refuted by reference to page 9 (Consolidated Expenditures by Expense Category- General Fund) and page 72 (Consultant and Contractor List) of the budget. Consultants and Contractors include agencies such as the Ross Valley Fire Department, Marin County Humane Society and various other outside contractors that provide essential services to the town and it's residents. No on D's argument conveniently ignores the salary and personnel costs contained in those operating costs. If you take the salary and personnel costs embedded in the operating costs and add them to the direct salary and benefit, it proves the essential point that about 80% of the budget is spent on salaries and personnel costs.
Why do the opponents of Measure D fight so hard to dispute this percentage? Clearly they are attempting to persuade Fairfax voters to distrust budget analysis that have been published by the town staff, vetted by elected officials and audited by outside independent audit firms. All of the audits have concluded that Fairfax’s financial statements fairly represent revenues, expenditures and governmental activities in all material respects.
Measure D opponents also seek to camouflage the fact that the core function of local government is to provide service for residents and those services are provided by dedicated staff that deserve a decent but not extravagant wage to do so. Already among the lowest paid workers in Marin County,Fairfax employees recently agreed to a salary freeze and a reduction of pension benefits. Their leadership has reviewed the budget and understood the need to shoulder some of the sacrifice to keep our Town going.
Claim 5: All No on D claims are based upon audited financial statements".
Response: False. If you compare No on D's assertion that Fairfax received $4.602 million dollars in property tax in 2008-9 with the audited financial statement, you'll find that the actual property tax received was $3.423 million. Thus, No on D has exaggerated Fairfax’s revenue by $1.179 million for that year alone!
While No on D persists in its complaints about the “lack of transparency” the Town of Fairfax was very forthcoming in acknowledging its budget reporting shortcomings and correcting them. The Town Council put a discussion of town finances at the top of every budget for the first six months of the year. Measure D opponents have acknowledged that they didn't attend those meetings. In the meantime, Fairfax council members and town staff have spent many hours explaining the budget with various concerned citizens about Measure D. Most of those residents now support the measure.
Now is not the time for Fairfax to drift back to the negative politics that have proven so divisive over the years. Fairfax’s financial situation reflects declining revenue trends that have plagued our country since 2008. If Fairfax is to buck that trend, it is essential that we each invest in our local community by shopping locally and supporting Measure D, a fair tax for Fairfax.
Marin Telecommunications Agency
Larry's participation as Fairfax's representative on the Marin Telecommunications Agency has resulted in a long awaited contract with Comcast, a financial agreement allowing Marin to have a non-profit community media center known as the Community Media Center of Marin (CMCM).
A past council, pictured here, has proven they can work well together in a civil and democratic way.
Mayor Larry Bragman, Vice Mayor Mary Ann Maggiore, Councilmember Lew Tremaine, Councilmember David Weinsoff, Councilmember Susan Brandborg and FairfaxTown Manager, Linda Kelly.
Marin Independent Journal
Ross Valley Professional Firefighters Association
Green Party of Marin
Max Perrey, Marin Sierra Club*
Andy Berman, Mill Valley Town Council*
Deb Hubsmith, Sustainable Transportation Advocate*
Don Carney, Marin County Youth Court Director*
Tom Boss, Director Film Night in the Park*
Roni Krouzman, Founder Next Generation*
Kathleen Russell, Director Center for Judicial Excellence*
Barbara George, Womens Energy Matters*
Pam Hartwell-Herrerro, Fairfax Vice Mayor*
Lew Tremaine, Fairfax Councilemember*
John Reed, Fairfax Councilmember*
Ford Greene, San Anslemo Mayor*
MaryAnn Maggiore, Former Fairfax Councilmember*
Alexander Binik MFT
* signifies that titles are for identification purposes only, does not imply group endorsement
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