Western Gateway Park board to seek tax measure

Some of the Penn Valley folks are among the most staunch hard-right political activists or ideologues in our community, supporting the tea-party mantra of limited government and “no new taxes.”

They’re closely aligned with rigid views of politicos such as Tom McClintock, who has managed to alienate even moderate GOPers throughout the foothills with his “my way or the highway approach.” (I heard it again this week over in Auburn).

Well, guess what? Now some of the staunch conservatives are pondering a tax measure to help revive Western Gateway Park.

It’s an old saw: The Park — a real gem — has long been in need of some help. Budgetary issues have been ongoing. In the past, some residents have questioned the park’s stewardship as well.

Yubanet reported this story last month. A press release referred to the tax increase as “increased service-related revenue.” LOL.

What’s happening now is a good example of the “square peg” of ideology not fitting in the “round hole” of reality. It happens all the time in American politics and is one reason why the tea party is not very popular. Sometimes you have to cut costs — and raise taxes.

“Based on the response to the survey, the Park District Board of Directors will move forward with a broad-based community outreach campaign to educate area residents on the recreational opportunities available at the park as well as the budgetary issues it faces,” Barry Pruett, one of the board members, wrote in a statement to The Union.

“If we seek a tax measure, the amount is not as important as including an inflation provision to match inflation so that we never have to do it again,” he said.

I like that rhetoric: “The amount is not as important as” an inflation provision. “Never again.”

BTW, if I lived near Western Gateway Park, I’d vote for the tax measure in a heartbeat, along with real board accountability.

I’d ensure that enough people were passionate about the park that there would be regular elections to the board. I’d ensure that people who were elected were savvy businesspeople, who knew how to cut costs and raise revenue. Stewardship on our nonprofit and governmental boards is essential.

Then again, when it comes to supporting tax measures, these same folks like to call people like me a “lefty.” In fact, I’m a moderate — and a pragmatist. Most of us are “in the middle,” which is why the tax measure will easily pass.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

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