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Letter to the Editor: Vote NO on Measure P in Cypress

As a 30 year resident of Cypress, I have seen transparency continue to fade away yet every candidate running for City Council includes it on their platform. I thought it was interesting that the City deemed it necessary to spend city funds to send a printed ad in the mail to everyone telling residents about the benefits of Measure P. The City’s recognition of the value of communicating to residents via print media argues against the changes proposed in Measure P. Why didn’t the City simply post it on the website and put three signs up around town which is how the City intends to communicate in the future if Measure P passes.

While not everyone will read an ad in the paper, many people do. In fact, many people have expressed disappointment that the Event-News Enterprise isn’t as widely distributed as it used to be. The City should be working with the paper to see how that can be resolved. A community paper not only provides a vehicle to communicate with residents on City business, it provides a sense of community.

One has to wonder if those that advocate for the changes incorporated in Measure P would also support Orange County not sending out Sample ballots or the document detailing all the State Propositions. If print media isn’t effective, why am I receiving so many mailers these days recommending how I should vote or from candidates running for an office? My recollection is that I received print media of some kind from everyone currently on the City Council. Yet once in office, print media no longer has value.

One of the other benefits proposed in Measure P is that the City could save $220,000 in the event a special election needs to be called to select a City Council Member that leaves office before the end of their term. The argument is that this change adds more time for the City Council to name a replacement before an election is necessary. In all honesty, I would prefer an amendment to the Charter that doesn’t allow the City Council the ability to name a replacement under any circumstances. It should automatically go to a vote of the residents. We have about 28,000 registered voters in Cypress and at a $220,000 for a special election, it’s a cost of $8 per voter. My right to vote is worth a lot more than that.

This Charter change replaces the section on replacing a City Council Member that leaves office before the end of their term with the statement: “Any vacancy on the Council shall be filled in a manner consistent with the general laws of the State.” What they don’t tell you is the language in the general laws allows a resigning city council member to cast a vote on the appointment if the resignation will go into effect upon the appointment of a successor. Why would we want someone leaving office to have that vote?

In fact, maybe the City should call special elections on more things. How would things have turned out if we could have voted on:

  1. The increase in trash rates while having our services decreased. The increase in trash rates alone are costing residents and businesses collectively hundreds of thousands of dollars every year.
  2. The high density residential on Lincoln without complimentary retail and other services or requiring a reasonable number of affordable units in the project
  3. The proposed Amazon Last Mile Facility
  4. The 251 unit luxury apartment building along with another hotel being proposed on Katella that was supposed to be a town center.
  5. A loan from the General Fund to Recreation and Community Services for $13 million to build a sports park at Cerritos and Lexington that most people at the meetings didn’t request. At $220,000 per election, $13 million could fund 59 special elections.

Don’t let anyone put a price tag on our right to vote or transparency. Vote No on Measure P.

George Pardon