El Cajon City Council Member Dick Ramos Endorses Ray Lutz for 77th State Assembly Seat
Lutz For Assembly (2008-10-02) Eugene Cook
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Lutz for Assembly
CONTACT: Eugene Cook, Publicity Chair, Lutz for Assembly
Ray Lutz, Candidate
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 2, 2008
El Cajon City Council Member Dick Ramos Endorses Ray Lutz for 77th
State Assembly Seat
Lutz's opponent interfered in local politics to the chagrin of El Cajon officials
EL CAJON, CA (Oct 2, 2008) – El Cajon City Councilmember Dick Ramos announced his endorsement of Ray Lutz, candidate for the 77th
State Assembly District, after incumbent Joel Anderson signed the ballot arguments against, Proposition J, El Cajon's ½ cent sales tax increase proposal.
“I was extremely disappointed that Anderson personally interfered in the business of El Cajon by signing the ballot arguments against Prop. J without researching our situation or even discussing it with the Mayor and members of the City Council,” Ramos said. “The decision to place a sales tax increase on the ballot for El Cajon residents was quite painful for the Mayor and the City Council. I wish Anderson would do his job in Sacramento and provide more money to the many cities that are bleeding red ink instead of tampering in local politics, apparently for nothing more than media exposure for his own campaign.”
Ramos is the most senior member of the City Council and received the most votes of all candidates in recent City Council elections. Ramos has decided not to seek reelection this year.
“I've studied the budget of El Cajon and I can tell you that there is little, if any, fat to cut,” Lutz said. “I disagree with the City Council on many issues, but the downturn in the economy has reduced tax revenue substantially, coupled with a loss of auto sales, which is the largest single revenue category. The city has a structural deficit of over $6 million and there are few options to balance the budget.” La Mesa City, just west of El Cajon has also put a similar sales tax increase on the ballot for November, but for ¾ cent.
The cities are faced with massive cuts to staff and services if they are not able to raise additional revenue. “One of the reasons I am seeking a seat in the State Assembly is to help fix the difficult financial situation of both the state and local cities,” Lutz continued. “The State is faced with a similar loss of revenue and is unable to meet budgeted expenditures without some very ugly accounting tricks such as borrowing on future revenues or worse, reducing payments to cities. We must have the courage to help correct this problem.”
Lutz suggests that the State should move toward nonvolatile revenue sources that will not dip or soar with every ripple in the economy. “If we have a more stable revenue source for the state, this will reduce the temptation to commit to programs that maybe possible in good economic years while impossible in downturns, and as a result, will allow the state to refine their budget.
“It's unfortunate that El Cajon has had to turn to an increase in sales tax, which is also quite volatile, but I understand their position, and support their decision to put this tax on the ballot for the residents of El Cajon to decide, as long as they promise to reduce the tax when the economy picks up. When I take my seat in the Assembly, one of my top priorities will be to reform the state budget process and return revenue to local government. My opponent is doing nothing to help, and is only working to undermine local officials and get media points by saying no to every idea. It's time to give him a pink slip,” Lutz said.
More information about Lutz's candidacy can be found at www.LutzForAssembly.com.