By John Paul Valdez
For many years before Palms Springs offered trash cans to their residents, those lucky enough to live in DHS had those wonderful large cans on rollers distributed and paid for up front by Desert Valley Disposal. The company has done an excellent job in servicing the community. Trash is always picked up as scheduled, additional days are announced for special pickups, and mailings and printed materials are bilingual in every aspect of the services rendered. This is an example of a service that doesn’t often get much media attention, but deserves it for a job well done here.
In an extraordinary example of public/private cooperation at a very successful level, the private company has recently decided to extend a one million dollar investment into their partnership and has received an extension on their contract. Fair is fair. This is a win/win for residents and the city’s budgetary and fiscal needs just at a moment when DHS city council is trying to raise money. Measure F attempts to raise taxes, but there are many ways to raise revenue that have not been responsibly explored. This agreement has brought significant relief to a fiscally tied city.
Although other suggestions like a much smaller increase in the parcel tax, or a small increase in the sales tax have been proposed, this column has made it a point to propose medical dispensaries on many occasions. After much refusal by the city council to undertake serious consideration of this badly needed revenue, a new attitude has suddenly overcome local government. It is finally understood that the additional $2M million dollars of annual revenue would not represent one cent of additional tax on residents, simply additional revenue to the city. Since DHS residents already make these purchases in Palm Springs, the taxes and fees are simply being put into the wrong city’s account. This estimate is made on existing records of current sales levels to persons listing 92240 as their residence. This source of funding should be explored before new taxes are sought.
What is so amazing with this kind of out of the box thinking is that it is so appropriate to raise revenues from these dispensaries to pay for the protection of the city by the currently owned and faithful police and fire departments. As written, the measure does not guarantee any particular service level by any department. These are being contracted out to the county as well as others as needed which will likely be more the case soon.
Many people have been misinformed about the level of debt DHS carries, and the current budget needs. Even without Measure F, the city is not forced into bankruptcy. There is a need for revenue, but increasing revenue does not have to mean such enormous new taxes as written under Measure F. Also, there is some gossip of disincorporation and even confusion between bankruptcy and disincorporation. The two are completely separate. The city filed a bankruptcy about 10 years ago, and it was not required to dis-incorporate. Debt from the decisions made at the time is still pending, so there is plenty of long term debt on the books. Strategy is the making of financial plans, not raising taxes suddenly because you don’t have a plan and are desperate. That is the antithesis of strategy. Everyone is eager to see those plans come to fruition soon. Please vote your own mind on June 3!
Questions and comments may be sent to: JohnPaulValdez@gmail.com