Public pressure forced Councilman Scott Peotter to abandon his foolish “political protest” of refusing $480,000 in gas tax (SB-1) funds for local streets in order to “send a message” to Sacramento.
This cost would have risen to $1.9 million next year if it had continued. The gas tax debacle is only the latest example of Poetter’s fiscal recklessness and irresponsibility.
In 2015, he proposed refunding the civic center debt, even in light of a financial advisor’s report that showed his idea would cost $20 million more in debt service.
At the same time, he criticized the call features of the civic center debt, even when the same financial advisor showed him that changing the provision as Peotter would have wanted would have increased debt service by $719,000 annually for a minimum period of 10 years or $7,190,000.
In 2015, out of the blue he proposed reducing the business license fees by $3.5 million, creating an immediate deficit in the city budget. Even the business community did not support this imprudent action.
He proposed arbitrarily adding $5 million to the 2015-16 budget for “sea walls.” This was $4 million more than staff said could be reasonably spent and more than $2 million over the ultimate budget for these improvements. Here again, he would have created a budget deficit.
Peotter was the deciding vote in abandoning litigation and awarding over $300,000 to the owners of Woody’s Wharf, major Peotter campaign donors.
Peotter pushed to change the city policy so that his political ally Jack Wu could be appointed to the city Finance Committee. Wu was later convicted of embezzlement and resigned from his city appointment.
While Peotter has been long on partisan rhetoric, he has been short on real results. The city’s pension liabilities have grown $70 million since he took office and the operating budget has grown each year he has been on the council.
The near loss of our street improvement funds to political posturing and game playing show us how important it is to have thoughtful, responsible leaders on the city council, not political ideologues.
We simply cannot afford more of Scott Peotter.
Go to recallscottpeotter.com for more information.
Rebecca Hill / Corona del Mar