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LWV League of Women Voters of California
Alameda County, CA November 6, 2001 Election
Smart Voter Political Philosophy for Carol J. Dutra-Vernaci

Candidate for
Member, City Council; City of Union City

This information is provided by the candidate

I'd like to set the record straight on a couple of issues.

On the issue of Fireworks, I was a long-time supporter and participant in the sale of fireworks in Union City. However, I now believe that the public safety of the community is in jeopardy due to the increasing misuse of fireworks by residents and visitors to this city every 4th of July. That is why I voted with every other member of the City Council, on a 5-0 vote, to ban fireworks.

I believe that the referendum on fireworks that is now being conducted is a reasonable and democratic way for residents to make their wishes known. I do not oppose the right of residents to ask for a vote of the people on this matter. Should it come to pass, that a majority of Union City residents do want a return of fireworks, I will respect their wishes and work to reinstate fireworks, keeping in mind a balance between the public's desire for fireworks and the safety of every resident in the community.

Please be clear that I have demonstrated my eagerness to assist the community in researching ways to mitigate the revenue loss of $311,000 to the local non-profits that engaged in the sale of fireworks.

Another topic is the budget reserve and I would like to put this issue into perspective. Unlike many other public agencies such as school districts, the City is not required to set aside a specific amount of money in reserve. There is no mandate for cities to do so, so each each jurisdiction may decide what is a prudent reserve. It is important to recognize the fact that we are just finishing a 2-year budget cycle and will determine a reserve amount going into the next budget cycle. At that time we will further exercise fiscal responsibility and adjust accordingly.

I would also add that all 5 members of the current city council have been in agreement on many matters regarding budget spending in the last 2 years. We all voted for increases in police services and funding for a number of community groups, including the new Historical Museum, as well as increasing the hours of service at the Union City Library. These have all been welcomed improvements and worthwhile enhancements to our community. These are taxpayer's dollars that we are returning to them in the form of services. I'm proud of my record especially as it relates to fiscal responsibility.

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: November 4, 2001 14:07
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