The city of El Segundo was seriously hurt by the actions of the City Council Aug. 6 when the vote was 4 to 1 to accept a two-year budget that raised the tax per employee (over 10 per company) from $20 to $60 and to retain the 5-cent-per-square-foot floor tax. For example, this is an increase for Hughes Aircraft from $900,000 to $2 million annually.
There is no quarrel with everyone paying his own way or with the serious importance of operating a city on a sound economic foundation.
The harm done the city was the attitude of Mayor Charles (Chip) Armstrong in interviews preceding the Aug. 6 meeting and of the three members of the council, voting without any obvious consideration of the 33 people who spoke from the floor, representing industry, small business and interested citizens.
For many years when nationwide unemployment was on the increase, El Segundo was privileged to have an outstanding labor environment. This atmosphere has been severly damaged.
Most of the residential population of the city are employed in local industry. Small businesses in downtown El Segundo depend upon customers employed in local industry. Residential, business and industrial El Segundo must work together.
Ask yourself if the elected council is representing the people. Is the money really needed? Was there any other way to raise the money? What will be the long-reaching effect?
Friends and neighbors, we can not play the game of "wait and see" what industry will do and what will happen to our city.
El Segundo has a reputation of a great source of leadership in sports, aerospace and political government. Now is the time to find that excellent leadership and elect those people to city government in the spring election.
We can not afford to be apathetic at a time like this.
VIRGINIA (GINNY) MURPHY