Saying that a decision on the proposed increase in Orange County’s sales tax should be decided solely by the voters, the City Council has agreed not to take a stand on Measure R.
The countywide issue, on the ballot for June 27, calls for raising the sales tax by half a cent on the dollar. The money would be used to help the county recover from bankruptcy.
Some city councils have taken pro or con positions on Measure R. But the consensus of La Palma’s council at Tuesday’s session was to express no opinion.
A resolution had been proposed opposing Measure R.
“I say leave it to the voters,” Councilman Duane F. Schuster said. “I don’t think we should take a position on it as a council.”
Councilman Kenneth Blake agreed. “Leave it to the citizens,” he said.
The council members, however, noted that the Orange County Division of the League of California Cities might take a tally of where city councils stand on Measure R. Schuster suggested leaving that vote up to Mayor Wally D. Linn, who represents La Palma in the league.
But Councilwoman Charlene Hatakeyama said she would not agree to leaving such a decision to one person. “I would like to have some input,” she said. She said Measure R appears to be necessary for the county’s recovery and that no reasonable alternative has yet been presented.
Linn acknowledged that he has previously said he opposes Measure R. But he said he is now unsure how he feels about the proposed tax. “It’s a political football to some extent,” the mayor said. “It might be wise for us not to take a position on it.”
Ultimately the council unanimously approved a motion directing Linn to abstain on any League of Cities vote for or against Measure R.