No on Measure A : City of Riverside

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RESPONSE TO MEASURE A LOSS COMING SOON!

UPDATE: 06.04.2013: RESPONSE TO MEASURE A LOSS COMING SOON!  WE THANK ALL OF RIVERSIDE FOR YOUR SUPPORT IN VOTING NO ON MEASURE A.  “In the history of mankind many republics have risen, have flourished for a lesser or greater time, and then have fallen because their citizens lost the power of governing themselves and thereby of governing their state; and in no way has this loss of power been so often and so clearly shown as in the tendency to turn the government into a government primarily for the benefit of one class, a ruling class, instead of a government for the benefit of the people as a whole.”   — Theodore Roosevelt

NO ON MEASURE A WEENIE ROAST ELECTION PARTY! CURRENTLY WATER WILL BE FREE, UNLESS THERE IS AN OVERNIGHT RATE CHANGE!

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Hart: Why is Mayor Luv here?  Bailey: Well, he’s still running the show and has put us in alot of hot water…

We are having a Weenie Roast to Roast the Weenies at the No on Measure A Election Party! Weenies and Water are Free!  Unless there is an overnight water rate change…

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I really need to take a vacation, I’m starting to hear voices. I’m still not sure which is the biggest weenie on the grill…this one seems to be ready, oops, no it isn’t.  Something tells me I should increase the heat… oh heck, this one broke in half..

UPDATE: 06.04.2013: RESPONSE TO MEASURE A LOSS COMING SOON!  WE THANK ALL OF RIVERSIDE FOR YOUR SUPPORT IN VOTING NO ON MEASURE A.  “In the history of mankind many republics have risen, have flourished for a lesser or greater time, and then have fallen because their citizens lost the power of governing themselves and thereby of governing their state; and in no way has this loss of power been so often and so clearly shown as in the tendency to turn the government into a government primarily for the benefit of one class, a ruling class, instead of a government for the benefit of the people as a whole.”   — Theodore Roosevelt

Vote No on Measure A

For more information on this June 4th, 2013 Measure A, contact us noonmeasureariverside@hotmail.com

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GOVERNMENT SHOULD LIVE WITHIN THEIR MEANS, AFTERALL, WE THE TAXPAYER HAVE TO..

CITY OF RIVERSIDE: STRONG ARMING SENIORS WITH MISINFORMATION IF THEY DON’T VOTE “YES” ON MEASURE A?

There is nothing more despicable than taking advantage and misinforming seniors.  Where is Ofelia Yeager on this issue, the Chair person on the Yes on Measure A Campaign?  Why was she chosen to spearhead this issue?  Why was Mathew Webb of Webb Engineering, the Co-Chairperson christen to participate in this elusive endeavor?  Why would Webb Engineering have a master engineering contract with Municipal Water?  How does this affect that Mathew Webb is distant cousins with Councilman Chris Mac Arthur, are they just doing the Hanky Panky?  Or Mathew Webb’s association with now Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey, stating he has know him for decades.  Is this all about keeping it in the family?  Does it dispute the fact that Webb Engineering recieved 13 Checks on the same day under former City Manager Brad Hudson’s discretionary account?  Where is the Council on this one, the Mayor and especially Steve Adams who has aspirations of being a Congressman?  This is only a reflection of how our City operates.  Every month the amount transferred goes up, it was $6.1 million now it is $6.7 million. What now appears to be covered by this transfer is everything that property taxes are suppose to cover.  The City’s cuts are simply based on projections.  They are based on projections because they never had any accounting track record of expenditures, they don’t exist.  The question to be asking the City, and many are asking the question by the way, “why do they appear to be strong arming the community into a Yes vote on Measure A?”  From candidates, community groups, community services, city employees etc.  Is it that the City is threatening funding to these programs if a Yes vote is supported? Money always seems to talk, especially when it is not your own money to spend.

This is a flyer that was dispersed at the Janet Goeske Center which states what will happen to senior funding if they do not vote Yes on Measure A. Is the City of Riverside strong arming residents with an iron fist?  Or is it extorsion, afterall isn’t the Hyatt suing the City of Riverside on this issue?  Yes they are.  Demand answers! Demand Transperancey! Demand Leadership! The only way to do this is to show up at City Council and voice your opinions.

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CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW FLYER DISPERSED AT THE JANET GOESKE CENTER

The last two utility bills you as the taxpayer have paid for the few rogue City Officials who felt it was necessary to spend your money to misinform you, further, to not give you a choice in voting.  City Tax money in favor of a a “Yes” vote on Measure A?  This flyer states to go to the City of Riverside’s web site for more information.  Another FPPC (Fair Political Practices Commission) violation?

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CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW WHAT YOU PAID FOR, EVEN IF YOU DON’T AGREE!

As of June 1, 2013 as indicated in the Press Enterprise, the “Yes on Measure A” campaign has contribution commitments which are in the neigborhood of $46,000.00, and the “No on Measure A” campaign has continues to maintain steady monetary commitments of $0.00

Another aspect of this measure is that it appears to be paying for alot!  The amount the City has indicated has gove from $6.1 million to $6.7 million.  If you are a taxpayer as I am, this transfer appears to be doing a better job of covering all expenses of city services than our property taxes.  Potholes, Storm Drains (we doubled the tax in 2012), Police, Fire, 911 dispatch, Childrens Lunch Programs, Clean Water (Covered by your water rates), Gang Control (Covered by Federal Police Asset Forfeiture Funds), Library, Crossing Guards, Tree Triming, Disabled Services, Senior Services, Maintaining Fairmont Park Lake, Powerwashing Downtown Streets, Installing Curbs and Gutters, Dealing with Abandoned Vehicles, Using Code Enforcement if your Landscaping doesn’t conform to the Politically Correct criteria of the City, Code Enforcement citations if you Overwater your landscaping, Code Enforcement citations if you have Trash exposed, Code Enforcement citations if it appears that you have Outdoor Storage, Code Enforcement citations if it appears that your property is contributing to storm drain contaminants and it goes on and on.  The storm drain fees don’t really help Riverside residents, but it contributes to Orange County Clean Water.  Property Taxes pay for City Services, the User Utility Tax on your utility bill pays for services and Proposition 172 allocates 1/2 cent from the sales tax to city services.  Government should live within their means, afterall you and I have to.  The new advertisement on Measure A on your utility bill states cleaning storm drain catch basins and storm drains.  But what! We had an increase from $2.83 to $5.22?  Yes folks, last year we had an increase in our Storm Drain Tax ( also know as Storm Sewer System), documents as follows:

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CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW COMPLETE DOCUMENT

Is the City contemplating a triple tax by this action?  Is the truth of the matter is that the City is in need of paying upcoming bond obligations?  As indicated by Dan Berstein’s of the Press Enterprise new article, is this another Sleazy Campaign Mailer?

Vote No on Measure A

For more information on this June 4th, 2013 Measure A, contact us noonmeasureariverside@hotmail.com

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GOVERNMENT SHOULD LIVE WITHIN THEIR MEANS, AFTERALL, WE THE TAXPAYER HAVE TO..

CITY OF RIVERSIDE ON THE EDGE OF ENDORSING MEASURE A?

The mailers that the Yes on Measure A campaign have been distributing have been reflective of their talking points.  This new mailer just received has the City of Riverside star of approval with endorsing names such as our Chief of Police Sergio Diaz, Fire Chief Steve Earley and City Manager Scott Barber.  It cannot get any more blatant than this.  Legally the City of Riverside has had to take a position of neutrality, while over the past few months stated it was on a Measure A informational tour.  This four page City mailer shows that the language can be ultimately construed as a campaign mailer endorsing a Yes vote on Measure A.  This can be seen just by the language and pictorial used, the tone, tenor and timing is there.  Further this mailer was paid for by you and me the “Taxpayer.”  Therefore is the City of Riverside on the verge of violating FPPC (Fair Political Practices Commision) rules and regulations and misappropriation of taxpayer funds?  Elections Code § 8314(d) and Gov’t Code § 8314(d).

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CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW FULL MAILER

According to a new article by Dan Berstein of the Press Enterprise, the Council new of this piece, but didn’t discuss the content.  So who were the individuals or individual that approved and designed this mailer within the City Attorney’s Office?  Who approved the $23,777.00 for the cost of printing and mailing at taxpayer expense?  You would think if there was any inkling or sugestion of misappropriation of taxpayer funds that the council would have the descency to ask those obvious tough questions.  This I say in lieu of City Attorney Gregory Priamos not returning Berstein’s calls.  If it was approved by Priamos, it must be legal, right Greg?

According to Letitia Pepper, Riverside Attorney, the City IS using city funds to promote Measure A, and to promote it with lies and propganda — propaganda is “half-truths.”  Look at your May Riverside Public Utility bill, on the back.  There’s a full page promoting the passage of Measure A.  This page includes the biggest of all lies: “By re-affirming these previous voter actions, Measure A continues this funding [allegedly and impliedly only for for clean water programs], WITHOUT RAISING TAXES.”  The real reason this issue MUST be submitted to the voters is not the self-serving settlement into which the City entered with the Morenos that required the City to submit the issue of the excess charges to the voters.  The REAL reason the City is doing this is that since 1996, it has been illegal, under Prop. 218, for cities, incuding charter cities like Riverside, to charge more for water than the actual cost of providing it.  To make such chares, cities  had two years after Prop. 218 passed to submit them for a vote as taxes — and the City never did that until it got caught last year.

The City continues to claim that these transfer monies are used for everything under the sun, and every week we have something new that it covers.  The reality is the City has no bonafide track record of accounting of any of these fund at anytime, this we see as Bernstein undercovered in reference to “library books.”

As of May 28, 2013 as indicated in the Press Enterprise, the “Yes on Measure A” campaign has contribution commitments which are in the neigborhood of $46,000.00, and the “No on Measure A” campaign has continues to maintain steady monetary commitments of $0.00

Vote No on Measure A

For more information on this June 4th, 2013 Measure A, contact us noonmeasureariverside@hotmail.com

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GOVERNMENT SHOULD LIVE WITHIN THEIR MEANS, AFTERALL, WE THE TAXPAYER HAVE TO..

CLAIMING IGNORANCE OF THE LAW IS NO EXCUSE: HOW MUCH DID THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE KNOW? THEY KNEW ALL ALONG!

The City of Riverside’s states in a letter addressing the Moreno settelment, that when Proposition 218 was passed in 1996, that the impact on the City was unclear since the voters had already voted on the transfer.

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The City fails to indicate that the Proposition 218 made the transfer null and void, and illegal to continue the transfer without a vote of the people.  So how much did the City of Riverside really know?  Well it appeared they knew plenty..  The City cannot claim ingnorance on this one, the Mayor Ron Loveridge was the President of the League of Cities for two terms.  The League of Cities created the implementation guide to Proposition 218, with the help of the Attorney who advised the city to settle, Michael Colantuono.  A little known fact is that the California Supreme Court mandated that  cities had till November 08, 1998 to comply and approve a tax measure to continue the General Fund Transfer as a tax on water service.  November 08, 1998 came and the City of Riverside failed to meet this tax approval deadline, and continued to illegally transfer monies to the General Fund for the next 16 years, without giving the opportunity to the residents to vote on it.

In the below agreement between the City of Riverside and the Hyatt, they admit to the transfer, but note that no court has ruled on whether a transfer like Riverside can be called a cost of providing water service.  Recently in a Press Enterprise, the Hyatt was suing the City of Riverside for “extorsion.”

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CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW COMPLETE 75 PAGE DOCUMENT

Page 52 of this agreement indicates that the City understands Article XIII C of the California State Constitution.  The City states in this agreement that Article XIII C requires that all new taxes be submitted to the electorate (this is you the voter) before they become effective.  Taxes for general government purposes (taxes that can be spent on anything) of the City require a majority vote, even if deposited into the City’s General Fund, require two-thirds vote.  The City further understands that because this “tax” requires voter approval per Proposition 218, this in turn, will reduce the City’s flexibility to raise revenues for the General Fund, and no assurance can be given that the City will be able to impose, extend or increase such taxes in the future to meet increased expenditure needs.  Though the No on Measure A campaign are stating this is not a tax, the City validates that it is in this agreement.  The City in there support of Measure A has no become instrumental in misleading the public on the legalities of this measure.  Also, in order for monies to be transferred to the City’s General Fund, the monies must be labeled as taxes.

Further, on page 52, the City indicates it’s understanding of Proposition 218 by attesting to the provisions of Article XIII D, such as item (iv) a prohibition against fees and charges which are used for general government services, including police, fire and library services.  Simply because the service is already paid for through property taxes!

A 2010 financial report, issued when the city sought to borrow money to loan to a hotel developer, cites court decisions in three utility fee lawsuits and notes that no court has ruled on whether a transfer like Riverside’s can be called a cost of providing water service.

So far, the report said, “no claim has been filed with the city regarding the legality of including the revenue transfer as a cost of providing the related services and no litigation has been threatened” – but the information was included among possible risks to investors who might lend the city money.

But down the line we also noticed that in a letter to Mark Hill, Department of Finance for the State of California, our City Manager Scott Barber brought to his attention some possible conflicts with Proposition 218.  Further example of the City of Riverside knowingly understanding the impact of a violating Proposition 218.

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CLICK THE IMAGES TO ENLARGE SPECIFIC PAGES FOR VIEWING

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CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW ALL PAGES OF THE THIS LETTER

The bottom line, the City knew of the impact of Proposition 218 over the years and what would happen if they were challenged in a court of law.   This stems from former Mayor Ron Loveridge, City Attorney Gregory Priamos, former City Manager Brad Hudson and current City Manager Scott Barber.  But ultimately the Council is legally responsible for the actions and decisions they have made.

Vote No on Measure A

For more information on this June 4th, 2013 Measure A, contact us noonmeasureariverside@hotmail.com

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GOVERNMENT SHOULD LIVE WITHIN THEIR MEANS, AFTERALL, WE THE TAXPAYER HAVE TO..

STOP THIS RIP-OFF BY THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE – VOTE NO ON MEASURE A!

Comment written in support of No on Measure A by former Finance Director (92-94), County of Riverside, Tom Courbat :

I believe Measure A is illegal as it provides for some NON-WATER DEPARTMENT CUSTOMERS to vote on whether a portion of payments made by WATER DEPARTMENT CUSTOMERS shall be transferred from the Water Department to the General Fund of the City of Riverside. Since any city residents who do NOT receive water from the city have no vested interest (no “skin in the game” as it were), there should be no basis for allowing them to vote on whether the city should be allowed to continue the illegal practice of using excess Water Department earnings in the general fund. Proposition 218 is very clear, UTILITY FUNDS COLLECTED FOR A SPECIFIC PURPOSE (e.g. providing water) MAY NOT BE USED FOR A DIFFERENT PURPOSE. The city has been aware of this prohibition since 1996 and has blatantly continued this practice until private citizens had to sue to make them stop violating the law.

The use of scare tactics (we’ll take away your free Internet, swimming, certain police protections) is reminiscent of the roaring 30′s – you pay gangsters for “protection” and you’ll be able to continue to run your business without gangsters tearing up your place of business or scaring off your customers. The use of these Water Department funds for police, fire, parks, etc. has been illegal since 1996 – why should Water Department customers have to pay twice for the same service? They pay the same taxes as everyone else in the city for police, fire, parks, etc. and then they pay ANOTHER 11.5% when funds are transferred from the Water Department to the General Fund. Clearly the Water Department is charging more than its cost of operation (also against the law) so that an 11.5% “slush fund” is created and then slipped over to the general fund. Any legitimate audits of the Water Department should have pointed out the illegality of this practice years ago.

It’s EXACTLY like what I saw on the reality show “Kitchen Nightmares” tonight. The owner of the restaurant was paying his waiters/waitresses an hourly rate. All tips left by customers (who CLEARLY intended the tips to be for the servers) were kept by the OWNER who prohibited his staff from pocketing ANY tips left for them. When the customers were informed that the owner was pocketing the tips, they were absolutely outraged!! So should every voter in this election be outraged. Water charges are to pay for water, not police & parks. Tips are for the workers, not the owners.

STOP THIS RIP-OFF BY THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE – VOTE NO ON MEASURE A!

Tom Courbat
Former Finance Director
County of Riverside

Vote No on Measure A

For more information on this June 4th, 2013 Measure A, contact us noonmeasureariverside@hotmail.com

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GOVERNMENT SHOULD LIVE WITHIN THEIR MEANS, AFTERALL, WE THE TAXPAYER HAVE TO..

CITY RESPONDS IN A LETTER REGARDING DETAILS OF THE MORENO’S WATER SETTLEMENT

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CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW FULL LETTER

The City of Riverside’s states in this letter that when Proposition 218 was passed in 1996, that the impact on the City was unclear since the voters had already voted on the transfer. The City fails to indicate that the Proposition 218 made the transfer null and void, and illegal to continue the transfer without a vote of the people. The City cannot claim ingnorance on this one, the Mayor Ron Loveridge was the President of the League of Cities for two terms. The League of Cities created the implementation guide to Proposition 218, with the help of the Attorney who advised the city to settle, Michael Colantuono.  A little known fact is that the California Supreme Court mandated that cities had till November 08, 1998 to comply and approve a tax measure to continue the General Fund Transfer as a tax on water service.  November 08, 1998 came and the City of Riverside failed to meet this tax approval deadline, and continued to illegally transfer monies to the General Fund for the next 16 years, without ever giving the opportunity to the residents to vote.  The taxpayer was denied their ability to exercise their democratic right to vote on this issue by the City of Riverside.

Vote No on Measure A

For more information on this June 4th, 2013 Measure A, contact us noonmeasureariverside@hotmail.com

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GOVERNMENT SHOULD LIVE WITHIN THEIR MEANS, AFTERALL, WE THE TAXPAYER HAVE TO..

NO ON MEASURE-A BALLOT SYNOPSIS

Sixteen years ago, voters passed Proposition 218 which voided the City Charter authorization to make an 11.5% General Fund Transfer of Water Utility revenue.  Measure A asks voters to continue the General Fund Transfer (GFT) but not as a tax measure as required by Pop. 218.

  • Prop 218 defines the GFT as a tax!
  • Tell our city officials to be honest about taxes and to not resort to scare tactics to grab your money.  Vote NO!
  • Many voters in Ward 4 do not receive water service from the city.  They will vote on this measure and will not be subject to the GFT.  You will be taxed for their services!  Vote NO!
  • The city’s 4-tiered water rate scheme further drives your water bill up so you are paying more taxes than you should!  Vote NO!
  • Double Taxation–Measure A adds a new tax on top of the 6.5% Utility Users’ Tax creating an effective tax rate of 18.5% on your water bill!  Vote NO!
  • When the city needs cash they will simply raise the water rates and more of your $$$ flows into the General Fund.  Vote NO!
  • The proposed GFT each year is only 2.8% of the General Fund Budget!  The city will not go bankrupt if you Vote NO!
  • We will still have the same level of library, after school programs, 911, fire and police protection!  Vote NO!
  • This is not about water quality.  Vote NO!

For more information on this June 4th, 2013 Measure A, contact us noonmeasureariverside@hotmail.com

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GOVERNMENT SHOULD LIVE WITHIN THEIR MEANS, AFTERALL, WE THE TAXPAYER HAVE TO..

CITY OF RIVERSIDE IMPARTIAL ON THE ISSUE OF “YES” ON MEASURE A CAMPAIGN ON THE MAILED BALLOT INFORMATION?

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Did the “Yes on Measure A” campaign create a foa pau by inadvertently placing the City’s web site for infomation on this issue, instead of the legitimate yesonmeasureariverside.com site?  But instead visit www.riversideca.gov  ?  It appears they did, because they are now telling the public how to vote and the City should be impartial on this issue.

Breaking news from the No on Measure A Treasurer.  So far as indicated in the Press Enterprise, the “Yes on Measure A” campaign has contribution commitments which are in the neigborhood of $46,000.00, and the “No on Measure A” campaign has continues to maintain steady monetary commitments of $0.00

On a different note, Vivian Moreno, No on Measure A campaign, at the family ranch in celebration of Cinco De Mayo, and that’s alot of No on Measure A Votes!

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Vote No on Measure A

For more information on this June 4th, 2013 Measure A, contact us noonmeasureariverside@hotmail.com

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GOVERNMENT SHOULD LIVE WITHIN THEIR MEANS, AFTERALL, WE THE TAXPAYER HAVE TO..

FACTS ON MEASURE-A & WATER SERVICE IN RIVERSIDE

Riverside’s water is from reliable local ground water.  We do not purchase expensive imported water.  Our city Water Dept. says it costs $0.68 to deliver one CCF or metered unit of water to your faucet.  Residential rates start a $1.14 and rise quickly to $4.10 per CCF or metered unit.  There is no rate study to justify the city water rates.

The city created 19 different water rate schedules that apply to different customers.  Then there are the “Special Customers” who have secret contracts for lower cost water service.

Article 13D of our State Constitution says, the price for water service must be proportional to the benefit from its use.  In the absence of a special benefit determination on a parcel by parcel basis, everyone pays the same flat rate to be determined from the annual variable expenses of the water utility.

The California Supreme Court in Riverside has ruled since 1880 that, every water customer pays the same flat rate for water service until a customer exceeds the parcels’ annual water allotment.  The price for water delivered to the land is to be determined from the annual cost of operation and maintenance of the water infrastructure.  The cost of infrastructure is to be recovered by bonding the land.

The city may take no action to force you to use less water than your annual allotment.  That means water conservation is a voluntary program in Riverside.  No conservation fees and no punitive tiered pricing schemes until you exceed your annual parcel allotment for water service.

Measure A will be a new tax upon your water bill.  It is set at 11.5% plus the Utility Users Tax adds another 6.5% to your water bill.  That is a combined tax rate of 18.5%.  Vote No on Measure A.

The city sets the water rate and collects the 18.5% tax revenue from your water bill.  You do not get to vote on rate increases.  In dollars and cents, your monthly tax payment for water consumption will be decided by the City Council.  They can raise the water rates, fees and charges at any time they want more of your money.  All you can do is pay the bill!   Vote No on Measure A.

Each time you turn a tap, wash your hands, do laundry, wash dishes, take a bath, or flush the toilet Measure A will tax your actions.  Your (Public) health and sanitation are now taxable!  Vote No on Measure A.

The city code requires all property owners to land scape, irrigate, mow, trim, weed and care for the appearance of your property that faces a public street.  If you turn off the water to the front yard, you risk a citation from city code enforcement and a penalty of $1000/day.  They have you in the proverbial corner.  Hand over your family budget to the City Council.  You have no choice. Vote No on Measure A!  The city General Fund can endure a 2.8% reduction in tax revenue.

Vote No on Measure A.

For more information on this June 4th, 2013 Measure A, contact us noonmeasureariverside@hotmail.com

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GOVERNMENT SHOULD LIVE WITHIN THEIR MEANS, AFTERALL, WE THE TAXPAYER HAVE TO..

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