Libertarian Candidate Runs For Millbrae City Council
Press Release republication from the Libertarian Party of California (09-25-2013)
Libertarian Candidate Runs For Millbrae City Council
My name is Doug Radtke and I’m running for Millbrae City Council. I'll be speaking at tonight's candidate forum in Millbrae, Wednesday, September 25, 7 p.m. along with the other candidates for city council, and I hope that you'll be there to meet me and hear me defend my run for Millbrae City Council.
Millbrae City Hall Council Chambers
621 Magnolia Avenue
Millbrae CA 94030
Millbrae residents with Comcast can view the Candidate forum on Millbrae Channel 27.
Peninsula viewers with AT&T U-Verse can view the Candidate forum on Channel 99 – scroll to Millbrae
Worldwide viewers can watch the Candidate Forum streaming live on www.mctv.tv
Here's what I'll talk about at tonight's event.
I’ve lived in Millbrae and the Peninsula all my life. I attended St. Dunstan’s and then Mills High School where I played football with a lot of my lifelong friends. I attended U.C. Riverside where I majored in Economics and Business Administration with an emphasis in Financial Accounting. I've worked at Oracle in Redwood City as a revenue accountant, co-founded a social gaming startup, and I currently work in public accounting for Badawi & Associates, a CPA firm specializing in municipal governmental audits with clients such as nearby San Mateo and Redwood City.
I was driven to run for city council because I deeply believe the city of Millbrae is capable of giving itself a better future. Since I attended Mills High School, I’ve seen our financial reserves depleted, our fire and police department disappear, and our water rates rise 6% for the last 5 years. Still, the same excuse is given - that we’re in rough economic times. The city of Millbrae has not met its own policy of holding a 15% reserve.
Our city savings account is essentially empty. We are running a $4 million deficit for the FY 13-14 budget. This problem won't somehow miraculously fix itself. If I ran my personal finances like the city ran their budget, I’d have maxed out my credit cards and be essentially living paycheck to paycheck.
Our city government over the last decade has made many promises and failed to deliver them. In 2004 we passed a $144 annual fee for fire services to address the first alleged budget crisis, bringing in $1.2 million dollars to save our fire department. This tax was extended in 2009. We have now essentially contract our fire department to the shared services of the Central County Fire Department as a cost saving measure, ironically one of my firm’s new audit clients.
Again, July 9 the city council met and under advice from Tulchin research moved towards renewing this special assessment this time with a COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) or in essence more of your tax dollars.
With $72 million dollars of long-term debt per the last CAFR looming above our heads and the $4 million dollar budget deficit project for this fiscal year you have to ask yourself as a resident of Millbrae where all this money is going. More than 10% of our overall budget expenses are going to debt service payments for that $72 million dollars of total interest and principal debt. Imagine if I took 10% of your paycheck every time you got cash in hand. How easily would you be able to save for the future?
Another million dollars in the budget goes to various claim settlements on the financials. We’re simply handing money away.
Not too long ago two families I am personally acquainted with on Ashton and Murchison were made to pay $5,000 to fix the streets in front of their house. When they protested, the city said they didn’t have money and the homeowners were responsible for what essentially was asphalt road.
Millbrae neighbors, open your eyes and see that the city looks at you not with respect as citizens, but as ATM machines to fund their wrong-headed schemes!
I’ve spoken not only business owners but contractors that work with the city on permitting and their complaints have fallen on deaf ears.
The real solution to the budgetary shortfalls is creating an environment where local business can flourish. Instead our city government is maligned, looked at as disruptive to the environment of commerce, and an impingement. The Big 5 in San Bruno was supposed to occupy what used to be Shaw’s candy on El Camino. Why did Big 5 move to San Bruno instead of our town? I think the answer is quite clear if you listen to the people.
That's another business lost and sales tax vanished into air. This pattern will not stop, as I’ve heard similar from existing businesses wanting to move out of here. Broadway has become a revolving door of businesses opening and then closing, and we have to stop this unhealthy relationship now.
All of the attention has been on Site One, where we’ve been hoping and praying for plans to materialize since 2006. What about the rest of the business owners who feel neglected? Why do we disenfranchise our local businesses like this? There's hypocrisy in some people's claim that they like Millbrae’s small town feel, but want Site 1 to be the “next Santana Row”.
My friends, our losses of service and the relative “broke” state of the government have less to do with revenue shortfalls but more to do with absolute chronic mismanagement of money and wrong priorities. I’m not promising overnight change if I’m elected, but I am promising transparency so that my Millbrae neighbors can see the insanity that goes on here and decide how to restore the financial solvency of our town.
Somebody told me once that the definition of insanity was repeating the same actions and expecting different results. Millbrae neighbors, STOP THE INSANITY!
Ask yourself: Are you or the city better off than 4 years ago? 10 years ago? Has the downtown revitalization that's been promised for the last 10 or 20 years happened? Has any of the promises made to you by the long-time politicians actually been fulfilled? If the answer to that question is "Maybe" or a resounding “No!”, I respectfully request your vote.
I'm planning to be at next month's San Mateo County Libertarian Party meeting, and I hope that you'll plan to attend and pledge your support for my campaign.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013 6:30-7:30 PM
Dinner and Conversation (all welcome) 6:30-7:30 PM
Business Session 7:30-8:45 PM
510 El Camino Real
Belmont, CA 94002