News: 1999-07.20-MoreLetters

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T: Trial period for fair doesn't make sense
D: July 20, 1999
C: (c) 1999 Contra-Costa Times

Nineteen months ago I moved from my 25-year-old home in Newark to settle peacefully in Antioch. I knew I had to pay on property taxes alone, not mortgage, $16.50 per day. Yes, you read that right. That is per day....

The Antioch Mello-Roos 89-1 is a quarter of the property tax and another quarter is for Antioch 27 Series bonds. That makes the overall taxes exorbitantly high. All these bonds are to improve overall living conditions for everyone here in Antioch. Contra Costa County charges me five times what I paid at my previous residence, where they have good schools and pay substantially less then in this city. I believe I pay my fair share on property taxes, more so then others in other areas are paying.

Of the actual property taxes, the following breakdown is paid for by me: schools, 51 percent; cities, 8 percent; redevelopment agencies, 8 percent; county general, 12 percent; library, 1 percent; county districts, 8 percent; independent districts, 12 percent.

Now in this great city, not everyone is paying their "fair" share. When I listen and hear the City Council "explain" that not enough money comes into city coffers, I just wonder why the citizens who pay so little have not come forward to make sure they are paying their share to the city in this "democratic" society.

Then I also have been made aware that there are people in this city that would like to have the Renaissance Pleasure Faire settle in one of the most pristine areas of Antioch. I hear some suggestions to have us "try" this out. This does not make sense to have a 10-year fair trial period posed to the citizens who pay such extremely high property taxes, citizens who are paying for the bonds, roads and other utilities that lead to the potential main entrance at Dallas Ranch.

Is this in all fairness to the citizens who moved to Antioch at Dallas Ranch to find one of the few areas where it would be peaceful and very quiet? Is it fair to have the safety of their families put in the balance?

Were these homeowners made aware that the Renaissance fair would be in their back yards? I for one believed the sales office, who told me that this would be an open space without any further developments. Others were told there would be another golf course in that beautiful open space.

I am not against the fair at all. However, the location and industry is the worse that could have been asked to settle here in Antioch. Our highways and city streets cannot possibly carry this excessive traffic load the fair brings with it, not to forget the crime history this particular fair has brought with it in other locations. One crime related to that fair will be too much and if that crime pertains to one family, should the council members who approve such a fair be held accountable to that grieving family? Ask yourself this question: Can any money repay for that crime? I don't want the Renaissance fair in this location. Period.

Frank Vlamings - Antioch