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E-mail Letter to Save Carmel Valley


I am a home owner on Via Sereno (off Schulte) that would like to express my support for your organization.

I also happen to work for the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea as the IT manager. Looking at the amount of money that the people for incorporation are saying could be the budget for the City ($5.9 million), are they crazy? That would not cover the salaries of the Administration, Public Works, Police Department, and Fire Department that would be required to serve a city of 12,000 and an area larger than Seaside, Monterey, Pacific Grove and Pebble Beach combined. Besides the expected "normal" city services the proposed city looks to tourism to fund the budget and provide the extras such as parks and recreation. They are way off base.

As an example, let me give you a short idea as how the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea does the budget. The budget is about $10 million a year with 62 or so employees. The City population is about 4,000, half of which are second homes. We do get quit a few visitors ranging from busy weekends of 10,000 to every day of about 2,000. It does mean that we operate more like a city of 8,000. All within the famous 1 square mile. Salaries account for more than 65% of the budget and the budget is fueled by the "Big 3" of Property and Sales Tax, and TOT (Hotel room tax). Staff does a pretty good job of providing for the needs of the public, even after a substantial decrease in employees as we work longer and lean more on contractors and technology to get it done.

Now lets look at the proposed Valley city. About 12,000 or so people scattered over a large area and some roads that are hard to get emergency vehicles to navigate. The first year expenses for Public Safety and Public Works departments would exceed $5 million for equipment and salaries. How many police officers would be needed per shift to cover the city? Just a guess would be 6. One for the mouth of the valley, one for mid valley, one for the Village and one backup. The other two would be at the police station or doing some other admin type job to support the 4 on the patrol. This does equate to 4 cars plus one at the station. Public Works would need trucks, backhoe, bulldozer and other heavy equipment to facilitate maintenance on the existing roads and a work force large enough to keep that equipment in working order and do the needed services of pothole repair, resurfacing, tree removal, storm damage repair and a lot more. All of this stuff would have to be parked somewhere and custom built since the city has no infastructurer. The property would have to be purchased and then built. Where is that money coming from? Not from me!

I moved to Carmel Valley so that I would not be under the laws and code of a city. This freedom has allowed me to have what I want on my own property with only the County to deal with when I need a permit for fences, remodeling and so no. When it is mentioned that a new city would be in my area, I look at the City nearest my property and wonder of the type of politics that would control the decisions needed in a municipality. Writing city code is a HUGE undertaking and must be concise enough to meet the needs of the public and provide the protection that we expect. This process is fraught with politics as anyone can voice an opinion on what needs to get done. Politics is a very selfish expression of these opinions, everyone wants what benefits them the most. I would expect from our population that EVERY issue would be under heavy scrutiny and contested mightily. City Councils can get bogged down in these issues and end up getting what appears to be very little done.

I realize that the main reason to form this city is to have more control over our local area in the way of development, land use and water issues, but the people for the city have not looked deep enough to fathom the responsibility and cost that this entails. Since revenues would have to be generated then development would become the main issue for this new city. Gaining revenues is a massive problem for any city and history shows that new development is the best way for any city to generate money and defeats the purpose of forming a city.

Steve McInchak, CNE
Information Systems/Network Manager
City of Carmel-by-the-Sea
Carmel, CA 93921

Last Updated: Dec 06, 08

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