By the time your read this, most registered voters should have received their sample ballots in the mail and have probably given them the old once-over. In Costa Mesa this time around, in addition to a slate of state, City Council, school board and special district candidates to consider, we will have Measure L on the ballot — a proposal to increase the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), otherwise known as the "bed tax." You'll find it at the very back of the sample ballot.
In my opinion, it's critical that all Costa Mesa voters give serious consideration to voting in favor of Measure L. Unless you've been on another planet for the past couple of years you know that Costa Mesa, like most other cities, is in deep financial difficulty. Presently the city staff is trying to figure out how to overcome a more than $9 million shortfall that remains after trimming most of the flesh off our municipal skeleton. The city has drained more than $30 million from its reserves in the past three years to come up with a balanced budget. Much of this is due to the condition of our national economy and the inability of our state legislators to put aside partisan bickering, make tough decisions and pass a budget. Costa Mesa is one of the cities who suffer from the state's incompetence — monies properly due the city have been commandeered by the state to help "fix" its problems.