Proponents of Measure A received a harsh scolding from Mickey Segal Tuesday night, with the Arcadia City Council Member shaking his finger and saying “Shame on you!” to the man behind the measure, 86 year-old Arcadia resident of more than 50 years, Lawrence Papp.
This was right after Segal told Papp it was only by “the grace of God and our Arcadia Fire Department and Paramedics that you are here today.”
Measure A on the April 12 election ballot, which proposes to eliminate a longstanding Utility Users Tax (UUT) of about $10 per month (it adds about seven percent to utility customer bills for both residential and commercial water, electricity and natural gas and 5 percent for telecommunications), would cut about 12.5% of the city’s budget, or about $7 million. City officials have said that a Yes Vote on Measure A would result in across-the-board cuts to city services, including fire and police, that the city of Arcadia would not look like the same city.
The entire City Council and all six additional candidates running for City Council, the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce, Arcadia police and fire associations, and many other local organizations are all strongly opposed to Measure A.
Arcadia’s Best encourages all voters to “Just Say No” to Measure A on the ballot that was mailed to your residence a few weeks ago. The ballot, which comes with a return envelope with prepaid postage, must be postmarked by April 12 or hand-delivered to City Hall by 8 p.m. that same Friday when election results will be tallied and posted on the City of Arcadia web site.
Segal, whose temporary filling of the Council seat vacated last year by John Wuo has only three weeks remaining until the new Council and Mayor are seated on April 26, characterized his comments above as personal and went on to say to Papp, “You have yet to offer anything, anything meaningful to our community in which you can cut ($7 million) and not put any one of our citizens at greater risk.”
Segal’s apparently non-personal comments prior to his casting shame chastised Papp’s public comments a few minutes earlier as “just another night filled with absolute incredible lies about reality.”
Papp had listed a number of things he felt were inappropriate actions by the City in trying to combat his initiative, and then insinuated that City representatives or at least opponents of Measure A were systematically removing signs around town supporting Measure A, including four from his own yard.
Segal’s response: “I don’t usually travel our city looking at election signs. I usually have more to do than that. But let me just tell you this: I have seen 15 signs in the public right-of-way stating Yes on Measure A.
Baldwin, Foothill, Colorado.
I’ve been in this town 16 years in the election process Mr. Papp — I don’t know how long you’ve been involved — but I have never found 15 signs in the public right-of-way promoting anything.
So, I don’t know who your supporters are; I don’t know if it’s you yourself, but it’s a disgrace to violate election laws by putting them in public spaces. I hope you learn those rules as a result of this election.”
Papp wasn’t the only one to be on the receiving end of Segal’s wrath at the regular City Council meeting April 5, 2016, which lasted nearly four hours until almost 11 p.m. Another pro-Measure A speaker during the public comments portion about two and-a-half hours into the meeting suggested that rather than take an all-or-nothing approach, the City should at least have considered a compromise solution of cutting the UUT tax from seven percent to a lower percentage.
Segal had a few words of clarity for this speaker as well:
“I just want to comment on a couple of these continued misstatements. Mr. Lane, I assume you understand that Measure A IS all or nothing. The people promoting Measure A have never offered a solution for a reduction of $7 million in the budget. Their solution is cut people’s pay. That’s not going to solve $7 million.
So, there is only one option to fight Measure A with the real facts, which is, what else are you going to do? Where is there $7 million in this budget that you could cut? I happen to think that you might have a legitimate argument — cut 1%, cut 2%. But Measure A didn’t offer to do that. So, that doesn’t offer this Council any opportunity to do anything other than fight 7%.
So, your comments are well-taken but totally out of place. I would suggest that after the election, if it doesn’t pass, you come back and make the same comments, because then they’ll have some validity to them, or at least they’ll have a way that people can operate and try to do that. They can’t under this proposal.”
— By Scott Hettrick