It's hard to lob more softballs even in an entire slo-pitch game than Patt Morrison lobbed at City Controller Wendy Greuel this weekend. So many were lobbed that the Controller's Office actually spammed media with the result. But Greuel utterly flubbed this one:
What do voters misunderstand about the budget?
I guess that a majority of the budget -- over 60% -- is spent on public safety. So there isn't as much room to maneuver as you would like.
And people don't understand how we get our tax dollars. We get a huge amount from property tax but [also from] the transient occupancy [hotel room] tax, the documentary transfer tax [charged to record property sales], and business tax and sales tax. There should be more transparency and understanding [about] where we get our dollars.
I would guess that the average voter--who in a typical City election is 17% of all registered voters--misunderestimates 60% rather than underestimatse the figure. In fact, I have a feeling that one thing voters understand above everything else, since politicians keep running on public safety issues year after year, is that the city provides public safety. But lah de dah, lah de dah...Hang in there, Wendy.