This is a particularly relevant column by Dan Walters because Marin County government agencies use consultants on a regular basis to "sell" tax increases, including school parcel taxes.
We witnessed this in the Kentfield Measure A parcel tax, among others. A resident of that district told me that the information sent to voters did not mention pension debt (no surprise) but it did refer to the possible firing of 25% of the teachers and the loss to property values if the measure failed. This is blatantly intended to frighten reluctant voters into a "yes" vote. Other districts have used similar tactics.
Dan Walters doe not go into the exorbitant costs of these consultants, but it is substantial.
As the column concludes, the only way that average taxpayers are made aware of what lies behind all these new and extended taxes, presented to voters in highly paid verbiage provided by costly consultants, is by being made aware of what is driving the need for them - pensions.
CSPP is doing our best to explain that link to taxpayers. I hope you will help by sending this article to everyone you know.
I was recently told that the Marin IJ would start running Dan Walters' columns. I certainly hope they will run this one!