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Sound Off! calls
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• Kudos to the Smash girls softball team

I just want to say congratulations to the 14 and under Tri-County Smash girls softball team - whose homebase is right here in Ceres - for being invited to the Softball World Series in Orlando, Florida, and competing in the nationals in Phoenix, Arizona. You girls are great!

• Supports the tax

Taxes, taxes, taxes. Everytime I turn around the federal, state, county and local government wants to place another tax on me. I do understand the need for taxation. As an American I enjoy the benefits that the taxes support me and my quality of life that they give me. I recently attended here, a couple of weeks ago, a special town hall meeting of the City Council of, what else, a new tax. The resolution proposed to the Ceres community is asking for their input that night on another tax, which would a half-cent sales tax increase for police and fire services. Don't I already pay for these city services? Chief de Werk of the Ceres Police Department and Fire Department gave a presentation. He projected the need for this tax and necessity to present the tax to the community. I found that during this meeting that we, in Ceres, are below the national average for police officers per population. I think it was one officer per 1,000 population.

And I also found out - which is my concern - that this tax is written in such a way that it can only be used to hire police and firefighters and the equipment necessary to support their responsibilities. Several years ago my father's life was saved because of their services. I'd hate to think that my family's lives are worth less than .5 percent.

After the town hall meeting I now fully support this tax because it stays in our community and helps in maintaining my family's quality of life.

Kind of unlike the Boston Tea Party where all those taxes went to England, this particular tax only benefits us as a community in our protection and our quality of life. I do support this tax.