Sunday, May 19, 2013
“The liberty of democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it comes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism – ownership of government by an individual, by a group.” ~ President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Bottom line: People are no longer willing to tolerate the abusive growth of others. There are those who lack the power and have been supporting the growth of the abusers and received very little in return. And those that are being abused are now occupying the streets and rightfully displaying their dissatisfaction.
This entire narrative is more then wanting an exception to the “city camping law.” It’s much larger than that. When there are more than 14 million people unemployed, 25 million people underemployed, and more than 46 million people now living in poverty (which is man made), the gathering in Cesar Chavez Plaza by those needing to express their displeasure with this inequity should qualify them to be there if for nothing else in the name of the man the plaza is named after. Walk a mile in some of those shoes that have been affected by the economic downturn, and tell me you would not want someone to speak for you.
This current body of city council members are not what I would consider “top-shelf” community oriented or civic district leaders. They have reduced themselves to a point where they can no longer rise to the occasion of being at eye level with their constituents.
The outrageous outcome of the decision is a classic example as to why “important issues of public safety and services go unresolved” with this council.
The outcome of last evening was nothing more but a political travesty by Steve Cohn and his 5 cohorts who had nothing to contribute but blah, blah and more blah. That’s how they respond or acknowledge constituents when face with having to tell the truth for their actions. Their votes continued this charade by robbing a valuable asset from Oak Park. This entire process should be used as a civic lesson in what not to expect from those who no longer care about being a public servant. This should also be a lesson in that elections have consequences.
On another note, where was Jay Scehnirer’s passion?
And our current Sacramento civic leaders have lost sight of what it means to be a public servant. The operative word here is servant.
A rightfully concerned and angry community came out in force last evening and gave the 6 council members (Sheedy, Cohn, R. Fong, McCarty, D. Fong and Pannell) who voted for the so-called Cohn, Sheedy and McCarty “Neighborhoods Together 2.0 map” a large serving of crow. Crow is rather foul-tasting, hard to chew and hard to swallow. This exhibit of community activism gave a true meaning of the phrase “food for thought.” It would be wise for these council members to rethink their decision, and come to terms by putting public interest before self interest, which was a common theme throughout the evening. If not, then another serving of crow will be required until they get it right!
The City Council has now created a huge credibility gap going forward with the people of Sacramento when it comes to the truth and transparency of this Council. There were five(5) “spectators” who went along with this coup. And not one of them had the courage to exhibit their concerns that the public never had the opportunity to review or comment on this last minute “Neighborhoods Together 2.0” map. I am not always in agreement with Mayor Johnson, however he was absolutely correct when he stated, “…the public is not fooled by it.”
There you have it, folks! The total arrogance and self-serving of council members who wish to satisfy their personal appetite regardless of what was initially offered to the residents of Sacramento. And what remains more disconcerting is the lack of a challenge from all the other council members as they witness this obvious gerrymandering.
It was only one week ago during the City Council meeting over redistricting when Councilwoman Sandy Sheedy displayed her outrage over the lack of transparency due to a proposed redistricting map being submitted anonymously. And here you have Sheedy and her council cohorts sitting behind closed doors, putting aside transparency and expecting the people of Sacramento for not noticing their interpretation of transparency. I can only hope that their selection of John Shirey is the right fit for the City of Sacramento. However, as long as this obnoxious behind the scene behavior continues with the City Council, there will always be a cloud of mistrust.
Finally! The end of an American contradiction.
I am fully aware that the City “dose not provide an enclosed drainage system” in my neighborhood. The issue here is to have the City provide us with a permanent, and well constructed underground drainage system.
On April 8, 2010 a street meeting was held with property owners, department personnel from the DOU, Department of Transportation and District Director, Sue Brown. A follow-up meeting was held on June 21, 2010 with the same department personnel and Councilman Steve Cohn in attendance. The June 21st meeting reiterated the same issues addressed on April 8th. During both meetings two (2) of the same proposals were recommended:
1) Installation of storm ditches, or 2) Installation of storm drainage grates. As agreed, the Department of Transportation was to submit photo-simulations depicting a visual image of the proposed recommendations for the residents to review, and decide what best suits the needs of Hudson Way. We were told it would take approximately three to four weeks to be completed. To date, the agreement has not been followed through. If you would like, I have emails to confirm this agreement.
On July 27, 2010 and August 5, 2010 I made public comments before the Sacramento City Council regarding Hudson Way’s flooding/drainage problems. During the August 5th Sacramento Council Meeting, Councilman Steve Cohn stated, “The city does not have the tools to create photo-simulations, and it would cost thousands of dollars and a waste of money the city does not have.”
On June 22nd, I called the Department of Transportation Operations General Supervisor, Ramon Gibbons and he acknowledged our agreement. On July 23rd I called Ramon Gibbons again inquiring about the status of the agreement and was told he was trying to obtain a Purchase Order for the request of photo-simulations. To assist Ramon Gibbons in expediting this process, I gave him the name and phone number of a business located in Elk Grove that specializes in producing photo-simulations. And the time-line for producing this request would be no longer than five to ten business days at a minimum cost of $2,500.00. Collectively, the property owners of Hudson Way have paid more than $2,500.00 over the years for a service that is not provided by the City of Sacramento. Councilman Cohn’s statement during the August 5th Council Meeting that this request was not cost effective struck me as being disingenuous and insulting considering this process was agreed upon.
Councilman Cohn also stated that if we agreed to have storm ditches installed the cost would be “free” from the City. The ditch may not be a cost factor for the City, but it would be a high price for the residents of Hudson Way. Responses from the property owners of Hudson Way indicates storm ditches pose the following disadvantages:
1. Parallel parking will be limited
2. Accumulation of weeds
3. Maintenance of ditches are not maintained on a regular basis by the City
4. Ditches attract garbage
5. Breeding ground for mosquitoes as water sits in ditches
6. Emergency vehicles could not turn around
7. Safety issues for children while playing along Hudson Way
8. Decline in property values
Storm drainage grates will be a cost factor for the City if a pipe system is installed along Hudson Way. Storm grates is that it has none of the disadvantages as ditches. Installing grates will maintain the current look of Hudson Way. Not to be afforded a hard copy view of the difference between the two proposals is a lack of willingness to work with us.
So, if you are not “aware of a response” to your proposal, it is because the Department of Transportation and Councilman Steve Cohn has yet to follow through on what was initially agreed upon.
To confirm any of the above comments, I will be more than glad to submit emails. Or, feel free to view the video archives of the City Council Meetings mentioned above as well as the most recent Audit Committee hearing of April 4, 2011.
Steve Cohn (District 3) is my district representative. What has Steve Cohn done in response to my comments? To date, nothing!
This K Street project only shows what the city council can do as opposed to what they do not want to do. There are many established city residential neighborhoods that would love to be rehabilitated to the extent of the proposed K Street project. The city’s Economic Development Department may have “been working on getting cars back on K Street since late 2008,” however there are many neighborhoods trying to get basic infrastructure like sidewalks, gutters, curbs and even storm drainage for more than 20 plus years. That’s right! It’s been more than 20 plus years and counting for these neighborhoods to be upgraded. What’s even more disconcerting, the city continues to charge these neighborhood homeowners monthly storm drainage fees and then have the audacity not to render the required service which generally results in street and property flooding during seasonal rain storms. This $2.7 million could go a long way in rehabilitating neighborhoods that have been ignored by district representatives far too long. Councilman Steve Cohn stated, “Sacramento needs to be more pedestrian-friendly” in addressing the K Street project. Councilman Cohn needs to be more politically- friendly when it comes to representing his entire district, not just a selective portion.
It would be an eye opening experience for the entire City Council, including Mayor Johnson to have a contest among themselves to see who can submit the best grant proposal in order to generate funds to rehabilitate those neighborhoods that desperately need it. The grand prize will be a big “THANK YOU” from their constituents. As it currently stands, there are no winners.
Where is the $2.7 million coming from?
The lack of concessions from the SPD is indicative to their unwillingness to care or understand that the city as a whole is in a dire economic hole. It is no longer about the SPD. As for Kevin Johnson, enough with his generic comments that mean absolutely nothing!
“But first we need to get the land to put these things on.” And who exactly will be paying for this land and all the baseline amenities required? Here’s a suggestion – How about the huge parcel of land the city council purchased for more than two million dollars from the Department of Utilities funds at the intersection of Interstate 80 and Truxel Road. Since the land is currently owned by the city, there is no need to look any further. And it has been empty for years. Let passing motorists view the new “cabin community” and take pride that the City of Sacramento is doing the right thing!
One lump sum! Period. Now get it on paper and let's move on!
And you are a poor excuse for someone who believes in that nonsense!
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