Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Father Knows Best

“The city needs to be able to have a decision-making process free from second-guessing by public questioning of funding options,” Lusitana said. “Let them get to the process where they can prepare a draft that then gets submitted to council and then that’s when the public review process takes place.”

Read: The public can comment after we have already made the decisions, and then we'll show you only one option considered and not talk about why this is the best option. The public has to guess why this is the best option because we aren't going to tell you how staff (and their secret "advisers") arrived at the decision. The pubic can redo all the analysis in a week that took staff a year if they really want to participate in public policy discussions. The public isn't shut out of the process completely. 

See Also: The city doesn't want to release documents that can let the public and the council know how much the Hall park is going to cost. The documents have been two weeks from completion for close to a year.

17 comments:

  1. I'm for closed doors. Imagine if the contractors who bilk our fine government got behind the scene access to what the city was thinking/planning... they could theoretically screw us evem more than they're already screwing us!

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  2. you think they don't have behind the scenes access?

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  3. Developers and Contractors are special interest. They have first hand ownership in Jerome stocks, right behind the employee unions, and right in front of the paid sports leagues.

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  4. HH,

    You finish reading the roads report yet?

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  5. I looked at the graphs & pictures (short attention span, long...). It says our roads are GOOD but we better spend a wad to keep them good, or they'll become bad. Once they're bad, they're hard to fix. Still, I'd rather have bad roads and a lot of money in the bank than good roads. So, I say don't fix what ain't broke. I also say how about tax cars weighing over 2500 pounds to pay for roads since it says load related stress is the problem/cause.

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  6. I looked at it again, I have to declare this report BS.

    Examine your own street (or any street you are familiar with). Look at the report's claim for "PCI". My street scored a lousy 50, which, according to the report is between fair & poor. I drive up and down my street in a car that has no suspension. The road is wonderful! It is smooth, it has some cutouts where people dug up the pipes, etc. but it is 100% serviceable and smooth.

    So, my theory now is that this report is tainted by some greedy contractor looking for a handout. It is detached from reality.

    I only hope the city council will waste our tax money on another stupid project (solar bathrooms at beacons?, a committee to study lady bug nests?) because if my street, which is fine, ranks a 50 and the average street in Encinitas ranks a 73, then roads in our town are a non-issue.

    Move on to the next boondoggle.

    Good luck.

    http://www.encinitastaxpayers.org/Resources/2010-09-22%2520City%2520Item%25207%2520-%2520%2520PavementManagementProgram.pdf

    (PCI for all streets start on page 34... look at yours and compare to your own experience!)

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  7. Hmmm, maintaining 44 acres. That's nearly two million square feet. How much will that cost per year?I imagine the moon. Reminds me of a local car dealer. One day, a number of people stopped by. They all had the same question: "How much is this car per month?" and he told them. But not one of them asked the price of the car. I asked "Doesn't anyone ever ask you the price of the car that they're interested in anymore?" The dealer said: "No. And if they do, I tell them it's none of your damn business!"

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  8. HH,

    It is too bad the city didn't give the citizens real time to review the report and question the PCIs like you just did.

    As for the condition of your road, do you know what the engineers are looking for to determine signs of wear?

    These reports are designed to produce the most efficient preventive maintenance program. What it indicates is that if we stay the course it will a problem in THE FUTURE, because we aren't keeping up with the maintenance load.

    It is like going to the dentist and she says you have a little decay that can be filled easily and cheaply in a bunch of your teeth. Sure there is no pain now, things look good superficially, and you can still eat. But delay means you risk pain and a root canal, which cost a lot more money.

    The report says we have a little decay in a lot of teeth and that we are not filling many teeth.

    If you disagree with that, its too bad the city didn't let the public have time to vet the data, which they sat on for probably about a year. Real review by the public would have made the $80k a better product, especially if you are right about the data being flawed.

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  9. So what does the new, $2.8 million dollar report (that they are holding from us) supposed to tell us? A massive borrowing/spending plan no doubt...

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    Everybody should look up their street's PCI and just use your non-engineering brain (i.e. common sense) to see if you think it is accurate. 0 is unusable, 100 is perfect. What is your street's PCI? What is your opinion of your street?

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  10. All it takes is a couple good rainy seasons to implode our roads with the condition they are in. If we are in such good financial shape why isn't preventative maintenance being done?

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  11. Seriously WTF? Rain? have the people who think are roads are bad ever been ANY PLACE else on this planet? (aside from some brand new suburb that is directly adjacent to us like rancho whatever)

    Ever been on the jersey turnpike?

    Or how about making the journey to the distant lands of LA to try their fine pavement out?

    Anywhere? Travel is good. Whine on...

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  12. HH,

    You are saying it is better to wait until the foundation of the roads are eroded and the whole street has to get replaced, rather than a simple and cheap preventative overlay?

    You are saying that because the turnpike is beat up that means its fine to not do preventive care that will save taxpayers money?

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  13. I'm saying something that has served me well for all my life, "don't fix what ain't broke."

    Go outside your house.

    Look at the road.

    Rate it from 0-100.

    Compare it to the number in the report.

    Therein lies the scandal.

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  14. Seriously WTF? Rain?

    Yeah, rain. Do you recall any of the flooding posts here on this blog?

    The only WTF here is your suggestion that people use their "non-engineering brain" to determine that engineers don't know what they're talking about.

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  15. It hardly ever rains here. When it does the flooding is not a "road" problem, it is a drainage problem. 1 single road imploded in La Jolla (and La Jolla never holds back on the spending) and what? now everybody is now worried that their road will implode?

    If a doctor, lawyer, engineer, whomever... tells me I need to do something do I blindly trust them if they're the ones offering the service? Anyway, my opinion remains, educated as I am, my road is a 50, the average in Encinitas is 73, thus my brilliant conclusion: WE DO NOT HAVE A ROAD PROBLEM IN ENCINITAS. Yes, we need to spend $2 million a year to fill the potholes and keep them maintained but no we don't need a massive bond offering to resurface, facelifts, blah blah blah... Give me a break. This isn't a scandal. Blow the money on another stupid project like a golf course (oh wait, did that!) or a $20 million library with lame books (oh wait, did that!).

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  16. The problem here was with the city withholding a document about the road maintenance schedule. A document that HH thinks holds a dubious conclusion and it appears he would agree that if the public had time to really review it we might have gotten a better product.

    "If a doctor, lawyer, engineer, whomever... tells me I need to do something do I blindly trust them if they're the ones offering the service?"

    Good point, but in this case the consultants weren't offering any service.

    Unless we are going to go back to dirt roads it is more cost effective to USE taxdollars now to stay on top of the maintenance instead of paying a huge penalty later.

    I guess in the dentist example, you can say that if you plan on pulling out your teeth, why get a filling. I'd like Leucadia to keep its teeth (paved roads) and not make our children have to pay for our deferred maintenance, which is what the report says.

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  17. HH says, "We do not have a road problem in Encinitas." So why is $2 million a year being spent on a problem that doesn't exist?

    The problem, of course, is that we need to spend money on preventive maintenance, and the city has been deferring maintenance for some years now. This is what the street study showed, and the city tried to delay this revelation as long as possible, hoping it would slip by the public. It didn't.

    It does rain around here, even heavy at times as it did this year. Did HH see the drainage problem on San Elijo near Santa Fe Drive and south of Chesterfield? A drainage problem quickly became a road problem. San Elijo Avenue south of Chesterfield was closed for several months.

    Nobody has suggested a bond measure to fix the streets. A discussion about a more prudent allocation of funds has been suggested. This will start when documents are promptly made available to the public, not held up until the last moment.

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