Monday, January 17, 2011

Federal Money, Local Problem


The staff at City Hall are of the opinion that the good people of Omaha Nebraska and Boston Massachusetts should pay to fix up our park and build a couple of parking structures. 

Tomorrow, the Fullerton City Council will look at their Federal Appropriations Request and vote on what they will beg from Washington D.C. 

The proposed list is short. 
  • Brea Dam / Harbor BlvdSlope Stabilization
  • Hillcrest Park Modernization
  • Fullerton Transportation Center Parking Structure
  • Ellis avenue Parking Structure (Fox Block)
Of those, only one falls with in the realm of being a reasonable request from taxpayers across the United States:  Brea Dam / Harbor Blvd Slope Stabilization. 

For years the slope has been sliding down on to Harbor Blvd. just below the YMCA, posing a significant threat to public safety.  The Brea Dam, next to the slope, is under the authority of the United States Army’s Corps of Engineers.  With that in mind, I could see a logical argument for the request.

The other item, park modernization and parking structures, have no place in the request.  Those are local financial burdens which our city council has chosen to place on us.  It would be like me remodeling my house and then asking my neighbor to help pay for it. 

How do you modernize a park?  It has landscaping and you play.  Do we need Wi-Fi in the park??  It would be nice but do the taxpayers of Anchorage Alaska have to pay for it? 

Parking structures are a product of poor planning.  We have businesses which were allowed to exist though there was inadequate parking.  Apartment developments have been built without requiring sufficient parking.  The parking problem around Downtown Fullerton is a result of poor planning and disillusioned “green” activists who want you to abandon your cars and use public transit, a bike, or just walk.  And now we are asking the fine people of Des Moines Iowa to subsidize our self-initiated problem with a federal bailout.

5 comments:

  1. For years California has subsidized the rest of the country. We have the largest economy in the country and only get back .81 cents for every dollar we send to Washington. Consider that Alaska gets $1.82 for every dollar they contribute. The trend holds for most so called blue states. See the map:
    http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2004/09/red_states_feed.html

    States Receiving Most in Federal Spending Per Dollar of Federal Taxes Paid:
    1. D.C. ($6.17)
    2. North Dakota ($2.03)
    3. New Mexico ($1.89)
    4. Mississippi ($1.84)
    5. Alaska ($1.82)
    6. West Virginia ($1.74)
    7. Montana ($1.64)
    8. Alabama ($1.61)
    9. South Dakota ($1.59)
    10. Arkansas ($1.53)

    In contrast, of the 16 states that are "losers" -- receiving less in federal spending than they pay in federal taxes -- 69% are Blue States that voted for Al Gore in 2000. Indeed, 11 of the 14 (79%) of the states receiving the least federal spending per dollar of federal taxes paid are Blue States. Here are the Top 10 states that supply feed for the federal trough (with Blue States highlighted in bold):

    States Receiving Least in Federal Spending Per Dollar of Federal Taxes Paid:

    1. New Jersey ($0.62)
    2. Connecticut ($0.64)
    3. New Hampshire ($0.68)
    4. Nevada ($0.73)
    5. Illinois ($0.77)
    6. Minnesota ($0.77)
    7. Colorado ($0.79)
    8. Massachusetts ($0.79)
    9. California ($0.81)
    10. New York ($0.81)
    Two states -- Florida and Oregon (coincidentally, the two closest states in the 2000 Presidential election) -- received $1.00 in federal spending for each $1.00 in federal taxes paid.

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  2. As far as the poor planning of not building a parking structure goes, it is not poor planning but a success. When I was young the downtown was dead in Fullerton. There was little passenger traffic at the train station. When the city remodeled the transportation center they put in a parking garage. Today we see that it wasn't big enough. At the time it was overkill.

    Too many people coming to Fullerton to spend their money? Don't build it and maybe they won't come.

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  3. California isn't paying everyone's bill; China is. Nonetheless, everyone that pays taxes should be concerned about keeping tax revenue close to home.

    The problems with the parking structures are many. First, they are Redevelopment Agency projects which lends to the poorly though out plan. Second, we are broke as is the rest of the United States. Third, parking is a local issue, not federal. Fourth, they destroyed a business and exported jobs while closing down the last orange juice processing facility in Orange County- all while spending millions of tax dollars. Fifth, the structures will likely be subject to the same idiotic rules which compels drunk drivers to move their cars to avoid a citation or impound. Sixth, we don't have the resources to man the structures so expect auto theft and auto burglaries to rise. Seventh, several homes were destroyed and families displaced to erect one of the structures behind the failed Fox Block Boondoggle. Eighth, the Redevelopment Agency has a massive billion-dollar plan to take private property, bulldoze it, and build mid-rise condos and bars around the train station. As part of that plan, renters will not have adequate parking because in the eyes of the RDA and SCAG, you shouldn't have a car.

    Unfortunately, the Fullerton City Council will keep voting yes no matter the stupidity of the plan or the cost to taxpayers. Congress isn't much different.

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  4. Greg, I think that you miss the point that the people that move to a place with such restrictions aren't the same people that want to live in a suburb where you have to use a car.
    Many of those people wouldn't want to live near busy train track. These new city folk want bike paths, trails, trains and walk to entertainment. Downtown Fullerton is perfect for this. They would rather have only one parking space if they have a place to store their bikes. They also will want the ability to plug in their car in that one parking space. If you build it right, they will come. If you don't want them, they will stay away and not contribute to local taxes.

    The trail you have behind the courthouse needs a corridor from the downtown/transit area to connect to it. It can follow current streets if they are converted to what are being called smart streets. Look it up. There used to be a right of way that followed part of Berkley Avenue for the old electric trains. That street currently has so many pot holes that it should be converted to a trail.

    Dare to challenge these challenging times with outrageous ideas. Kill the Fox parking structure and build the trail to downtown. It could go through the high school and go down a redesigned Pomona to the rail station / transportation corridor.

    We are currently working on our county plan up here. There is a movement called Imagine Humboldt! You should check it out.

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  5. Tom, I'll take a look at Imagine Humboldt.

    The problem is that there is no great demand for these projects unless they are taxpayer-subsidized. No developer comes up with these idea; they are spawned from bad public policy (using tax dollars to re-engineer social behavior).

    If an investor/developer saw the potential and a viable market, I would think they would go after it on their own. Instead, they wait for the City to spend tax dollars doing the dirty work of evictions under the threat of condemnation. Then they give it to those developers and private corporations who have "special relationships" with certain officials. I'm not saying that any one developer is bribing any one public official but there needs to be a hard look at the money trail that disappears with lobbyists.

    And don't get me wrong, lobbyists have a legitimate place at the table of a free market as do companies who have public contracts.

    My point is that a very select few have, through an incredibly effective marketing campaign, managed to sell local elected officials on the idea that every community, no matter the size, must be a mini Chicago, New York, or San Francisco. I have serious doubts that there is an actual market (not influenced by certain public officials and agencies) for high-rise apartments/offices in Fullerton in the near or distant future.

    I like the trails and would prefer those over these megalopolis parking and transportation boondoggles that are on the books and will cost us hundreds of millions of tax dollars we just don't have.

    If OCTA sees a need for more parking for their transportation system, they should fund it (they are chipping in but Fullerton residents will feel the brunt of the unintended consequences).

    Those who are the primary supporters of these are those with a financial interest in development or they are emotionally invested environmentalists who see this as the next logical step. I see it as the local government creating an unfair economy and re-engineering our lifestyle. I like my lifestyle and don't want big or small government telling me I have to change.

    Pretty soon, government will be knocking on your door and requiring you to get a special permit for your wood-burning stove. Then they'll require you to buy carbon credits. Is this the direction that is best for you?

    Fullerton is not the big city that our elected leadership wishes it was, despite their inflated egos and assertions that it is. Let's not make it into a big city on the backs of taxpayers who continue to see a decline in services, quality of services, and expansion of feel-good projects.

    ReplyDelete

Greg Sebourn

Orange County Bail Bonds

The Beauty of a Storm

The Beauty of a Storm
Orange County, Ca.

My Grandma - A Eulogy

LET'S TALK ABOUT 1914 FOR A MOMENT.



FOR STARTERS, GRANDMA WAS BORN TUESDAY, DECEMBER 22, 1914 IN HER FAMILY'S ATWOOD RANCH HOUSE.



IT IS WORTH NOTING THOSE ALSO BORN IN 1914:

JACK LALANNE

JOE DIMAGGIO

DANNY THOMAS



AND WHO DIED IN 1914:

JOHN MUIR, THE FAMOUS NATURALIST FOR WHICH NUMEROUS ROADS, PARKS, HOTELS, AND NATURE RESERVES ARE NAMED.



IT IS ALSO WORTH NOTING THAT IN 1914 WOODROW WILSON SIGNS MOTHER'S DAY PROCLAMATION AND BABE RUTH MAKES HIS MAJOR LEAGUE DEBUT WITH THE RED SOX. MOTHER'S DAY AND BASEBALL- TWO OF MY FAVORITES!! (PERHAPS HER NICKNAME "BABE" CAME FROM BABE RUTH???)



GRANDMA WAS BORN INTO A PERIOD OF TIME FILLED WITH TURMOIL. IN JUNE OF 1914 ARCHDUKE FRANZS FERDINAND WAS ASSASSINATED. WITHIN ONE MONTH WORLD WAR I RAGED ACROSS EUROPE. TWO DAYS AFTER HER BIRTH HOWEVER, GERMAN AND BRITISH TROOPS INTERRUPTED WWI TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS. (PERHAPS THEY PAUSE KNOWING THAT A GREAT WOMAN WAS BORNE) WORLD WAR I CONTINUED UNTIL THE TREATY OF VERSAILLES IN 1919.



ALTHOUGH SHE WAS ONLY 5 YEARS OLD, SHE SAW THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS CREATED AND THE 19TH AMENDMENT WAS APPROVED BY THE U.S. CONGRESS GUARANTEEING THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN TO VOTE.



SHE LIVED THROUGH MANY NOTABLE EVENTS. LIKE THE 1933 LONG BEACH EARTHQUAKE OR WHEN ATWOOD FLOODED ALONG WITH MOST OF ORANGE COUNTY IN 1938 AND THE FLOOD-WATERS CLAIMED MORE THAN 50 PEOPLE, 43 OF WHICH WERE FROM ATWOOD! ALL OF THIS DURING A TIME THAT WE READ ABOUT IN SCHOOL AND KNOWN AS "THE GREAT DEPRESSION". SOMEWHERE IN ALL OF THAT SHE FOUND THE LOVE OF HER LIFE, GRANDPA LEO, GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL, GOT MARRIED, AND HAD KIDS!



THEN THERE WAS WORLD WAR II. FROM PEARL HARBOR TO HIROSHIMA, GRANDMA WAS RAISING MY UNCLE BOB AND MOM ARLINE. WITH AIR-RAID SIRENS AND BLACKOUTS SHE WAS A WIFE AND MOTHER. WHAT A TIME TO RAISE CHILDREN! I BET GRANDMA'S PARENTS WERE ABEL TO TELL HER A THING OR TWO ABOUT RAISING KIDS IN WARTIME.



GRANDMA WAS THERE WHEN THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA HELD THEIR 3RD ANNUAL NATIONAL JAMBOREE IN 1953. SHE SAW AIRBASES OPEN IN '42 AND CLOSE IN '99. SHE WATCHED WALTER KNOTT START UP HIS BERRY FARM AND WALT DISNEY TURN ORANGE GROVES AND STRAWBERRY PATCHES INTO DISNEYLAND!



SHE SAW THE HORSE AND CARRIAGE FADE AWAY INTO HISTORY AND SPACE TRAVEL EXPLODE BEFORE HER WITH THE FIRST LUNAR LANDING. JUST IMAGINE HOW MUCH TECHNOLOGY HAS CHANGED OVER THE LAST 100 YEARS. FROM TUBE RECTIFIERS TO SUPERCONDUCTORS; FROM TRANS-ATLANTIC TELEGRAPH CABLES TO SATELLITE TV.



SHE SAW MORE IN HER 93 YEARS THAN MOST OF US WILL EVER READ ABOUT, LET ALONE LIVE THROUGH!



OF THOSE 93 YEARS IT IS MY HONOR TO HAVE BEEN HER GRANDSON FOR 35 OF THEM. SHE WAS MY MOTHER WHEN MOM HAD TO WORK. SHE WIPED MY NOSE AND PUT FOOD IN MY MOUTH. SHE LET ME PLAY WITH GRANDPA EVEN THOUGH SHE NEEDED HIM TO TAKE HER TO THE STORE. SHE WAS MY GRANDMA AND I WILL MISS HER IMMENSELY.



JUST LOOK AROUND THIS ROOM; SHE DID THIS. SHE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR BRINGING SO MANY GOOD PEOPLE INTO THIS WORLD AND TOGETHER TODAY. THIS IS HER LEGACY.



A Dedication To My Loving Wife, Stacey. Thank you for all you do for me!

Brad Paisley - I Thought I Loved You Then


I remember trying not to stare the night that I first met you
You had me mesmerized
3 weeks later in the front porch light taking 45 min to kiss you goodnight
I hadn’t told you yet but I thought I loved you then

Chorus
Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it’s ever been
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I remember taking you back to right where I first met you
You were so surprised
There were people around
But I didn’t care I got down on one knee right there
And once again I thought I loved you then

Chorus
Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it’s ever been
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I can just see you with a baby on the way
I can just see you when your hair is turning gray
What I can’t see is how I’m ever gonna love you more
But I’ve said that before.

Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Well look back some day at this moment that we’re in
And I'll look at you and say I thought I loved you then
And I thought I loved you then...

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