Monday, May 30, 2011

What's in the "Capital Improvement Program"

What’s a CIP and why do we have one?
The City of Fullerton’s Engineering Department webpage does not offer an easily found answer as to what the CIP is or why one exists.  However, the currently proposed 5-year CIP or Capital Improvement Program says that “the CIP is a planning tool for short- and long-term capital improvements and development.”  The CIP continues, adding “It links Fullerton’s fiscal planning process to physical development. “  I look at it as the 5-year budget plan for the City’s infrastructure.
According to the proposed 5-year CIP, the City projects spending $46,060,450 for 2011-12 and $32,866,050 for 2012-13, with a five=year total of $206,920,550.  The Fullerton Redevelopment Agency has a projected five-year total of $6,020,000.
As you can see, these are not exactly small figures and therefore should not be taken lightly. 
The funding sources include property taxes and various excise taxes attached to services. 
More importantly, what does it cover?  What will get fixed?
One of the first things Fullerton residents and business owner’s hope will get covered are the City’s roads.  Rest assured, the roads are addressed in the CIP but not as fast or frequent as many of us might like.
To understand the road repair portion we have to look at what constitutes our streets.  There are curbs, gutters, sidewalks, asphalt, trees, and all of those utilities. 
Of the $46,060,450 for 2011-12 about $4,043,000 is to be spent on resurfacing existing roadways.  About $270,000 will cover curbs and gutters.  Last year Mayor Pro Tem Bankhead said that Redevelopment funds pay for those sidewalks around town that need repair. The Redevelopment Agency’s total planned contribution towards curbs and gutters is just $20,000.  And of the $4,043,000 to be spent on resurfacing our roads, $1,000,000 is from the Redevelopment Agency.
Now let’s consider our water system and keep in mind two things: 1) our water rates will increase at least 7.8% in just the next year; 2) the CIP does NOT include the rate increase; 3) there is 10%-11% that is skimmed from our water bills to cover general funding obligations like police, parks, and fire in the form of a franchise tax.  The tax amounted to $2.5-million last year that does not go back into our water system.   The total projected spending for the water system is $1,600,000 for 2011-12.  Now imagine taking that $2,500,000 that is diverted each year and put it back into the water system.  That would give us $4,100,000 to invest in our water system without having to raise water rates.
Now let’s look at what many taxpayers might consider pork.  Here is a short itemized list of proposed expenditures of the next 2 fiscal years:
$60,000 - Target Retrieval System for the gun range at the Police Department
$155,000 – Duane Winters Field Fence Replacement (this is the baseball field across from City Hall.  The Flyers are in negotiations to use the field for their independent league)
$350,000 – To design and install a pump to circulate water used for the spray ground at Valencia Park.
$150,000 – “Safety enhancements” at various public facilities.
$25,000 – “Public Art Program” from Redevelopment Agency
$183,000 – Replace gates and fencing at Basque Yard (Director Hoppe noted at last week’s Planning Commission meeting that the gates are poorly designed and require constant maintenance.  Nice to know we got our money’s worth!)
$158,600 – “Downtown Plaza Stage Improvements”
Taking the cake is $50,000 in my book is the item shown as “window coverings” at Basque Yard!
So, if we aren’t spending all of our CIP on roads and the water system, then where is it going?
Aside from some of the “pork” noted above $40,417,450 will go into the 57FWY/Chapman intersection ($238,000) as well as widening Bastanchury east of St. Jude ($625,000) and the grade separations ($28,800,000There is also the sewer system which will receive about $4,500,000.
Looking over all of these items and funds I am compelled to ask the question WHY?  Why are we allocating $50,000 for window coverings for one of our newest facilities while our water system is crumbling and we are looking at closing the Hunt Branch Library?
A similar question was asked to Public Works Director Don Hoppe who responded by saying that these allocations represent the standard maintenance and replacement plan for these facilities.  It’s a good answer if we applied a similar philosophy to our countless roads, waterlines, street lights, etc.  Unfortunately, it looks like we are not thinking outside the box when it comes to investing in our infrastructure.  It will take City Council Members and a City Manager with courage to take a hard look at the budget and make sensible decisions that reflect prioritized needs.  I’m not holding my breath…

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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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