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It's so disappointing that the Town Council hasn't presented any cost saving solutions to our financial woes since declaring a fiscal emergency, yet somehow finds its way to expedite a tax initiative on the eve of the holiday season.
The town’s leadership pretending this is all surprising new news, when they have been aware of it and have done nothing for years, is political malpractice.
Going back 10 years when the Storm Drains were first assessed, work could have been started to avoid the "whole system being shot". If there was action, the permanent replacement bridge would have been installed already or at least in progress and less lead time for TC machinations to approve funding and unnecessarily wasting money, time and twice the inconvenience on a temporary one.
Bottom line is if the town leadership had managed money and priorities better, instead of spending millions on needless initiatives, we would not be inconvenienced with almost two year old sinkholes, broken bridges and supposed fiscal emergencies.
Non-reporting of closed TC sessions is part of the mind-set or culture of Moraga administration (TC-TM-staff) and is clearly different in other jurisdictions.
TC wants to keep control of these closed meetings and not have to explain themselves. The town attorney obliges them by giving them strict legal advice that they don’t need to talk about closed sessions. If asked, the pretext is that the TC is in a “gray area”. She fails to convey and adjust for the spirit of the law.
The Town had the money all along.
Town Council just cried “Oh no, not our Pet Project (PP) fund” and kept the millions hidden in the Palos Colorados fund for themselves to spend. While Kwan at Public Works is searching for federal funding, nothing happened with the sinkhole. This wasted a year in delays until finally the TC reached deep into it’s silk purse and released funding to fill the hole in the street. As voters know, federal funds are reimbursable and can take years to collect; there is no point in waiting. OUR money in hand needed to be spent now and could have us saved at least ONE YEAR in sinkhole drive-arounds.
Similar to Canyon Bridge, another epic roller-coaster journey. One day its raises to the staff, bonuses, and all be merry. Next day it’s a fiscal emergency teetering on bankruptcy. Third day Town Council reaches into the PP fund to find $1,200,000 to rent a temporary bridge. What’s next, it’s feigned desperation again to extract fees or taxes for a storm drain measure? And then what, it will be sunshine again??
There is absolutely NO CAUSE TO BELIEVE that Moraga has a storm drain infrastructure problem to the tune of $60 million (pick a number) costing every property $1,500 in additional taxes or fee FOREVER. These are NOT facts.
We’re NOT building a whole new drainage system and replacing every culvert and pipe. The town needs to establish an autonomous Public Works Commission staffed with professionals to look into the situation. And I do mean an autonomous commission, not a committee of town council members and their buddies. Much of the drain system is open channels, and some pipes may be day-lighted. Tributary pipes can be more easily maintained and replaced if by chance they were to fail. Point is, if this were mine and your money (which it is), a lot of questions and strategies would be explored before coughing up millions.
This “emergency” is a god-send for out-of-work engineers. There are are no imminent disasters, just a bunch of politicians reaching into your shorts.
Wait, what? The Town deferred a decision about the firearms storage ordinance because residents wouldn't be able to comment during the holidays, but our input isn't as important when it relates to new taxes and a quarter-million-dollar interim town manager???
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