Monday, July 23, 2012

Fwd: A little boy's question

Begin forwarded message:

From: Charles Sands
Date: July 23, 2012 8:09:08 PM PDT
To: hv94941
Subject: A little boy's question

4 publcation

Subject: A little boy's question

i understand that MHS' sidewalk construction cost is said to cost $675,500.
Given SR2S funding authorized $900,000 if one deducts DPW's design, engineering and CM costs plus whatever construction extra work costs have been incurred to date out of the $225,000 remaining in the SR2S funds there is more than enough to:
1. Resolve the MHS sidewalk damage done to the front entry walks of the folks on Evergreen. (The red home in the first block of Evergreen Ave and 101 Evergreen Ave. for example)
There appears to be not more than a few and even it were say 5 the costs to provide sloping ENTRY ramps +/- 8 3/4 % the cost should not be exorbitant. Say less than $50,000  total. And if that expense can't be paid out of SR2S funds surely the County has funds to make good and set right MHS' new sidewalk damages to the front entry walks of these few homes which damages their resale value. 
2, Have PG&E relocate 2 poles out the way of pedestrians on the new sidewalk. Leaving existing power poles and supports in a  $675,000 sidewalk in my opinion simply is not a good design solution. 
When I'm faced with a design issues like this and seeing the designer's built design I always ask the designer what will be his response to a little boy's question:
Mr. Designer, "Why did you not put right the entry walks to existing homes and:  Why did you not require PG&E's poles to be relocated our otfour new MHS sidewalk and leave its SR2S design and construction budget nearly totally unspent" ??
I'd appreciate a response from you and Supervisor Kinsey.
Best regads,
Charles Sands

-----Original Message-----
From: Homestead : HEAR US
To: Charles
Sent: Mon, Jul 23, 2012 7:01 pm
Subject: Evergreen Evening Update for 07/23/2012

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Jul 23, 2012 10:30 am | hv94941
Here is just ONE comment from the petition against the slab, from the owner at 101 Evergreen (emphasis added)  :
"My house looks like it is sinking due to the "raised" sidewalk. I was one of the few properties on the street that had a flat sidewalk when the project started and I feel mislead throughout the entire process. This is not an improvement and, in my opinion, the design does not work. I believe that the corner handicap ramp design was a lack of communication between departments and a pipe was installed too high and now the entire grade has been adjusted to reflect this. I am now in the process of trying to patch the plan vs. start with a good plan for the entrance to my house. The sidewalk has been poured 12" above the level of my entrance gate, county is stating 10", plan states 7". My house is located at the lowest point of the valley. I believe the current plan will be detrimental and cause more flooding to my property and has an unsafe entrance step to my house, it is not an improvement. According to the FEMA map, I live on a Special Hazard Flood Area Zone AE, a flood plain with a flood way directly in the middle of my property. The ditch along Ethel leading into Reed Creek is along my property line now has more sources of water flowing into it. This is of tremendous concern for me and for my neighbors along Ethel... We were informed in every meeting that it is against the law to make matters worse, the plan needs to improve or maintain the landscape of what was. I value our community and the amazing surroundings in which we live. I believe that the livability of our community, environment and neighborhood has been greatly disrupted. ACTION PLEASE. Logic and justice needs to prevail - something has to change."

All change is not bad - but  there is no excuse for irresponsible and illegal development.
FACT : Homestead residents were denied our rights to a fair and democratic process.
WHY? Well, for one, MHS and HVCA corrupted the DPW process. Whether or not you think it was intentional deception depends upon who you ask. Anyway -  that is beside the point FOR NOW.

So, what is the point I'm trying to make?
I dare anyone to take a walk down Evergreen in Homestead, and look at the mess that is being inflicted upon what used to be a beautiful, GREEN street. Evergreen has worked for the majority of the people who live here, 24/7 - with few complaints (the main complaint being the occasional speeding car.) The majority of homeowners who are dealing with all this inconvenience asked that THIS raised concrete sidewalk, with curbs and gutters, NOT be built all along Evergreen Avenue.
This is not just about a "sidewalk," or Homestead vs. MHS  - it is about taking a stand for fairness and honesty and what is right.
What is right?
Well, first of all, Marin County should not take one dime from the state Safe Routes to Schools fund for this project. That funding should go back to Safe Routes to Schools  - for driver and pedestrian education, crossing guards, whatever - ANYTHING but this slab.
1) Because the money was awarded to an application that contained FALSE claims of need and community support  - and the slab is environmentally irresponsible.
2) When you EDUCATE someone, they take that education with them for the rest of their lives. So, giving the $900,000 - which has been set aside for this project - BACK to Safe Routes education programs - will save more lives than this horrible IMPERVIOUS concrete slab that is being forced upon Evergreen Avenue (a street in a semi rural neighborhood that runs along a blue line creek  - which contains federally protected, endangered Steel head!)
To admit mistakes were made in this process and "we'll do better next time" is not enough - County has an obligation to do what is right by these property owners - NOW.

Additionally - Why risk the reputation of a County employee (Mr. Tackaberry) who signed off on that SR2S application, when he probably had no idea what was true and what was false in it ?
Why not FREE the Marin County DPW engineering department from forcing something we do not need or want all along Evergreen - i.e., a concrete sidewalk with curbs and gutters - and empower them to be more creative in what should be a "shoulder repair/drainage improvement" project?

That funding was intended to provide a "safer route to schools" - not to raise property values or provide a "more convenient walk to the Whole Foods" for a few well connected people in Mill Valley.

If you don't have a problem with covering up mistakes and lies just to grab onto funding that could and should go where it was intended to go - there is something seriously wrong with your sense of what is right and what is wrong - and you need to take an ethics class.

 - MT

Petition :

Related Post : Loss of Safe Routes Funding - What Does It Mean?  (LINK)

Jul 23, 2012 09:00 am | hv94941
There was no public hearing for the Evergreen sidewalk project. There were no signs posted along the street announcing the proposed construction. Since 2005, how much square footage has been developed upstream from Miller ? from Evergreen? What does that translate to in gallons of runoff? Does this look like a "SAFER ROUTE" to you?

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