Escondido, CA
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My column gets bailed out again by SANDAG

~ED GALLO SPEAKS

This is the third time that after trying to figure out what to write about I got bailed out by SANDAG. Thank you for continuing to provide material. Last week the San Diego Association of Governments discussed the massive bike lane project in the county. 

This is a project that is year behind schedule and millions of dollars over budget. And only 9 miles of the proposed 77 miles has been completed. Hmmmm, sounds very much like the Bullet Train to nowhere. The reason why this endeavor has occupied so much of SANDAG’s resources is due to a very active and vocal bicycle coalition. During my council years I have attended many SANDAG meetings and listened to reports from spokespersons (is that PC?) representing cyclists and the absolute need for bikeways What is disconcerting is when Board members were contacted by the media, “no comment” was their answer.

I know the refrain is that this is another way to combat global climate change getting those dastardly emission spewing gas combustion vehicles off the road. To this I ask, “How many of you will ride your bike to work in Rancho Bernardo or Sorrento Valley or downtown San Diego and other locations?” How about taking your kids to school and picking them up at day’s end? I’m sure taking the family to the beach will be a hoot. Has anyone ever studied the “Ice Age”? What caused the ice to disappear? Enough on that now to a more local issue of our tax dollars.

The continuing TransNet tax, first voted on and approved in 1988, is what is being diverted from the original purpose which was to improve our streets and roads. Aaaand we fell for it. Not once but again in 2004 which leads me now to what was presented at the Escondido City Council meeting last week. 

It is no secret that every city and county in California, including the State, have severe budget issues as a result of paying growing pension costs. The State jacks us around with increasing the gas tax and playing a shell game and three card monte with our money.

Now, I rarely agree with Councilmember Diaz but she mentioned what was also my main concern. How is it that 70% of the public who were polled support an additional 1% sales tax making Escondido’s total 8.75%? I was not contacted so I cannot attest to how the questions were presented but I do know that whenever any bond issue is presented if the proponent wants passage then children, environment, and safety must be included in the message. There will be more public outreach and I hope people pay attention and attend a meeting. I trust there will be more than one.

Now, off I go again. Last week in recognizing volunteers I left off two groups who provide a great service to the City. Friends of Daley Ranch is a group of dedicated volunteers whose mission is the preservation of one of Escondido’s crown jewels. That 3,000 acre preserve is awesome and anyone who has not made a trip up the hill to Daley Ranch you must do so soon. 

I have hiked a few times and taken a van tour around the Ranch and believe me it is quite spectacular. The Ranch House alone is well worth the trip. We also have 18 neighborhood groups whose mission involves addressing concerns in their respective neighborhood. I can tell you that having attended many, many group meetings these volunteers provide a great service to all who live in their area carrying their concerns to the city to maintain a high quality of life. Well done all and thank you.

Last week I offered some observations and today I offer a quote from President Truman. “An honest public servant can’t become rich in politics. He can only attain greatness and satisfaction through service.” How then is it that so many people elected to higher office become multi-millionaires after being elected? Hmmmm, ponderous.

* * * 

Oh, this is too good not to mention. When buying a frozen pumpkin pie the other day a message on the cover was ‘with pumpkin and spices’. Wow, who knew. Same with the apple and cherry pies which contained apples and cherries. Must be truth in advertising.

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

One response to “My column gets bailed out again by SANDAG”

  1. Marian L Sedio says:

    Dear Mr. Gallo,
    Your above comments seem to indicate some confusion about climate science. If someone is in a position to influence policy doesn’t it seem reasonable to expect that individual to be updated and informed about critical current issues such as climate change? Here is a great reference book, The Thinking Man’s Guide to Climate Change (2nd Edition) by Robert Henson. Also, there are individuals who live in the greater San Diego area who have a lot of expertise in the many different facets of climate change, it’s causes, consequences and possible solutions to mitigation. Perhaps inviting them to speak sometime at an event where you and other local elected officials are present would be helpful. I’m sure that several of them would also be willing to sit down with you on a one to one basis to answer any questions you have. Our group would be happy to help organize and facilitate such an event or meeting.
    Thank you.
    Marian Sedio
    North County Climate Change Alliance

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