We won’t be fooled again – No on Measure R

It’s a scheme to put a mega-garage on the corner of Lincoln and Broadway, possibly with a new third lane of traffic on the quiet residential street. Definitely not in the interest of sustainability. The City thinks it can pull this move because most of the nearby residents are renters. … This renter says No! …

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City releases garage costs – No on R

If the City Council gets its way, Walnut Creek taxpayers will be on the hook for a $16 million garage that will tower 35 feet over Civic Park. … So much for any reasonable plan for preserving Civic Park. The only way to stop this monstrosity is to join me in voting No on Measure R. … The sprawling garage complex will take up three times the square footage of a new library, and ruin Civic Park for the next generation. … Note also that the City has yet to put these horrible details on its Web site, apparently content enough to let the Yes on R spin doctors mislead voters about the true impacts of passing a $21 million tax measure in the Nov. 8 special election. …

Parking Issues

Two interesting comments in this week’s Walnut Creek Journal: one on closing parts of downtown to traffic, and another urging the City Council to spend the money to underground parking in Civic Park. I agree with both (but say “no” to any multi-level parking structure in the park). …

Not Ready for Prime Time

A new article in the Times runs down the sides in the debate over a $21 million library bond. … I found the last few lines most interesting: “The city has asked architects to redesign the plan, after deciding not to take the house and lot owned by Julia Maxwell. … This means that some questions measure opponents are asking – such as how much the project will cost and how large the parking garage will be – are taking longer to answer. … ‘Much of this is what we’ll be looking at in the upcoming weeks and months,’ [architect] Gehrke said Wednesday, less than nine weeks from the Nov. 8 election.” … Ouch!

$21 Million Garage

There’s a lot of text in the new “Yes on R” mailer that hit voters’ mailboxes around town today. But not once did I see the words MONSTER GARAGE. That tells me there’s not much truth in advertising going on here. Sure, everybody agrees that the old library is outdated. But do we want to spend a total of around $60 million on a new library complex that ravages Civic Park, ruins traffic in the northern downtown and puts a polluting mega-garage on the creek bank? … That’s the debate, no getting around it. … The new mailer also quotes an anti-eminent domain editorial from the Contra Costa Times out of context, although I have little doubt the Times will come out with soft official support from this wasteful $21 million property tax hike. … Environmentalists and taxpayers alike are rightly concerned with the city’s fluid library proposal, since, after a purported 17 years of study, the City still has no final blueprint (let alone a report on einvornmental impacts) for what it will actually be building in our park. … And what does “no commercial retail space” mean? That’s one of the lines in this slick mailer, but I have no idea what it means other than that all the new retail space will go to nonprofits. Fooey! … But I have learned one thing for sure: somebody’s pumping a heck of a lot of money into Yes on R. … More on that soon. …

Dueling Campaign Web Sites

Both sides of the library debate are up with their own Web sites. … Let me humbly invite folks who want a free-wheeling debate on the merits (or lack thereof, as I usually see it) of the November bond measure to continue visiting SaveCivicPark.com. … Here’s my analysis of the two sites: The “Yes” side has the big-bucks design and the slick rhetoric. The “No” folks appear to be operating on a slim budget, but have the meatier arguments for their position. … The Council’s $21 million bond ($46 million by the time we pay it off) is set for a special November 8 election as Measure R. … Remember, vote early, vote often (And keep your registration up to date here). …

The "Special Meeting"

An attendee at this afternoon’s special Walnut Creek Council meeting fills us in with this deadline report: “Many people spoke saying the Council doesn’t listen to what the people want,” our correspondent reports. … Ed note: Wonder where they got that idea? … Councilwoman Rainey (far right) was most attentive to resident’s concerns, while Councilwoman Regalia (center) blamed through-trips by people from other towns for congestion problems. … About 20 people spoke, most critical of the Council and proposed General Plan. … “One woman spoke and said in the Journal 2 weeks ago there were 18 letters from residents, of which 17 were critical of the council over traffic problems and overly aggressive growth.” Mayor Gary Skrel (second from left) “responded by saying ‘Letters to the Journal don’t influence what we do.’ ” … Don’t feel bad Journal! They don’t listen to us either. … Our man on the scene says Rainey, Charlie Abrams (second from right) and Regalia offered support for capping growth at the same level as the last 12 years – 75,000 square feet per year. … Thanks, Man on the Scene! …