At the last City Council meeting, there seemed to be some confusion about the street-sweeping carbon footprint data I presented. It has been suggested that there is a slight increase in the amount of debris collected as a result of the parking enforcement program. My concern is the significant COST to collect this meager additional 26 cubic yards of debris per year. As a result of the street-sweeping resolution, we have two enforcement vehicles now driving for a combined 48 hours a week as they follow the street sweepers. The city's effort to give tickets to Brea residents is causing 15,000 miles of wasted driving each year, which generates about NINE METRIC TONS of carbon dioxide. For the alleged benefit of collecting only 26 cubic yards of debris, there is a cost of generating 6,543 cubic yards of carbon dioxide per year (refer to graph B)! Just in the first six months of this ticketing program, the City of Brea's enforcement vehicles have generated over 10,000 pounds of pollution in order to possibly collect an extra 13 cubic yards of LEAVES.
At the last Study Session, I was relieved to hear that the City Council is FINALLY starting to show some concern about the hardships experienced by Brea residents who have no place to park on street-sweeping day. However, I was disappointed to learn that the only action taken was to delay the matter indefinitely as it was turned over to the City Manager to come up with some kind of criteria for offering permanent exemptions. Pardon me if I don't hold my breath waiting for the City Manager to come back promptly with a reasonable recommendation. This is the same City Manager whose original revenue projections for the enforcement program was off by 95%, and has denied the numbers in his own July 2009 report claiming, "I don't think we ever said $1.5 million dollars." The same City Manager who reported that Brea already sweeps at twice the rate of the NPDES, and then falsely claimed that Brea's streets must be free of cars during sweeping in order to comply with the NPDES. A City Manager who apparently never investigated how the cities surrounding Brea manage to keep their streets clean before recommending the most unreasonable and strict enforcement program around, all while continuing to falsely claim that there is nothing unique about Brea's street sweeping. This is the same City Manager who, for over six months, has openly disregarded the concerns of the many residents who have spoken at Council meetings, falsely claiming that the city has been working diligently with us to solve our problems and that residents are embracing the new program. The same City Manager who already has recommended AGAINST exemptions for those who have overnight parking passes for no reason other than the loss of revenue it would cause. And now the City Council expects the staff to research the matter diligently and to suddenly be in support of the residents facing hardships? Again, I'm not holding my breath.
I have been in a panic since August because the new parking rules force me out of my neighborhood each and every week on street-sweeping day. Once again, the City Manager's claim that the "spirit of the law" enforcement results in only a minor inconvenience is painfully out of touch. So since August, I have been making calls and talking with the City to figure out how it could have implemented such an unreasonable policy. From the beginning, the party line has been that the street sweeping enforcement is necessary for compliance with the NPDES and that everyone sweeps their streets so Brea is just doing the same. However, when I looked into these claims, I found them to both be completely without merit. In fact, nearly everything the City Manager has researched and reported on the issue of street sweeping is questionable. In every case, the data in either completely wrong or has clearly been misrepresented, yet the City Council majority never questioned it or conducted their own research before voting to accept the City Manager's recommendation. As you can imagine, I find the recently reported increase in the amount of debris collected to also be questionable. Until I see this data for myself, I will not trust it. To help the City Council make an informed decision about the future of the enforcement program, I will be requesting access to the street-sweeping debris data for the last five years so these numbers can be properly determined, and adjusted for seasonal differences, amount of rainfall, etc. I will also be requesting additional information about the nearly 200 tickets that were contested but not excused by the police department. Unless this process is a transparent one, the Council has no idea if criteria are being applied uniformly and residents are being treated fairly. I hope these are issues that the City Council will be seriously considering as they review the enforcement policy. The City Manager is not an elected official. It is the City Council that represents the Brea residents and should be actively working to improve the street-sweeping enforcement program. May I remind you that the resolution passed by the Council majority did have an option for issuing exemptions to residents with overnight parking permits, so I'm not sure what else the council needs to address this hardship. I hope we don't have to wait any longer for action to be taken. Thank you.
For calculation of carbon dioxide emissions, please see the following websites:
Could the vagueness of this
number be an intentional misrepresentation of the data in an effort to mislead
the Council? This certainly is a possibility, considering the staff's prior
history on data handling (refer to graph A). How many CUBIC YARDS of this greenhouse
gas are generated in order to collect 26 cubic yards of debris?
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