Mike Starkey, Matters from the Audience, Brea City Council Meeting July 6, 2010

Typically, Laurie and I have chosen not to both speak about Street Sweeping at the same council meeting, but 5 minutes is just not enough time to go over the details of on how many ways the Street Sweeping enforcement program is a failure. But, let's try.

1) Let's start with the MONEY $$$.

The City Manager said in his July 2009 report that he presented to this council that he "conservatively estimates the revenue at $700,000 for the first year". What did the program actually make in 2009? It made closer to $50,000. An error of over 90%.

The City Manager stated in the same report that subsequent years would generate approximately $1.4 million. When I presented how inaccurate this estimate was at a prior meeting, the City Manager said "I don't think I ever said $1.4 million dollars in revenue for the program". But, here's the information from his July 2009 report which shows the program planned to ticket "48,000 cars each year to generate $1.4 million in revenue". What is the projected budget amount for the upcoming year? $200,000. This is an error of 85%.

So, clearly, from the DATA, the program is not making a significant amount of money to warrant the HUGE burden this program has been to certain residents.

2) The City Manager has said "residents are not receiving multiple tickets because the majority have adjusted their habits", "residents have embraced the program" and "only a handful of complaints have been received from residents". Well, I have a handful of petitions signed by Brea residents that would seem to indicate otherwise.

In about only 4 weeks, 2 residents, with minimal effort, have gathered nearly 600 signatures from residents wanting to put this item on the ballot to have a chance to vote for it instead of being forced on us by this city council majority. 600 signatures! The City Manager indicated at one point that the city was receiving 18 complaints a month about street sweeping prior to the resolution. Well, I present you with 600 complaints in one month regarding the enforcement program. And, we've just begun. Fellow residents that have visited the website www.RightToPark.com to request petitions to sign and some have even asked for multiple petition pages in order to help us in the gathering of signatures from their neighbors.

When we had a chair with a simple sign set up at the Brea Country Fair this past weekend, there were residents approaching us asking to sign the petition. Others took petitions home to share with friends, neighbors and family members. While there, we heard stories from other residents that share our burden with street sweeping. Apparently, this is not just a Starkey problem or theoretical problems as the City Manager and this Council has tried to indicate in the past. And, it is also clear that the City Council and City Manager are not really "working with residents" with to help solve their particular problems as it is constantly claimed by the Council, City Manager and even the Police Dept. It's clear, either move your car or get a ticket. And, from the study session earlier, City Manager has suggested that the program continue exactly as it has the past 10 months and run for another 2 years before the council re-addresses the issue. That means the residents don't get to vote - again.

3) So, if the program isn't raising any money $$$ and is a HUGE burden to some residents, then our streets must really be so much cleaner from this new enforcement program in order for this council majority to dig in their heels on the enforcement program. The City Manager claimed at a prior meeting that our streets are 30% cleaner since the program began. 30%! 1.5 cubic meters to 2 cubic meters. Now, before we even look at the DATA, let's think about this logically. Is there any way that a few hundred cars that were on the streets prior to the enforcement program being enacted were blocking 30% of the city's 200+ curb miles? That number makes absolutely no sense. So, when we got the ACTUAL sweeping data from the Public Works Department, we found exactly the opposite. From the DATA, with the exception of one month, the amount of debris collected since the program began is LOWER than the amount of debris collected the year prior. That's right - LOWER!

[We are not even collecting as much debris. So, I thought, maybe the reason we collected less debris in October 2009 than we did in October 2008 is that in September of 2009 when the warnings were being issued, the City collected a HUGE amount of debris compared to the September 2008 to account for the difference and that's when are streets got really clean. Guess what? The amount of debris collected in September 2009 was over 20% LESS than that in 2008. Our streets just aren't any cleaner!]

Plain and simple, the program with enforcement is not collecting any more debris from our streets than it did without enforcement. Today, the sweeper went down my street with cars parked on it since yesterday was a holiday and our street is just as clean as it was the day before. Even though it went around cars, our street is as clean as it has been the past 14 years.

However, for absolutely certain, the enforcement vehicles following the street sweeper have increased our carbon footprint and have expanded the amount of pollution in our air "5.75 tons of GHG annually as reported by the City Manager".

I'll tell you one thing that I learned from our time at the Country Fair where a veteran said "at least let us vote", is I heard from a candidate running to for City Council this November and they said that they would have no problem admitting when they've made a bad decision and would take steps to remedy the problem. From the response of this council majority, that is something that none of you can claim when it comes to the failure of a program that is the street sweeping enforcement program.
I'm looking forward to a change to the council in November where residents concerns come first!

[click here to download pdf of this presentation]