December 7, 2010

When residents elect city council members, we vote for you hoping that you will represent our best interests. With regards to street sweeping, the city council has made some adjustments to the proposals by the city manager, but haven't addressed the fact that the enforcement program is entirely unnecessary.

In the past, council members and staff have referred to it as a "Starkey problem" and the solution proposed to me is to park a mile and a half from my home at the downtown parking structure and walk home every week and consider this my family's weekly exercise. I don't consider this to be a reasonable solution.

But, I want to thank the council for the following, since the original proposals by the City Manager have been completely unreasonable:

1) "$1.4 million". I know this wasn't the final budget number that was approved by council, but it was the amount the City Manager presented in the report to the council. The report says it projected $1.4 million annually for the first year and all subsequent years. It wasn't presented it as a number that would decline. To now claim that the program is a success and running as planned because it failed to meet any of the city manager's expectations in his report is a little concerning. What other reports have been filed that won't live up to the projections and then later proclaimed to be a success? Thankfully, the council recognized how wrong this amount was and adjusted it. However, the City Manager cannot now take the results and change the report to fit. The fact is that the initial projections were completely wrong.

2) When residents complained about parking, you asked the city manager to come up with an exemption program. The City Manager returned months later and said no adjustments were needed to the current program.

3) When the city manager returned again with his proposal for the exemption process, his report said that exemptions will cost residents $100 per year per vehicle. Again, thankfully, you said that this amount was outrageous and reduced it.

4) When the CM said that the city is embracing the program, Roy Moore and Brett Murdock found the opposite when walking the streets during their campaigns. Brett said it was the #1 issue with residents and would work with council to repeal the measure.

5) When the CM had the police chief present a report regarding the ticketing and appeals process, he said that anyone can apply for an exemption. However, the exemption clearly states that you can only get an exemption for your own car 100 feet from your own residence. So, I still cannot have family or friends visit me on Mondays without the hassle of dealing with the street sweeper.

6) When the police chief said that the appeals are not arbitrary, here's an example for you. The wording of each one of these two appeals is about parking on a street to a visit family member and not knowing about the parking restriction because no sign could be seen. One of these tickets was excused, the other wasn't. I challenge you to determine which one was the one that was excused. And, more importantly, why?

Appeal #1:
"#1, There were not signs posted as required in CVC 22507.6 or any other indication to me that I had parked in violation of any code, rule or law.
#2, Note being a resident or even a regular visitor to the neighbors, I am not and would have no reason to be aware of any unwritten rules."
This appeal was denied.

Appeal #2:
"I am not a resident therefore I had no idea that no parking was allow[ed] at that time and day, there are no signs stating 'no parking' on a certain day and time anywhere on that specific street, so how would anyone that is not a resident know not to park on a certain day?
This appeal was granted.

7) When the CM said that work trucks wouldn't be ticketed, Roy Moore was with me when an ATT worker told us how his truck received a ticket and was told to appeal it by the agent since it had already been issued.

8) In a prior City Manager's report, he claimed that the debris collected had increased 30%. That number is a complete fabrication. At the last meeting, the CM admitted that debris data wasn't collected so there is no measurement for the increase other than a "pile of debris looked bigger". However, the data we got from the Public Works dept. shows exactly the opposite of the CM claims.

9) The CM says that the signage in Brea is "perfect" However, another Brea resident has looked into the signage and found that there is an existing court decision in Santa Barbara that would suggest our signs do not comply with requirements. And, Roy Moore also said that he has was unable to locate a sign in a neighborhood he wanted to visit and wasn't sure where it was safe to park. Do you even grasp that idea? The fact that a resident was unable to visit another resident because of street sweeping? Is that the type of community we want to live in? In times when we are all cutting back, is the city really going to put more money into the program by purchasing and posting more No Parking signs throughout the residential neighborhoods? Or, defending a possible lawsuit?

So, now that each report by the CM shows such complete contempt for residents and inaccurate data, how can we trust that the next report filed is accurate? Once the credibility of the CM street sweeping reports is questioned, shouldn't the next report be scrutenized more closely?

But, here's the big question that has never been answered. Why do we have to do street sweeping of every side of every street every week and have parking enforcement to ticket residents? The CM says that the NPDES requires it. That just isn't true. If they did, why is it that Fullerton and Yorba Linda don't have enforcement programs? Why do beach communities and almost every city do alternating sides to clean the streets every other week then? It just isn't mandated by any agency. The only agency requiring the enforcement program is you, the Brea City Council members. I ask you again, to please reconsider the decision for parking enforcement on street sweeping days since you are supposed to represent the residents' best interests. The residents have voiced their opinion. It's now time for the council to act on our behalf.

I have tons of information to share with you if any of you are interested. I've outlined it all at our website righttopark.com and I just hope to have the opportunity to prove that the enforcement program just isn't needed in the small town of Brea.

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