Right to Park: Brea, CA

Brea City Manager's Recommendation Errors

Brea City Manager, Tim O'Donnell (a Yorba Linda resident living in a city without parking restrictions on street sweeping days!), has presented many erroneous reports to the City Council regarding Street Sweeping.

From the July 2009 presentation to the City Council from Brea's City Manager: "It is estimated that approximately 48,000 violations will occur annually, yielding $1.512 million in citation fine revenue. The staff conservatively estimates that the revenues for the first fiscal year will be at least $700,000. This estimate is based on less than a full year's enforcement."

Year One
Operational and Capital Costs ($ 135,000)
Citation Fine Revenue $1,512,000
Net General Fund Revenue $1,377,000

Subsequent Years
Operational and Capital Costs ($ 65,000)
Citation Fine Revenue $1,512,000
Net General Fund Revenue $1,447,000

Based on the most recent data, the street sweeping enforcement program has generated close to $50,000 in the first year instead of the "conservatively estimated" $700,000. This is an error of over 90%!

In July 2009, Brea was already in compliance with the NPDES; (currently Fullerton and Yorba Linda comply with NPDES and they have no parking restrictions on street-sweeping day.) This resolution was not about clean streets or the NPDES, and clearly the city will not be bringing in $1.512 million dollars in citation revenue as the City Manager projected.

On March 2, 2010 at the City Council meeting in response to residents during Matters from the Audience, the City Manager said "I don't believe we ever suggested $1.5 million as a revenue target for the street sweeping program." This is in complete contradiction to what he wrote in the July 2009 report (above). click to view the July 2009 resolution

Revenue

The revenue projection study presented by the City Manager to the council was incredibly flawed and resulted in wildly inaccurate projections. A parking control officer followed one of the two street sweepers for one week to count the number of cars it drove around. They found that 1,175 cars were swept around, and that was the number of vehicles used in the revenue calculation. However, of those cars, 728 did not have overnight parking passes, so 60% of the cars counted had the opportunity to be parked off street. More importantly, no parking restrictions existed at the time so street parking was completely legal when the count was done! Still, when projecting $1.5 million dollars in revenue, the City Manager assumes all of those vehicles would remain on the street and be ticketed.

What is also disturbing about the "research" conducted by the city staff is that they observed hundreds of cars parked on the street street-sweeping day that had overnight parking passes displayed. That means hundreds of residents clearly have a parking issue at their residence and are currently being forced out of their homes on street-sweeping day now that street parking has become illegal. However, the City Council majority elected to ignore these hardships and proceeded to approve a program with NO exemptions. What guided the City Council majority's vote? The City Manager's simple argument of "A program with exemptions will generate less revenue than a program without".click to view the July 2009 resolution

Our Neighboring Cities

In his memo, the City Manager reports that the following cities have an enforcement program: La Habra, Chino Hills, Placentia, Diamond Bar, Anaheim, Orange and Garden Grove.

However, missing from the report is the fact that two of those cities sweep twice monthly, not weekly. Two are not even in Orange County. One of the cities allows exemptions. One city does alternating sides for 35 of its streets. One town exempts school zones. In Anaheim, they towed 45 student owned cars one day that were blocking the street sweeper one day, and in La Habra, parents were ticketed while attending a school's Easter egg hunt.

What's dishonest about the City Manager's study is that it failed to mention the policies in the cities immediately surrounding Brea. You would think this would be a better guide than Anaheim. The cities surrounding Brea:

Yorba Linda, no restrictions.
Fullerton, no restrictions.
La Habra Heights, no restrictions.
Whittier, each neighborhood votes.
La Habra, alternating sides on 35 streets.

The City Manager did model his recommendation on Placentia, but the landscape for Brea is so different that it's not a valid comparison. (He also failed to mention that Placentia's huge projection of $1.4 million dollars per year in revenue was proven wrong as their program breaks even financially and their tickets are now $48 each.) So, do you think a complete and accurate analysis was done to reach the recommendation brought to the Brea City Council for street sweeping?
click to view the July 2009 resolution

Are the streets cleaner by 30% as claimed by the City Manager?

The City Manager claims in his 6-month review of the program (click here to view the 6 month review report):

"Maintenance Services reports that the streets of Brea are being swept more effectively and the debris collected has increased from 1.5 to about 2 cubic yards per week since the start of the program."

Even if this was true (it's not! click here to see the data), and they are collecting 8 more cubic yards of debris per week, couldn't the city have achieved the same clean results with alternating sides of the street or with enforcing the already existing parking restrictions? Or, could they have implemented a plan to specifically target some cars that constantly block the path and have a debris buildup instead of a 'one size fits all' approach? How have other cities addressed this situation? The increase in debris collected is only about eight gallons per square mile since enforcement began (assuming the City Manager's information is not off by 90% - 300% again).

Update: The City Manager stated that we now collect more debris since the program began, but he now claims that we do not have history of the amount of trash collected for past years and only has the data since the street sweeping program started. How can the City Manager claim these "facts" to the City Council? How can the City Council majority continue to trust the City Manager and his facts regarding this program?

School Streets Exempt?

The City Manager's response to Council Member Roy Moore's June 15, 2010 question at the council meeting regarding accommodations being made for resident. "We are making accommodations in each of those situations we are not citing people who are parked in front of schools to pick up their children."

Not true! Parents have been ticketed when picking up, dropping off or volunteering at our schools. The "No Parking between 8 am - 2 pm" signs are on our school's streets and parents parking on those streets are violating the law on street sweeping day and can be ticketed.

Brea Residents are embracing this program!

The City Manager continues to claim that Brea residents have "embraced this program" and on June 15, 2010 at the city council meeting claimed, "And let me again reiterate, and our data, and you will get more of this at the study session, suggests very, very high compliance rate and a very, very small number of people who, even when cited and appealed the cite, mentioned no place to park as a rational. There is literally, I can count them on a couple of hands."

Let's send a message to this City Council and City Manager that Brea residents are not embracing this program.

Brea residents deserve to have input!

 

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