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Talking cents about a wasteful bond

Kris Hunt of the Contra Costa Taxpayers Association gets in a dig on the W.C. City Council's request for a $21 general obligation bond to pay for a 310-spot parking garage in Civic Park (oh, yeah, and a library). "There's a concern when you don't have a cost," Hunt told the CC Times. I hope that's not all she had to say. ... There seems to be plenty of contention about all this bond baggage the Council's foisting on the electorate, but most of the coverage has focused on the overwhelming support from the City's electeds. (That family that stands to lose its home? Last graf in the stories.) ... What nobody is saying is the god-honest truth that young families and first-time homebuyers are going to float most of the costs of this thing goes through in November. ... When news accounts pin the average assessed value of a home in Walnut Creek at $300,000 - about $33 a year in bond costs under the GARAGE/library plan - that's less than half the story. See, assessed values are linked to home sales. So when you go to buy your house in this market and have to sink $900,000 for a three-bedroom home where your kids can go safely go to public schools - you'll be paying $100 bucks for the library bond. And you'll be paying it so shoppers from San Francisco and Stockton can park in your downtown. ...

Old tricks for a new library

Well, I hate to drag out an old word like "boondoggle" to describe the Walnut Creek City Council's plans for a giant new parking garage in Civic Park (oh, yeah, they'll be tacking on a library too). "Boondoggle," though, suits the tale. ... The Contra Costa Times tells the story well (sorry, they want registration for a peek at their online stories). City voters, thanks to the Council's wisdom, will be asked in November to pay a staggering $21 million - a heck of a lot more if you talk about debt - in general obligation bonds over the next 30 years. The payoff? A bigger library that serves as a trojan horse for putting Olympia Place-style retail stores in the park at the corner of Lincoln and Broadway. And that's not all the big wooden mule will be carrying inside: plans also call for a FIVE-STORY parking garage. A couple floors of the garage might go underground if voters OK every last cent the City wants over next several years. Talk about holding a gun to our heads. ... How about no parking garage, half the cost, and stepped up public transit to reach a new and improved library? Or a garage over retail in the commercial district at Lincoln and Main? ... How about getting off this one-way track while Civic Park's still whole. ...

Parks, not parking


Isn't there something inherently wrong with a multi-level 310-space parking garage as part of a project that promises to enhance Civic Park and its interaction with the creek? ... And what will the creek look like after a few years with all that new pollution? ...

BALLOTS TO JAM THE COGS

"Bring the Troops Home" site goes live - Yes on N


"Of all the enemies to the public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. There is an inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and ... degeneracy of manners and of morals ... No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."

- James Madison



What's This Site For?

Stumbling around the 60-some Web sites organized around the November supervisor races, it's clear that some are great advertisements and some are just placeholders for election-oriented e-mail addresses. And past the catchy colors and "Host a House Party" bugs, there isn't a heck of a lot of policy on the pages. Christine Linnenbach's D7 site is an exception. ...


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