Yesterday Altadena Heritage Board Members Mark Goldschmidt, John Zoraster, Karin Bugge, and Michele Zack met with a few other community members including Marietta Kruells to discuss the county's Clean Water, Clean Beaches Measure.
The public hearing on this is January 15 at 9:30 am in the Hearing Room of the Board of Supervisors downtown on Temple Street. That's this Tuesday morning. Anyone who wishes to protest, must send in form or letter that must be received by Jan. 15.
Altadena Heritage is in process of deciding whether to officially protest this measure — not because we don't believe in the need to address non-point pollution and storm run off as big environmental problems, or because we don't want to pay for it — but because as written, the measure offers little accountability or clarity on how these goals will be achieved.
Below please find a sample protest letter that explains some of our concerns you can print out and send. (This is for those who have misplaced the flyer that came in the mail). It is also possbile to retrieve a protest form online or call (800) 218-0018 or email@example.com to ask for more information.
To view sample flyer click the following link: http://antonovich.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/LACWCB_Ballona-Creek-Watershed-Notice1.pdf but be aware that the tax i.d. number of property, or at very least the address, will need to be on any protest for it to be counted. Only property owners, not general public, are being asked to fund this measure.
Sample Protest Letter
Executive Officer of the Board of Supervisors
P.O. Box 866006
Los Angeles, CA 90086
Los Angeles County Clean Water, Clean Beaches Measure Protest Letter
X I protest the proposed clean water fee.
Assessor's Parcel Number: xxxx-xxx-xxx
Parcel Address: Street Address
Altadena, CA 91001
I am not opposed to the concept of this measure, or to a fee supporting its goals. However, I protest it because it is inadequately thought out and provides few details on how, and no assurance of when, cleaner water and beaches will be achieved. It lacks accountability and doesn’t explain how programs (or those implementing them) will be chosen and overseen. The process of how property will be asessed is not transparent. More developed proposals need to be presented regarding:
- Watershed authority groups receiving 50% of the funds. What would their legal structure and governance be?
- Needs identification. The Engineer's Report refers to an "overall needs assessment utilizing the collective findings of several independent studies and evaluations of various segments of the storm water infrastructure within the District," and lists those studies. But, no synthesis or summary is provided, other than a statement on page 26 that "the cost ... will most certainly far exceed the revenues being proposed" of the $296,730,000 annually. Such sloppy accounting to citizens being asked to pay infers only that someone thought $300 million sounded about right, and that the county will ask for more later.
- Criteria for project selection. While lists of possible eligible projects are provided, no idea as to how these would be prioritized or rated is given. Will the majority of funds go to street sweepers or to groundwater recharge basins? Or something else — like city staff, consultants, and more studies? Cities need leeway to decide which projects make sense, but policy guidance and an accountability mechanism for the proposed watershed authority groups is needed.
- Longevity of the measure. While the task is large and solutions uncertain, there should be an established time limit, such as 10, 15, or 20 years.
Print Name ______________________________