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Published April 9th, 2014
Letters to the Editor
Peter Hasselman Orinda


We Orindans recently passed a sales tax that now raises about $1 million a year for road repairs; that is in addition to about $1 million annually from the city's general fund. But with a backlog of $40 million in road and drainage work that needs to be done, that $2 million isn't even enough to maintain the present condition of our roads, which already rank among the worst in the Bay Area.
A group of concerned citizens is once again coalescing around an effort to pass a $20 million bond measure in this June's election. I tip my hat to anyone willing to do the work necessary to tackle this problem. Of course, there are those who will oppose the bond measure saying that it is too hard a sell for a variety of reasons: the cost discrepancies in assessed home values makes the tax inequitable, some oppose new taxes of any kind, others want someone else to pay for it, the 2/3 vote necessary seems too high a bar, some believe the sales tax should have fixed the problem, this bond measure doesn't fix the whole problem so why bother, and lastly, the general distrust of city hall. These opponents would be right; it does seem overwhelming.
But I see it a little differently. My neighborhood's experience repaving Crestview Drive was also financially inequitable. About half of the 125 property owners chipped in $1,000, a few gave twice as much, some gave less, and over 1/3 gave no money at all, but all of us who live along Crestview have benefitted directly every day since. We were not able to repave the entire street, rather only about 1/3 of it, but it was the section in the worst condition and we all drive it every day so the quality of life has improved dramatically for everyone. Safety is no longer such a pressing issue. Our property values and vehicles have not suffered. The road will be in good repair for many more years, and our neighborhood has enjoyed an enhanced community feeling. There were those who said it couldn't be done, but we proved them wrong.
I intend to support the upcoming measure, check out what you can do to help at fixorindaroads.org.

Diana Stephens

Orinda's Roads Need Attention NOW!

Orinda is a great community. We have a great location, great weather, great schools and much more. What we don't have is great roads. We all use the roads and need them in good repair to access work, school, emergency services etc... We cannot put off fixing them any longer. We need to step up and take responsibility for the roads that are the lifeblood of this community.
Orinda has stretched existing funds as far as they can to keep the main roads functioning, but the current funds cannot be stretched to repair the residential streets. The city has aggressively pursued grant funding for infrastructure but we cannot expect the county or state to come through with anywhere near the funding that is needed. To repair our roads to safe well maintained levels, we will need to support the upcoming bond measure that is dedicated to the repair and maintenance of Orinda roads.
We will pay for our roads one way or the other. We will either step up and support funding to fix the roads or we will spend the money supporting our local auto shops as we repair the damage to our cars from driving over potholes and rough streets. I urge all Orindans to make the smart choice and fix our roads now!

Aliza Metzner


Deer wander by free as you please
Wild turkeys roost in old oak trees
Cattle graze on a green hillside
The town of Moraga is where I reside

I hear the yipping of coyotes late at night
And Canadian geese honking, preparing for flight
Sound and sights of nature to hear and to see
In our quiet little town next to the big city

If this rural ambience we want to retain
Then hillside development we have to restrain

John O'Hare

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