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One more time with feeling July 18, 2014 at 11:47 AM
Hi Steven. Thanks for your comment. Our $43 million downtown Walnut Creek County library was aboutRead More$ 23 million more than we could afford (even with $5 million from the Library Foundation). Combined with the recent $330k library cafe build-out (for a vendor that is getting free rent for a while) and over $750k annual maintenance expense to keep it open plus the nearly $1,000,000 annual salary requirement to keep the downtown library open more hours than the County will fund, it is a luxury we are stuck with and cannot afford. At least, that is according to the City Manager who continues to tell us that the City's budget is $2 million in the hole for the foreseeable future so the response is not to reduce spending but raise (sales) tax. I don't expect the City's County library expense to cover the entire $2 million City budget deficit, but it is a liability that needs to be reigned in. Given all this, it would have been much more straightforward to have the little parking meter signs tell us that the parking meter fees are to fund the downtown Walnut Creek County Library. Candy coating with the items that made it onto the parking meter signs is unnecessary and patronizing. I think that Libraries are great - it is the EXPENSE of *this particular library* Walnut Creek tax payers have to endure with the way the City communicates the funding sources. I am so glad you use this City resource. When I walk by, at various times of the day, it is usually pretty empty. Perhaps you'd like to explore running a funding campaign - I'll donate - just like I donated to the library before it was built. We don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem.
Jojo Potato July 18, 2014 at 02:00 PM
I noticed these signs the other day when I was enjoying some ice cream outside that place on Locust Read Morestreet. My first reaction was, "did they really need a sign on every meter?" I guess someone thought they did. And the "landscaping" on Locust is nothing to be proud of, some old almost bare trees trying to survive in the concrete. Besides all that, the recent city council action to fund the library operations included taking money from the parking fund. So maybe we should be honest about that. That's not the council's strong point is it? BTW, I'm writing this post from the Central library which has lots of computers and helpful staff and a great kids program that's about to start up. And it's got lots of free parking. But no giant stupid expensive "art" needed to satisfy the ego of the "powers that be", and the chairs and sinks are working and I'm sure a lot cheaper than those ego boosters. I'm enjoying it.
One more time with feeling July 21, 2014 at 11:39 AM
From a different perspective: Today, there is already General Fund line-item funding forRead More"Sidew alk cleaning - Downtown Policing - Landscaping - Free Trolly". When it is decided the "want-du-jour" is replacing the seats at the Lesher Center, Heather Farm Park Clarke Center replacement, Heather Farm Park sports field grass replacement with fake turf, more hours for the Contra Costa County downtown Walnut Creek branch than the County funds, Bocce courts & ice skating rink at Civic Park, City-subsidized food (similar to the downtown library cafe build-out), City-subsidized retail space (remember the storage pods at Liberty Bell Plaza) or something else, should we expect replacement parking meter signs listing the new funding item(s) requirement? We need to stop enabling the City's spending problem.
Julie Jepsen-Grant July 18, 2014 at 09:10 AM
Sheppard Road? And cut through the park?
mlm2013 July 18, 2014 at 08:01 PM
I know it's a radical idea but San Carlos is the street in the park.
mlm2013 July 18, 2014 at 08:10 PM
Many, many residents of Cherry Lane are wanting to install a set of speed humps - and Cherry LaneRead Moreis in unincorporated WC. If any readers are supportive of a set of speed humps on Cherry Lane - to control speed and encourage cut-thru drivers to use Oak - pls contact Supervisor Mitchoff's office at supervisormitchoff@bos.cccounty.us or call 925-521-7100 - thanks!
Karen June 01, 2014 at 11:20 AM
You're doing very important work and I know you'll do even greater work in the future! My husbandRead Morew as an environmental scientist and I majored in sytematic biology and ecology in college......so we understand your hard work! Your parents must be so proud!
One more time with feeling May 11, 2014 at 03:41 PM
No. Quick high level review. In the last few months since the City has told us of the annual $2Read Moremill ion budget shortfall for the foreseeable future speeding has included: Continued annual $1 million-$2 million subsidy of the community theater (Lesher Center) ** $200,000 subsidy of the downtown free ride (perhaps the Downtown Business Association or Chamber of Commerce can chip in) ** $500,000 “maintenance & operations" item magically and quietly moved to the General Fund (can the Library Foundation contribute?) ** continued $100,000 expense for color production, printing & distribution of the Nutshell - including the staffer who collects the stories from co-workers - same with the Arts & Rec color catalog - seriously, black&white is OK ** $300,000 one-time expense for downtown library cafe build-out ** waiving downtown library cafe rent ** $120,000 to buy storage pods for Liberty Bell plaza (and the pods have now mysteriously disappeared - did the City get any $ for them or are we paying to store them somewhere?) ** unknown annual expense to maintain and operate the Visiting Actor’s house on Glenhaven ** unknown expense (my estimate of $250,000) for work at Heather Farm Park - Tennis Center, grassy knoll by the Garden Center, Dog Park, planned painting of the Community Center buildings - the All Abilities playground upgrade is not included here ** unknown expense for the City logo signage change-out/update/replacement - likely with design expense, too ** Increase approved city headcount by 10 (recall when the 30 were laid off just before the downtown library opened and City staff was ordering $3,000 chairs and $5,000 restroom sinks for the new library)... anyone use the unnecessary showers there? ** 2x-3x increase in (now outsourced) legal department budget following the unnecessary resignation of the City Attorney and Assistant City Attorney in the wake of the Lesher sex scandal ** $25,000 expense for yet another citizen poll (this time it is about the proposed sales tax increase) ** unknown expense for cutting down many dozens of trees throughout the city (Civic Park, Heather Farm Park, various sidewalks and medians, etc., under the guise of “undesirable species” but complaining about PG&E’s tree removal effort (safety & inspection access) ** Allowing 1,000+ new residential units to be built knowing full well that these will cost the city more than the income these new residences will contribute (according to City staff analysis)… The above represents well over $4,000,000 in unnecessary, non-essential, expenditures that would easily have covered the apparent, current, budget gap ($4 million!… remember, the financial roadshow told us the City’s budget is $2 million short, annually). There’s LOTS more - this was the easy, obvious, stuff. We do not have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem.
One more time with feeling May 11, 2014 at 03:43 PM
No. Quick high level review. In the last few months since the City has told us of the annual $2Read Moremill ion budget shortfall for the foreseeable future spending has included: Continued annual $1 million-$2 million subsidy of the community theater (Lesher Center) ** $200,000 subsidy of the downtown free ride (perhaps the Downtown Business Association or Chamber of Commerce can chip in) ** $500,000 “maintenance & operations" item magically and quietly moved to the General Fund (can the Library Foundation contribute?) ** continued $100,000 expense for color production, printing & distribution of the Nutshell - including the staffer who collects the stories from co-workers - same with the Arts & Rec color catalog - seriously, black&white is OK ** $300,000 one-time expense for downtown library cafe build-out ** waiving downtown library cafe rent ** $120,000 to buy storage pods for Liberty Bell plaza (and the pods have now mysteriously disappeared - did the City get any $ for them or are we paying to store them somewhere?) ** unknown annual expense to maintain and operate the Visiting Actor’s house on Glenhaven ** unknown expense (my estimate of $250,000) for work at Heather Farm Park - Tennis Center, grassy knoll by the Garden Center, Dog Park, planned painting of the Community Center buildings - the All Abilities playground upgrade is not included here ** unknown expense for the City logo signage change-out/update/replacement - likely with design expense, too ** Increase approved city headcount by 10 (recall when the 30 were laid off just before the downtown library opened and City staff was ordering $3,000 chairs and $5,000 restroom sinks for the new library)... anyone use the unnecessary showers there? ** 2x-3x increase in (now outsourced) legal department budget following the unnecessary resignation of the City Attorney and Assistant City Attorney in the wake of the Lesher sex scandal ** $25,000 expense for yet another citizen poll (this time it is about the proposed sales tax increase) ** unknown expense for cutting down many dozens of trees throughout the city (Civic Park, Heather Farm Park, various sidewalks and medians, etc., under the guise of “undesirable species” but complaining about PG&E’s tree removal effort (safety & inspection access) ** Allowing 1,000+ new residential units to be built knowing full well that these will cost the city more than the income these new residences will contribute (according to City staff analysis)… The above represents well over $4,000,000 in unnecessary, non-essential, expenditures that would easily have covered the apparent, current, budget gap ($4 million!… remember, the financial roadshow told us the City’s budget is $2 million short, annually). There’s LOTS more - this was the easy, obvious, stuff. We do not have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem.
Julie Jepsen-Grant May 16, 2014 at 10:56 PM
Mixed messages. Loud and clear.
Julie Jepsen-Grant April 24, 2014 at 02:12 PM
LOL
Trish Benedict April 28, 2014 at 10:11 AM
I wondered the same thing. Saw it for the first time yesterday and thought it was pretty hideous. I Read Morereally liked the old sign and wonder why we have to waste tax dollars on some stupid frivolity like this?
Kristina May 02, 2014 at 03:41 PM
Eh who cares it looks nice
One more time with feeling April 19, 2014 at 05:59 PM
The City Manager says the budget is $2 million in the hole for the foreseeable future, yet theyRead Morespen d on these sorts of projects and $100k of tan bark at Heather Farm Dog Park and all the other pet projects the city should not be funding... unbelievable. We don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem.
Jojo Potato April 29, 2014 at 01:34 PM
Just walked by the Bufano site. Foundation getting installed. Chatted with the guy in the WalnutRead MoreC reek shirt, asked him "how many millions for this?". He laughed and said something like it's all "just money" and pointed at the Library. Ha Ha.
mlm2013 May 08, 2014 at 10:32 PM
Great comment Jojo!
Julie Jepsen-Grant April 08, 2014 at 03:44 PM
It's 12:40 p.m. Tuesday, April 8th and I just looked at the city website. It has been posted.Read MoreAnyone going?
Sadie Berkhimer April 08, 2014 at 06:00 PM
I will stay home to watch the parade of arts, library (with signs), swimming pool, etc groupiesRead Morecome before the council in support of a sales tax increase in an attempt to right the extravagant spending on unnecessary and low priority feel good projects over the past 10+ years. Go to protest you say? Been there and done that and all it accomplished was rudeness from the previous councils who had already made up their minds to spend, spend, spend on their pet projects.....which is why we are now in financial hot water.
Julie Jepsen-Grant April 17, 2014 at 08:04 AM
Thank you, Councilman Simmons, for suggesting eliminating The Nutshell newsletter from the cityRead Morebudg et. Yearly cost savings: $100,000 That is smart fiscal thinking.
Sadie Berkhimer April 17, 2014 at 06:28 PM
OMTWF, word is that the "out houses", "pods", "storage units" are for Read Moresale but no takers yet. Wonder how much the City will lose on this brilliant venture?
One more time with feeling April 19, 2014 at 06:04 PM
Thanks for the update, Sadie. How much will the City lose? Not as much as was lost when the CityRead MoreAtt orney resigned (along with an assistant City Attorney) to be replaced by an outside firm at a MUCH MUCH higher cost...
larry McEwen March 05, 2014 at 08:16 PM
Good article. Looking forward to how our County Supervisor is going to respond to each of theRead Moreconce rns expressed by the residents of the Walden District Improvement Ass'n.
APK March 05, 2014 at 11:10 AM
I am beginning to believe this is a joke - Small signs, cigarette buts everywhere. Where I liveRead Morethe re are no signs, people are still smoking in multi family units. Why pass this if Walnut Creek isn't going to enforce it.
KAC March 05, 2014 at 11:42 AM
I think the FBI should be called to perform DNA analysis of the discarded butts...
bryan February 11, 2014 at 08:55 PM
These guys are the fastest around. they were on this inRead Moreminutes http://news24-680.com/news-list/pol ice-fire/1134-daylight-burglars-interrupted-in-walnut-creek-flee
Sue Graham February 15, 2014 at 07:42 PM
Northgate is a Walnut Creek HS doing great things
bryan February 10, 2014 at 11:39 PM
Agree. I've been on News24-680 for several months nowRead Morehttp://news24-680.com/news-list/police-fire/11 27-one-dead-in-walnut-creek-crash They are covering the area well and are scary fast. Just an option.
Sadie Berkhimer February 11, 2014 at 02:51 PM
Claycord and Beyond the Creek are also good for local news.
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