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Looks trump substance 

San Luis Obispo

Taking money promised for neighborhood police patrols and using it for new garbage cans and newspaper racks downtown isn’t the only bait-and-switch that SLO City has pulled on voters who bit the bait and raised city sales tax by a half-cent per dollar. Measure Y propaganda also promised flood maintenance of creeks in neighborhoods where there’s been no maintenance since the early 1990s. This is a life-safety and property-loss-prevention measure that’s desperately needed. If done regularly, such maintenance costs little.
 
Instead of safety-based neighborhood creek maintenance, the city used Measure Y funds to “improve” Prefumo Creek so it won’t flood the future Madonna Enterprises shopping mall across Los Osos Valley Road from Home Depot, and to push ahead with a multi-gazillion-dollar widening of San Luis Creek below Marsh Street into a Mississippi River-sized gulch to help developers along that floodplain. The latter project is such an environmental turkey that under Bush I the federal Fish and Wildlife Service nixed it, yet today it moves ahead quietly and persistently, and one of these days will be sprung on the public as fait accompli.
 
This total tilt of the city toward business and developers and away from residents’ needs will come back to bite when homes are destroyed and lives lost due to blatantly negligent flood management in neighborhoods. But, heck, we’ll have new garbage cans downtown, and the free-enterprise-proud Chamber of Commerce will be happy with its latest public subsidy. Who could ask for anything more?

-- Richard Schmidt - San Luis Obispo

-- Richard Schmidt - San Luis Obispo

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