To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Monday Evening Is 710 Tunnel Meeting Night at the Pasadena City  Council

Article is below with link.  Please note that the address of meeting in incorrect.  
The correct address is:

Pasadena Convention Center
Ballroom Building, Ballrooms E-H
300 East Green Street, Pasadena
 A lot of other cities have come out against Metro's attempt to build this destructive hole under the pair of Pasadenas, including our very ownSierra Madre. Monday night it will be the big dog's turn to either bark or sit up and wag its perky tail. Hopefully Chris Holden won't still be voting. Also please be aware that SCAG and the SGVCOG are also for it, so there is the town wrecker goon squad element to consider as well. Here is how thePasadena Star News describes the meeting (click here):

The City Council will take a position Monday on whether or not a tunnel should complete the Long Beach (710) Freeway. Though it opposed three other alternatives at a meeting in August, the council has shied away from taking a position on the tunnel connecting linking the San Bernardino (10) and Foothill (210) freeways.

While some residents believe the council kept quiet so that the freeway extension wouldn't become an issue in the state Assembly campaign of former City Councilman Chris Holden, city officials said they were awaiting a legal opinion.

Councilman Terry Tornek said he is glad the council will finally take a stand on the tunnel, but he's not sure it will affect Metro's decision to extend the freeway. "Frankly, I've been asking to have this brought forward much sooner, I think the public deserves to have an opportunity to know how we feel about this stuff," Tornek said. "But I also think there is a misconception about the influence the council can have in all this. This isn't our project and we are not the decision-makers here."

The council must reconcile whatever position it takes with voter-approved Measure A, which was passed in 2001. Pasadena residents took a position in support of "completing the 710 freeway between I-10 and I-210." At an August City Council meeting, Councilman Steve Madison proposed a resolution to oppose the tunnel.

Terry Tournek's statement kind of gets under my skin a little bit. Metro, the so-called "lead agency" pushing for this regional environmental cataclysm, is in the end is just another bureaucratic planning organization that lives off of our taxes. So why exactly are they so powerful that they can defy the wishes of elected officials and the tax paying citizens who sustain their employment? What almighty force stands behind them that makes whatever we and our representatives want to do so meaningless? Who exactly are these decision makers? And why do they have the God-like power to defy our wishes and spend $10s of billions of our dollars when doing it? Nobody ever seems to say.  

I received a notice from the wonderful folks at the No on 710 Action Committee (click here), and it included an e-mail that was sent by Weston DeWalt to the Mayor and City Council of Pasadena. It is a great read, and I am posting it here in its entirety.

Over the past five or six years I have found myself engaged in a variety of issues of concern to Pasadena residents, and through those efforts have met a number of individuals devoted to causes of equal concern to them. In the sharing of stories of our experiences, I began to notice that, when organized labor and/or the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce was promoting a specific action to be taken by the City Council, those who held an opposing view most often found themselves on the losing end of the debate. In recent years, the frequency of that occurrence has become even more glaring, and an increasing number of Pasadena citizens have begun to take notice. The blunt force and suppression tactics used to hasten the City Council’s approval of the final Rose Bowl/NFL EIR – for many – has proven to be the last straw. Or is there a final-final straw yet to come?

The City Council’s delay in dealing with the Measure A/710 extension issue – now going on for almost five months – seems to many to have been politically motivated. For some there is the belief that the delay was orchestrated in order to give Chris Holden time to clear the building without having to cast a vote, which could have jeopardized his election to the State Assembly. For others there is the belief that the delay was to help insure Holden’s favorable inclination toward the F-7 tunnel would be absent when a vote was taken on the Measure A/710 extension issue. Either way – if a delay was manufactured – the Council would have been in violation of a City ordinance that prohibits a purposeful delay in conducting business of concern to Pasadena citizens, and we would have been denied our right to fair and timely representation.

On December 10, when it has been announced that the Council will finally address the Measure A/710 extension issue, we may hear that the only reason for the delay was the City’s desire to clearly ascertain its legal position, that the complexity of the issue and the need to thoroughly analyze the situation were the sole reasons for the delay. If that should prove to be the case, I would recommend a serious dose of skepticism, especially in light of the fact that the City Manager – back in September – was telling citizens that it was his expectation that the matter would be resolved by Election Day in November.

When all is said and done, it may be that the City Council will vote to oppose the F-7 tunnel on December 10. If so, a good many of us will be grateful, but – should that come to pass – I think we should not lose sight of the effort that has been expended over the past several months to finally get the Council to the December 10 judgment day and what the City Council’s inaction may have contributed to the suppression of a wider awareness of the threat that the F-7 tunnel presents; thus encouraging METRO in its continuing ambitions.

If the Council does not vote to oppose METRO’s F-7 tunnel proposal, we can add that decision to the victory column of the Chamber of Commerce, whose seeming disregard for quality-of-life-issues – to my view – could well contribute to a degradation of the very environment that draws businesses, customers and residents to our city.

Finally, it must be considered that the City Council might decide to kick the can down the road by arguing that the Measure A/710 extension issue is just too complex to allow a clear decision as to what action the City Council could take and will advise that a ballot measure is the only option available to those who want to challenge the proposed F-7 tunnel. The attorneys with whom I have spoken about the Measure A/710 extension issue have all said that taking such a position would be nothing but a dodge, an effort on the part of Councilmembers to avoid having to publicly declare their positions. I and many other Pasadena residents share that belief.

Whatever is to come on December 10, some important civic lessons have been learned, and, thanks to many of you, there appears to be an ever-growing interest in more closely scrutinizing the actions of individual Councilmembers and the influences to which they respond. It is a scrutiny that is long overdue.

The Pasadena City Council meets and will discuss all of this on Monday, December 10th at 7:30 p.m. The address is 100 No. Garfield Avenue, Pasadena CA 91109. These occasions have been turning out huge crowds of justifiably angry folks, so getting there a little early is advised. I'm going to bring my laptop and post about it "live" from the meeting. If anybody would like to join me I can come by and give you a lift to the meeting. You have yet to live if you haven't had the chance to ride in a fuel efficient Saturn Ion yet.