July 18, 2012

My Testimony at Last Night’s Covina City Council Meeting

Good evening, Mr. Mayor, members of the Council, ladies and gentlemen.

Let me begin by stating that, after thinking about it off and on for two months, I have voted in favor of the proposed assessment.

However, I want to register two major complaints about Lighting District No 1.

First, as someone who runs or bicycles just before dawn everyday, it is undeniably true that the Lighting District does a horrible job of maintaining the street lights north of Downtown Covina.  As of 4:45 a.m. this morning, for example, street lights at 1119 and 1125 North Fair Valley Avenue, 251 East Covina Boulevard, and 960 North Citrus Avenue were still not functioning properly and have not been for several months.  Worse, all four street lights at the intersection of North Citrus Avenue and East Covina Boulevard were once again completely dark as they have been for months.  If street lighting is a public safety issue, as your campaign has repeatedly stressed, then Lighting District No. 1 itself is clearly indifferent to public safety.

Second, over thirty years ago, a then-member of the Covina City Council stood on our front porch in the 300 block of East Greenhaven Street and promised that, if we voted to support the annexation of our tract from Los Angeles County to Covina, the city would install street lighting and sidewalks in the tract.  Three decades later, we still have no lights on our street and on adjacent streets, nor have new sidewalks been laid.  One is left with the conclusion that the Lighting District does not care about the safety of "drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists" in our neighborhood, about the ability of "police and firefighters to easily locate our home in the event of a (nighttime) emergency," "about maintaining stable property values," nor about keeping our neighborhood "a desirable place to live."  Given the fiscal circumstances of the city, I assume that no new lighting will be installed in our neighborhood anytime soon.

Thank you for your time and for allowing me to speak.

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Remarks prepared for the public hearing on Lighting District No. 1 and the proposed assessments, 17 July 2012.

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To see a video of my appearance before the Covina City Council on Vimeo, click here.

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