HomeLettersMeasure LCF Promises Unfulfilled

Measure LCF Promises Unfulfilled

The sales pitch made to voters to get us to approve Measure LCF was that residents would get more sheriff patrols, faster 911 response times, better emergency preparedness and more street resurfacing. But the City Council’s recently adopted budget for the next fiscal year does none of that.
Sheriff patrols are budgeted at exactly the same level as this year. No additional deputies, no increased patrols or traffic enforcement, and no greater presence around schools.
The budget has no additional paramedic resources, and no money for an emergency operations center. The budget for the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) actually decreased. The budget for brush clearance, after adjusting for inflation, is flat.
As to street resurfacing, the budget includes only two miles of street resurfacing, compared to the average of three miles resurfaced annually during the past 15 years. In dollars, next year’s street resurfacing budget is less than this year’s budget.
Next year’s budget is also missing many needed public safety improvements.
There’s no money to improve the safety and circulation of the deadly and congested intersection at Foothill Boulevard and Angeles Crest Highway.
There’s no money to add a pedestrian-activated red light to the crosswalk in front of La Cañada Pet Clinic, where a pedestrian was killed two and a half years ago.
There’s no money to protect students on sidewalks on Michigan Hill and near La Cañada HS, where twice in the last two years cars have driven up onto the sidewalk.
There’s no money to jointly develop with the school district the former Foothill Intermediate School to turn it into a much-needed community recreation and cultural center, instead of the existing private schools.
There’s no cost of living increase in the budget for city staff, who’ve received only 4% in COLAs since late 2021, during which time inflation has exceeded 13%. It’s no wonder a third of city staff have left in the last two years.
The failure to include important public safety improvements in the budget isn’t because of a lack of money. In fact, in the last year alone, the city’s general fund reserves grew from $15.1 million to $17.5 million, a 16% increase. The city’s reserves are nearly equal to its general fund budget.
Where the city is spending freely is on litigation. This year the city spent over $1 million on litigation. Next year, for the appeal the city recently filed, there will be, at a minimum, another $1 million in litigation costs. If the city loses the appeal, it will be required to pay the litigation costs of its three opposing parties, another several million dollars.
It is apparent the City Council is using Measure LCF to fund its litigation, not the promised increases in public safety, emergency preparedness and street resurfacing.

David Haxton
La Cañada Flintridge

First published in the June 13 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.


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