Does council really know what's best?
Justin Wedel is my hero, and he is inspiring me to consider running for election to Walnut Creek City Council.
Our council, with no input from voters, continues to pass bans and regulations based on their opinions of what voters want rather than being willing to put it to a test. It would have been easy enough to have added these proposals to the current election, but no. Our city council "knows best what is good for us." Mayor Kristin Lawson says it best: "We took clear and direct steps to protect the public health, safety and welfare."
Really? Banning cigarettes smoking in the home but allowing medical marijuana to be smoked? It's every bit as irritating. And how is putting my meat and veggies in plastic bags to keep the various components separate, bags I reuse to store food, a health hazard? And now, Styrofoam containers. The market is already driving restaurants to offer an alternative product. But this is just a warm-up. Look at New York City -- this is where our city council is going, because they think they know best. Put it to a vote; find out how big an issue this really is.
What I'd like to see them do is take a harder look at the budget and fix the real problem in Walnut Creek -- the fact we don't have enough money to pay for everything. If we are still stocking fish at Heather Farms, I know there is more that can be cut. Just do your job and let the people decide which of these issues they really care about.
Denise P. Kalm
Hold government accountable
A government (and its departments) not held accountable is a government rife with abuse and freewheeling spending. As proof, I need only mention the BART extension to the Oakland airport, the High Speed Rail system and the new Bay Bridge.
On a federal level, one needs mention only the unread, unsustainable Affordable Care Act. In all of these boondoggles, the public was misled with information that lowballed costs and highballed benefits. Business plans require "assumptions" to be made ... but it has become abundantly clear that current administrations (state and federal) use a "wish list" rather than sound and reasonable assumptions to make their decisions. In the end, taxpayers are left holding the bag for cost overruns associated with these supposed legacy making projects.
When will someone be held accountable?