Letters from our Readers: Voters didn’t approve bond for park irrigation

Water bonds should not pay for maintaining the irrigation systems of San Francisco parks. In 2002, voters authorized spending to improve the Hetch Hetchy water system and make it reliable after earthquakes. The water system was to bring more mountain water to meet growing demand in the service area of San Francisco and the suburbs.

It is quite a stretch to imply that fixing broken sprinkler heads and irrigation lines in parks is what voters authorized. It’s just routine maintenance that responsible people pay from the current revenue, not bond funds.

What is promised when The City’s voters are asked to authorize bond indebtedness is often changed after bureaucrats secure the money.

Since 2002, much of the promised work has been canceled. Instead of meeting water demand through 2030, now it is being met through 2018, for a higher price. Big jobs that were to have already been completed have not started. Too bad, because had work been done when scheduled, much-needed jobs would have opened.

Steve Lawrence , San Francisco

SF’s eastern areas hurting

Tenants in Port-owned piers along the waterfront need not worry if they are forced to move to accommodate the America’s Cup sailing race. Most of the commercial land on the east side of The City (eastern neighborhoods) was rezoned in 2008 exclusively for industrial (production, distribution and repair) uses. High-tech and digital-media business were reclassified as “office use” and told to move elsewhere.

Just as intended by progressive supervisors who sponsored the plan, land values have plummeted since the legislation was implemented. The economic impact report of the proposed legislation prepared by the City Controller’s Office in 2008 predicted that 116,000 high-paying jobs would be lost to accommodate 15,000 low-skilled jobs and land values would drop by almost $6 billion. Vacant buildings are everywhere and declining tax revenue is decimating city services.

Judy West, San Francisco

Congress is the problem

Some people are playing “blame the president” for our current economic problems. As a registered Democrat for over 45 years, I wish I could agree with them — but I don’t. Congress makes the laws. The president signs the legislation into law only after it has passed both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The current Great Recession began in 2007. I’m sorry to admit that my party, the Democrats, took over both the House and the Senate on Nov. 7, 2006, and they have had four years to get it right. President George W. Bush as a two-year lame duck and Obama as a two-year green newbie had little to do with it.

Unfortunately, this Democrat-controlled Congress has been preoccupied with health care, changing generals and global warming while letting our economy go down the drain. This is why we have unemployment of nearly 10 percent, homes being foreclosed and a debt in the trillions. Some of our representatives in the House and Senate, both Democrats and Republicans, have been in office so long that they think of themselves as the ruling elite and care only about staying in office.

Robert Parkhurst, Redwood City

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