By Peter Loeb, Riptide Correspondent
At the link above is a letter to Caltrans from Pacifica's then-city manager Stephen Rhodes, on behalf of the city, which acts as a "formal commitment" to "maintain the landscaping within the median" of the landscaped-median alternative for the Calera Parkway Project.
This letter also states that the City Council's position, taken on June 25, 2012, is that the landscaped median is the city's preferred project alternative and that the council nominates the "Calera Parkway Project to SMCTA for possible funding of the design stage pending the Council's final decision after the FEIR has been released."
The problem is that there was never any formal action by council to approve a commitment to maintain the landscaping within the highway median. There is no information about how much the city would pay to maintain the landscaping or where the funding would come from. The public had no input on this formal commitment to Caltrans about costs and city resources involved in such a commitment.
The ongoing cost of maintenance could be quite significant. What's disturbing is that neither the public nor council have any information about that. Shouldn't there be an annual cost estimate of some kind? Without it, how can you make an informed decision?
The more important point is that this was never said in the June 25, 2012 council meeting when this matter was discussed. The council was never informed that it was making a potentially large financial commitment. Yet in this letter, the city manager tells Caltrans what it demands to hear—that the city would commit to this financial obligation. Not only was there no public process but even the council was not told about this when it deliberated. That is a totally screwed-up process.