Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Critical Safety Issue

One of the issues I've been deeply concerned about is the runaway development of housing that seems to have gotten far ahead of the necessary infrastructure needed to support it -- especially roads. I've been watching new developments go up adjoining Dodd Blvd and Hwy 50, both of which are too narrow and overloaded. I cannot figure out why the Planning Commission and City Council have allowed these developments to go up several years before the planned expansion of these roadways.

Tomorrow night (Thursday Oct 23) the Planning Commission is meeting to approve 84 new single-family lots in Summerlyn Northwest, which is adjoining Dodd, just south of 190th St. It hasn't even been a year since Alyssa Ettl was killed in almost this same location. The entire community has voiced concern about this road over the past year, to the point where finally the city and county got the expansion schedule moved up. Clearly people are concerned about the safety of our students and citizens -- and yet we have a vote coming to allow more houses to be built there.

WHY? Why would the Planning Commission allow EVEN MORE houses to be built here at this time? Why is this not waiting until the expansion of the road is completed? Will even more innocent lives be lost by the increased traffic on this road?

I plan to go to this meeting tomorrow night, simply as a concerned parent of a student at LNHS, to voice my opposition to the timing of this project. Its unfortunate that the timing of the meeting is right before the election, because I am not looking to get any recognition for my campaign from this, and definitely not trying to get noticed. I am simply very frustrated that our city staff and leaders aren't using more common sense when examining a project like this.

I am urging all concerned Lakeville citizens to attend this meeting (6:00 PM, Thursday Oct 23, at City Hall) and make your voice heard. If enough of us can express frustration at this "rush to develop" perhaps we can even save one or two innocent lives. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

What is the City Council?

I've discovered that many people don't really understand what the City Council is -- why it exists, what it does, and how it affects our lives.

From the City of Lakeville web site:
Lakeville City Council Members are elected at-large to represent the entire community and are empowered by law to legislate citywide policy. This includes the authority to pass and enforce ordinances, establish public and administrative policies, create advisory boards and commissions, and manage the City's financial operations including preparing a budget, auditing expenditures, and transacting other City business as required by law. The City Council also serves as the Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) for the City. The City Council appoints a City Administrator who directs City staff on implementation of Council decisions and providing day-to-day City operations.

There are five people comprising the city council -- this includes the mayor, who votes along with the other four council members. The mayor is elected every two years. Council members are elected to four-year terms, with two of the seats up for election every two years.

One common misconception I've found -- many people think that the City Council oversees schools. This is incorrect -- all business of the school district is overseen by the elected school board. The city council has no direct interaction with the school board.