Measure F would add 740 acres to the city’s southwest border, allow up to 1,300 homes, 35 acres of commercial development and 200 acres of parks and open space. It would provide money for additional roads, job creation, recreation and public safety as well, items touted by proponents as needed benefits but decried by opponents as inadequate.
One thing both sides have stated is their love of Brentwood as it is, and indeed, the city is seen far and wide as a desirable place to live. The high development standards, attractive neighborhoods and famous charm are supplemented by its solid financial footing and family-oriented focus. Measure F’s opponents say they want to keep things that way; those in favor say they want to make things better.
It wasn’t luck, accident or magic that made Brentwood the city both sides love. It was the stewardship of its elected leaders over many years, representatives who contributed blood, sweat and tears – in addition to countless hours of unpaid public service – that made Brentwood the place everyone cares so much about today.
And those leaders, whose terms date back more than three decades, overwhelmingly believe that Measure F is good for Brentwood.
The list is long: There are six mayors with a total of 15 years of service at the city’s helm. There are 11 city council members combining 66 years of service on the list as well, and 56 years of service from a trio of supporters who have been elected to school boards. Total it up and you get 128 years of dedication to making and keeping Brentwood great. The love of Brentwood that went into all those years of decision making has not changed. These leaders have not suddenly changed their mind about what they want for their home town, abandoning long-held beliefs in favor of the promise of development fees. They are a part of Brentwood’s proud history, a history that should not be tossed aside.
Another, more recent, part of history that has been forgotten in the argument is the fervor with which the community came together once the roadway debacle on American Avenue came to light. It was not Brentwood planning that caused the problem, it was the action of the county tightening the urban limit line and making proper access to the schools located there impossible.
The entire city was in an uproar in 2008, igniting a series of meetings between city, county and school officials as well as residents and students. There was much hue and cry over the fact that the situation was critically dangerous, and that fixing it must be given the highest possible priority.
After careful consideration of all the options, the conclusion was that the area now covered by Measure F must be annexed and developed to fix the problem. That history, especially the passion that rent the city at the time over concern for our children’s safety, must not be forgotten either.
Unfortunately, in the atmosphere of contentious politics that now exists, a clear-cut answer as to whether Measure F is the right fix is elusive. In light of that fact, it’s good to look to the city’s leaders for guidance. Not just those currently in office, but those who brought the city to where it is today, and who firmly believe, in overwhelming numbers, that Measure F is good for Brentwood. Trust not only them, but the residents who came before us and who voted them into office.
Go to the polls on June 8. Remember Brentwood’s proud history, take charge of its future, and vote Yes on Measure F.