The ongoing debate regarding the traffic issue on American Avenue should be broadened. With all respect to the citizens impacted daily by the poorly engineered roadway leading into and out of Adams Middle School and Heritage High (of which I am one), there is absolutely nothing new about another screwed up road in Brentwood.
There are too many examples to be listed, but a short list would include both new and old roads. From the use of speed bumps on Fairview Avenue (new) and Minnesota Avenue (old), to the mother of all speed bumps located on the entry to Home Depot (new). From the necessity to use the parking lot of the Raley's shopping center as a cut through between Sand Creek Road and San Jose Avenue (a daily commute route for a thousand Brentwood residences) to the traffic flow in and around every school.
There is enough blame to be shared amongst the BUSD, LUHSD and City of Brentwood public employees. The childish bickering and finger pointing from one group of public employees to another is well documented and tiresome. All the people responsible for the problems are the same people responsible for a solution. The issue is not responsibility; it is an issue of accountability. Currently, it appears that no one is being held accountable.
These are public employees working with public money. The money belongs to you and me. It is not their money; it is ours. These are extremely well compensated and benefited public employees. They hire even better compensated consultants and then blindly follow their recommendations, and when it blows up, there is no one to hold accountable.
There is enough waste within local government to pay for many solutions listed above. What appears to be lacking is stewardship and leadership.
The school districts wonder why we did not pass the latest school bond and the city of Brentwood is sitting on millions of dollars and wants to sell millions of dollars in bonds (without sending the issue to the voters) to build a new City Hall and other much-needed public facilities. We must continue to vote "No" and be willing to vote new people to the City Council and school boards until we get elected officials who will work for us. The city manager and staff work for the City Council and mayor; not the other way around.
Election season is coming and the voters of Brentwood (and school districts) need to send a clear signal that we intend to hold our elected officials accountable for what is going on within the schools and city government.
Whether we are talking about the mayor, City Council or the school district's board of trustees, these elected officials need to know that we expect them to provide leadership to the public employees, hold people accountable, and show stewardship of public money.