Interim Chief Bill Weisgerber was a great addition to the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District family and was instrumental in the discussion and implementation of a new governing model. We wish him well in all of his future endeavors and thank him for his service.
Progress is continuing with regard to the discussion of a new governing model and a Joint Powers Agreement between the cities of Oakley and Brentwood and the county. The agreement will allow local governance to occur and is on track for approval in February.
Transportation continues to be a top priority for our area. Safety improvements on Vasco Road are paying off with a significant decline in the number of citations, accidents and fatalities. In fact, fatalities have decreased by 200 percent, according to the California Highway Patrol at the recent Vasco Road Safety Task Force meeting.
Plans for longer-term improvements, including the concrete barrier median for Vasco in addition to funding for the Highway 4 Bypass, are progressing. In fact, the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Segment One of the State Route 4 Bypass will occur in the next month.
Work on the Marsh Creek Road portion of the Bypass is well underway and sound walls are being installed to address concerns of Summerset residents. It was recently announced that eBART is now fully funded, meaning that work on the project can progress more quickly than previously projected. Completion is now on track with the widening of Highway 4 to Oakley of four lanes by 2015.
Great strides have been made to provide more convenient access to Contra Costa County services for East County residents. This spring, the county is opening an interim facility on Sand Creek Road in Brentwood, bringing a number of county services to the area. Currently residents must travel to Pittsburg or even Martinez to find health and human services or employment services such as Calworks.
Long term, the plan is to build a permanent location offering a wide variety of county services such as the East County Building Inspection Department office as well as the District III Supervisor's office, along with other nonprofit organizations, all under one roof.
County staff is working with representatives from the city of Brentwood and a host of nonprofits to determine what services should be offered at the new building. If you know of a nonprofit organization that might be a good candidate to provide its services alongside the county, please call my Brentwood office at 240-7260.
In a similar effort to provide better access to county services, the County Community Development Department is now expanding its appointment-based meetings, which are currently held in Brentwood, to other communities in East County. Locations are currently being identified and will be coming soon to Discovery Bay, Byron and Knightsen. Please contact the Contra Costa Community Development Department to schedule an appointment by calling 335-1299.
Thanks to many of you, my office raised more than $13,000 for the annual holiday food drive in support of the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. A special thanks to those who supported this effort. Together we were able to serve many families and individuals in need this holiday season.
Lastly, it was my honor to recognize One Day at a Time at the Contra Costa Supervisors reorganization meeting in January. It is tradition that the outgoing board chair chooses a nonprofit organization to highlight from their District. I chose One Day at a Time because it is making a difference for young people in East County by providing anti-gang programs to both students and parents. Anyone interested in learning more about the group can contact founder Johnny Rodriguez at 437-3574.
As always, I welcome your comments and ideas. Please feel free to contact me through my Brentwood office at 240-7260 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to respond.