Preserving the great California Bay-Delta environment and water quality must be the top priority above any discussion about sending additional water south.
I am deeply concerned that Gov. Schwarzenegger is ignoring the recommendations of his own Blue Ribbon Task Force. The task force clearly stated that decisions about conveyance and storage cannot stand alone and must reflect all of the recommendations.
Despite this recommendation, the governor has directed the State Department of Water Resources to move ahead with environmental studies required to build a Delta conveyance facility that's government-speak for another Peripheral Canal.
I have taken action and have received support from my colleagues on a board directive that requires the county's water agency to work with other Delta counties to assess the potential impacts of a Peripheral Canal on our county, the Bay Delta and surrounding islands, as well as overall water quality.
I live with my family in Discovery Bay, on the Delta, and I am a lifelong resident of this county. I understand how important the Delta is to our economy and our quality of life. Frankly, I'm skeptical that any agreement can provide ironclad safeguards that will protect the Delta.
I agree with the governor and other state leaders that we must address the Delta. Key species of fish are dying off and despite years of study, we don't know why. That indicates the ecosystem is in trouble, as does the recommendation to completely suspend the salmon fishing season off Northern California and in the Delta. These dangerous signals must not be ignored.
Last summer, a judge ruled that the pumps taking water to the south must be turned off to protect fish, making it clear how urgent it is to develop the package of inter-related solutions.
Most importantly it will take leadership and partnering that is respectful and responsible to all impacted parties not politically expedient solutions.
The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors is on record opposing the Peripheral Canal. Our concerns and interests for citizens' protections must be heard by those in Sacramento. I will continue my efforts on this very important issue and ask that you join me to call on the governor to follow the advice of his own task force.
Together we can continue to make a difference on this very important issue.
Improving East County transportation corridors and making them safer has been a top priority for me since I took office in 2005.
As I've previously reported to you, the steps we have taken on Vasco Road have worked. There were no fatalities on Vasco Road in 2007 and the number of injury accidents have been nearly cut in half.
These accomplishments are due to the aggressive enforcement of the California Highway Patrol and the cities of both Brentwood and Livermore, the double-fine zone, strong efforts at public awareness and the flexible delineators that were installed at my request in early 2005.
We are moving ahead with plans to install a concrete barrier between the lanes in the most accident-prone area, as well as investing in Alameda County's project to straighten curves and improve the roadway on its section near their county line.
I'm also pleased to report that the Board of Supervisors has approved the allocation of the first $9.7 million coming to our county from Measure 1B, the statewide transportation bond. More than $7 million of this was directly allocated to East County. The new State Route 4 Bypass received $3 million. Segment One is now open and the entire bypass is scheduled for completion this summer. Vasco Road improvements received $1.4 million and Marsh Creek and Deer Valley Roads received more then $1 million. The old Byron Highway is also targeted for improvements and repairs.
I am also working with local community leaders to create a comprehensive regional plan, funded by recently appropriated federal money, to address the future of the Byron Road/Vasco Road corridors. We need to look at the entire East County transportation system and develop an updated plan to address the many needs and impacts we face as residents each and every day.
Looking forward, E-BART is now funded and BART is seeking input on its plans to extend service to Antioch with future plans to come into Oakley, Brentwood and the Byron/Discovery Bay areas. Moving rail transportation alternatives farther into East County is good for everyone. I encourage all of my constituents to comment on the plans for this first phase, as it will have impacts and benefits to us all.
As always, I welcome your comments or suggestions. Please contact me through my Brentwood office by phone at 925-240-7260 or by e-mail at email@example.com.