About This Blog
“IT IS OUR GOVERNMENT; WE SHOULD KNOW HOW IT MAKES DECISIONS.”
“IT IS OUR MONEY; WE OUGHT TO KNOW HOW OUR GOVERNMENT SPENDS IT.”
Only after serving as your councilmember from 2010 until 2012, did I realize how little our citizens know about how money and politics interact in the town and how our government really makes its decisions. It is my hope that this blog will fill in the gap and initiate a process of reform.
The idea behind the blog is very simple. We will present well-researched, fact-based articles about important Town Council decisions that affect, (1) the size of potential or actual expenditures, (2) our politics, and (3) our quality of life.
For instance, our first article about the Shared-Parking policy, presents a fascinating picture of how businesses who were supposed to pay 60% of a $7-$10 million public garage, would end up paying, at best, 20%. One of the questions it answers is, “How did this happen?”
Each article, like this one, will be divided into two different posts. The first post will provide the full article. The second posts will provide a short summary and ask a few questions for moving forward.
I plan to write the first few articles in order to set the style and tone. However, I hope that many others will join me in this worthy endeavor over time. I have been a consultant in Public Policy for almost 35 years. I graduated from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India in 1967, obtained an MS in Civil Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1969, and was enrolled in the PhD program in Public Policy at CMU between 1970 and 1973.
Can you explain what you mean on your mail flyer next to the bullet about “Invest in HOAs and other neighborhoods outside the downtown”
For more than two decades, most of the council’s attention has focused on the downtown. Many areas outside the downtown have suffered from parking, stormwater and other issues for a long time. In some cases, the problems have spilled over into the adjoining neighborhoods. For example, lack of parking in several Townhouse-HOAs have forced those residents to seek parking in the adjoining “single family” neighborhoods. I plan to pay attention to such issues and find appropriate solutions. I hope my answer helps. Please feel free to ask more questions. Thanks.
That is one of the issues. In many instances, builders proposed and town approved fewer parking spaces than needed. In other cases, children have now grown up and need cars of their own. The town needs to take a comprehensive look at the parking situation – on a case by case basis. This is what I intend to do. In any case, parking shortage is only one of the problems.
Regarding your example, “lack of parking in several Townhouse-HOAs have forced those residents to seek parking in the adjoining “single family” neighborhoods. I plan to pay attention to such issues and find appropriate solutions.”
It could be that many of the townhouses have more than two cars due to the number of adults living in each of the townhomes. Sometimes I have seen a vehicle that does not move for long periods of time. For example, after snow storms some cars stay buried for weeks. I have also seen vehicles with flat tires that do not move for weeks. I recall Herndon has had problems with the number of people/families living in one home, which could be part of the solution.