(UPDATED 9/16/19) On Wednesday, April 19 the East Sacramento Improvement Association (ESIA) held its annual General Membership Meeting at the Clunie Clubhouse in McKinley Park.
If you are not an ESIA member (dues are only $15/year per household) or you are an ESIA member but were unable to attend – following is a brief overview/recap of some of the key issues covered in the presentations by Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Councilmember Jeff Harris, the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) and Sacramento Regional Transit (SacRT) on issues of interest to East Sacramento residents.
Mayor Darrell Steinberg
Mayor Steinberg remarked that he has been on the job for 3 ½ months – but that it feels like 3 ½ years – because his agenda has been so action packed. He then acknowledged that everything that he wants to do may well take 3 ½ years.
Key issues on Steinberg’s agenda specifically mentioned were growing the Sacramento economy, dealing with the homeless issue, and improving the future of Sacramento’s young people.
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Steinberg stressed the importance of attracting new businesses – and discussed his efforts to make Sacramento a research and development test site for driverless cars. A meeting on the topic had taken place earlier that day.
Steinberg discussed the importance of making Sacramento more desirable as a tourist destination while at the same time improving the quality of life of residents – which in turn will make Sacramento more attractive to new businesses. Steinberg mentioned the need for affordable housing, as well as four to five new amenities “i.e. attractions”. While Steinberg is supportive of expanding the convention center, he also wants to make sure there are monies available for other new venues. The riverfront and a public market (as examples) were mentioned specifically.
As to the homeless, Steinberg stressed that this is a problem that is not going to go away and that assertive outreach combined with services and housing is needed, noting that this is a public health and safety issue. The city has applied for a federal $8 million grant (over five years) to assist in this effort.
Steinberg then discussed a project to recruit employers, which would in turn hire 1,000 High School students starting in their junior year, to work ten hours a week to help set them on a pathway to a better future.
Steinberg answered several questions by those present, and before leaving offered to return to a future ESIA meeting to report back on these and other efforts underway.
Councilmember Jeff Harris
Councilmember Jeff Harris covered a wide variety of topics – too many to list. Harris certainly has a grasp on the issues in District 3.
On the issue of flood control he discussed the challenges in securing federal funds to help repair multiple levee projects.
Harris also mentioned the city adopted tree ordinance and announced that the tree mitigation fund has already grown to $90,000. See related posts: Sacramento – City of Trees and What You Need To Know About Tree Fees.
Public outreach will begin on the McKinley Water Vault project early this summer. Harris noted that after completion of the project that funding will be available to make McKinley Park improvements. Public input will be sought on neighborhood preferences relating to these improvements.
Also mentioned, among other things, was the status of the McKinley Park pond project, needed street and road repair funding, planned improvements to the Carlson Drive intersection, the 65th Street-Folsom corridor, the Alhambra corridor and the status of the McKinley Village EIR and pending related Council action.
Lastly, Harris announced that his office would be funding aquatic-themed bike racks to be located near the McKinley Park pool.
CalTrans gave a detailed presentation on the proposed State Route 51 Capitol City Corridor Freeway Project to address current and future projected congestion. CalTrans will be utilizing a multi-modal approach. Improvements will be made between J Street to just east of Arden Way. Multiple lanes will be added, and the preliminary concept calls for a dedicated bus lane, among other things. CalTrans make a point of saying that the E Street onramp will not be closed. A public input process will take place before any final decisions are made.
Henry Li, General Manager/CEO of Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT), discussed his efforts to date and his future plans to overhaul the SacRT to meet the needs of customers. Li noted that the SacRT is no longer in the red – and has built up an emergency cash reserve of $6 million with a fiscal year end goal of $9-10 million.
Moving forward he is seeking to, among other things, optimize routes and expand service areas while maintaining affordable fares. His ultimate goal is a world-class regional transit system.
As it relates to East Sacramento specifically, Li mentioned expanding coverage and frequency and improving neighborhood circulator service and connections to downtown and light rail.
Key to the SacRT effort is a route optimization study. Li is urging the public to make their transportation wants and needs known by completing this SacRT Survey.
The ESIA General Meeting went a bit longer than usual – but the agenda was full – and there were multiple questions for each of the presenters. All in all I felt it was time well spent.
(UPDATED 9/16/19) Broken link deleted.
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