Is Mission Viejo at risk of losing its “safest city” recognition?

For the past few years Mission Viejo has boasted about achieving recognition as being the “safest city” (between 75,000-99,000 population) in the USA. Source. CQ Press.

In fact when Sheriff Hutchens recently conducted a Town Hall meeting in our council chambers we reemphasized Mission Viejo’s priority to remain “king of the hill” in public safety. While two of our neighbors are reducing their OCSD deputies we chose to keep the current staff level serving our city to make sure that our CQ Press ranking is retained.

On July 1, 2008 California’s Hands Free Law went into effect banning hand held cell phones while driving. I mention this in light of a stupid decision by one or more members of our city staff to which our council majority turned a blind eye. We talk a good game on public safety and brag about our achievement in every piece of our campaign literature but what does this say about our decision making?

Folks. The Mission Viejo outdoor art exhibit is now open for public viewing. After a breakfast meeting today, while driving north on Marguerite Parkway approaching Crown Valley Parkway I passed four huge pilasters with art inserts that the city installed as blogged previously. These four columns, installed in the median, are placed so close together that you truly cannot see the inside art panels. Even the front seat passenger will not have a good view of the panels unless you are driving a vehicle with the steering wheel on the right side.

Let me state that while we are concerned about hand held cell phones we should also be promoting drivers to keep their eyes on the road, not looking to their left while driving at 45 MPH or faster on this major arterial where the traffic lights may currently be synchronized for smooth and fast traffic throughput.
We have held numerous city meetings discussing traffic gridlock and projected traffic increases anticipated by future housing east of the city yet approve this dumb art project to satisfy someone’s fantasy.

But folks. Aren’t we to keep our eyes on the road? How did this project get approved without any consideration for the very same public safety that we boast about?

Just thought you might like to see another illustration of our braintrust in action.

About Larry Gilbert