LA Mayor Villaraigosa’s commitment to Operation Pothole

It is rare when I will congratulate LA’s Mayor Villaraigosa.

However, today I will tip my hat to Mayor V. for his commitment to “operation pothole.” Since taking office in July of 2005, the mayor of LA made a pledge to repair the streets of LA.

On the radio this morning we heard that “Operation Pothole” was being canceled after repairing 800,000 potholes. The Sunday Daily News reports that number at 1. 5 million. While I won’t debate which number is accurate I am reminded of advise given by one of my mentors when campaigning for our city council. Promote two basic policy positions. “No crime and no potholes.”

Apparently Tony V. has kept his promise relating to the vast number of pot holes in his city. It has been stated that the biggest cost of auto repairs, around $700 per year, can be attributed to neglected streets.  While the official program is ending the city of L. A. will retain a policy of “pavement preservation,” whatever that entails.

So, for Santa Ana mayor Miguel Pulido, I would give Tony V a grade of A- for road maintenance while your negligence has cost your taxpayers many millions of dollars in that delayed repairs can be much costlier than routine maintenance. Therefore my grade for Mayor Miguel Pulido is a D.
Three years ago, on April 2nd 2007, I wrote a story on the Orange Juice entitled “Round 3. Asphalt patch or slurry seal.”

At that time the Register had just reported that “it will cost $467 million to fix up to 300 miles of Santa Ana roads.” Based on similar repairs in Mission Viejo, performed one year earlier, I documented that our city paid $1.05 per square foot for asphalt patching while in the same year we slurry sealed 2,380,000 square feet at a cost of $351,148. This converts to about 15 cents per square foot. So the Fram Oil Filter ad applies. “Pay me now or pay me (much more) later.”
While the streets of Mission Viejo may not have the same conditions as those found in LA or Santa Ana, we have gambled and extended our original five year maintenance cycle to a seven year program. While our city manager denies our ever having a five year plan I spoke to Fred Sorsabal, Mission Viejo’s first city manager, who confirmed that my statement is valid.  That change took place on his watch.

And to think our city manager needles me about my being an “investigative reporter” in responding to my Juice posts that bother him.  The good news for residents is that the writers and publishers of this blog are not beholden to our city managers for the news we cover and the opinions of our team of bloggers.
We are not employees of the OC Register or the LA Times dependent on your crumbs of local activities that you want us to promote (or in some cases to bury). 

A few weeks ago the Mission Viejo Dispatch, published two articles on the condition of our local streets that included many photos of roads in need of repair. I had a self imposed gag order not to cover this story on the Juice and waited for the Register to wake up. Finally the local reporter went on a tour with some of our activists. To date there has not been any coverage regarding this negligence.

Another story regarding the disappearing print media.
On March 22nd, and again on March 29th, some Mission Viejo residents were in Superior Court with a lawsuit filed against our City Clerk, one of our council members, and the ROV.

To date the OC Register has not written a single word of that trial. They have published reports relating to a new restaurant and a Ralph’s supermarket renovation that will each occur in May.  It’s past being called a slippery slope. I would opine that our local newspaper coverage has gone over a cliff.

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