This morning I opened up the Bee to find an article that has had me grinding my teeth for three hours. I am so mad I could spew! Thank you Mary Lynne Vellinga for getting out what I've been complaining about since we moved to North Natomas in 1999. The North Natomas community plan was a farce designed to make the city look like good planners. Don't believe me? Read the Grand Jury Report.
Somehow all the lies of Lennar and the promises of the city have slipped the councilmembers and the mayor's minds. I have ranted extensively about the lack of police substation, the unfinished parks, the rezoned school land that disappeared. But Mayor Fargo has outdone herself this time.
Quoting from the Bee article "While she frequently hears complaints about a lack of police services, Fargo said the area has much less violent crime than many other city neighborhoods."
Seriously North Natomas residents, your mayor just told you to stop whining because people don't die here.
I ran the crime stats myself this morning from 8/1/2007 to 9/30/2007. The area classified as North Natomas had 194 crimes, 22 assaults. East Sacramento had 240 crimes, 19 assaults and Land Park had 119 crimes, 10 assaults. Yes... the data suggests that we are faring better than Oak Park or Del Paso Heights.
But when I bought my house, I wasn't promised that it'd be better than Oak Park.
We bought our house in Natomas Park in 1999 on a PROMISE from the city that it would be the most amazing development in all of California and even maybe all of the west coast. We gave up a nice house in East Sac, near everything, including the light rail to work. We were promised regional parks, bike and walking trails, great schools, a light rail line, public transportation and walking commercial centers.
According to the article, planning director Carol Shearly says "We were cautious about overburdening the development with fees because we really wanted it to get started." So the city didn't bother to make sure that all the promises they and Lennar were selling, were actually funded. They didn't stop Lennar from publishing their fancy brochures with all the wonderful amenities. Mayor Fargo and Ray Tretheway talked up North Natomas like a new Disneyland- everything you could want and more.
Knowing full well that they were unfunded and that many things, like the police substation and community centers, had been taken off the table long long ago.
Councilman Tretheway says "I talk to a lot of average people. They love Natomas. They're going crazy over it." Seriously Mr. Tretheway, do they live here? I love my neighborhood but I wouldn't say that anyone I know is "going crazy over it." Afraid to walk to school? yes. Afraid to walk around at night? yes. Afraid of getting hit in one of the disastrous parking lots? yes. But going crazy? That's a major leap of faith.
Ms. Vellinga's article points out that the city decided the grand jury report used outdated information. That is correct, but that was the entire point of the grand jury report. The city did not follow the original community plan; they simply changed it at will. Many of us bought our houses based on "outdated information."
To Mayor Fargo:
Now I'm mad. You have a reelection campaign coming up. I'm throwing my money, time and energy behind someone else. I'll be knocking doors and ringing phones for another candidate who perhaps won't be so overburdened by the job. You are no Joe Serna.