It’s good to finally see Livermore’s Community Asset Management Program (CAMP) getting started in earnest. It is the planning process that will determine how well (or poorly) our streets will be maintained, among other things.
Although the Independent’s report last week touched on important details, the alarming reality of the problem was presented at the May 5 meeting in starkly simple terms. Slide 6 of the “Infrastructure Dilemma” folder says it all:
• Repair/replace ALL assets: $40 million per year
• Current expenditures for asset repair and replacement: $10 million per year
• Minimum service level (high risk only): $20 million per year
In a very concrete sense, this economic condition equates to an “off the books” deficit of $30 million a year that has been slowly building up and will continue for decades if nothing is done soon. Since our assets are deteriorating at such a gradual rate, it has been too easy to ignore it, but it is no longer good enough. The monetary deficit has been in plain sight for insiders in our administration, and it’s time for the rest of us to take notice. We are the ones who will end up feeling the pain long after our current elected officials are no longer in power.
I will not be in the mood for a new tax, parking fee or other troubling surprises due to delays in resolving this slow-moving crisis. Council has avoided dealing with it for too long. We should be able to rely on them to accelerate the right decisive actions and move us in the right direction.