Thursday, March 10, 2005

Government Work

Diana Diamond writes on page 12, "Nothing seems simple when the government gets involved." San Francisquito Creek flooded in 1998 resulting in the flooding of 1700 homes. After 7 years still nothing has been done to lessen the possiblity of another flood west of the 101 freeway except to create additional layers of government. Diamond goes into a fair amount of detail about buracracy and appropriations which seem to indicate a lot of wasted motion and waiting are involved. In all the time gone by and thought put into the problem, still a $6 million long term feasability study is being contemplated which may not happen unless federal funds are able to be tapped into.

As one of the area residents of the FEMA declared flood plain, but who did not receive any flooding, I have been required to pay for flood insurance. Government could do that with the stroke of a pen. What government can't do, it would seem, is to solve problems such as flooding along one creek. All of which puts me in mind of an Italian highway built in Sicily. Italian legislators put up the money for the highway having been assured that it was needed. After construction money ran out the legislators again were asked for money to complete the project and they complied. Continually the highway ran out of money and yet the legislature continued to fund it. As it turned out, the construction project was run by the mafia and as long as funding was available there was little incentive to finish.

After the Northridge earthquake near Los Angeles damaged freeways, restoration was completed ahead of schedule. In order to insure speedy repair contractors were paid more for finishing early. For flooding along the San Francisquito Creek there seems to be insufficient incentive to complete the project. And as long as that continues to be the case expect nothing to be done for which we will pay dearly.


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