“They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” So said Andy Warhol. Now I’ll confess that I’ve never been a fan of Mr. Warhol, but I find this quote rather interesting, especially in light of The Dispatch’s editorial resolutions for the new year published Jan. 4. So I’ll add my own comments to a few of the New Year’s resolutions included in that editorial.
While a resolve was made to find ways to boost Caltrain ridership to and from Gilroy, I suspect the bigger issue that will continue to be buried like the bulk of an iceberg under water, is the additional cost subsidies that local taxpayers will have to bear if and when more trains are added. Now I’m no transportation expert, but from what I’ve read from local transportation experts like attorney Joe Thompson, I suspect that this will become another financial boondoggle committed by the VTA, just like the lingering folly of the bullet train idea.
Has the VTA ever considered a common sense concept that if efficient secondary transportation sources and routes are not available, then maybe Gilroy residents who might consider taking a train to work, won’t do so because they simply don’t have an effective and timely way to get from the point of arrival (train station) to their work locations?
So, why take a train and then have to hassle getting from the station to work, when driving your car eliminates the secondary transportation hassle of getting there? But even with effective secondary transportation routes from the various train stations, the bottom line financial issue that remains like a haunting ghost is that Caltrain services are being subsidized at taxpayer expense, and adding more trains that will run mainly empty of passengers won’t solve any of these problems. The question is, when will the taxpaying public get the message to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and the VTA leadership that we’re tired of you wasting our tax dollars on continual money-losing ventures like Caltrain?
Another resolve mentioned was towards the Gilroy Police Department to keep up its exemplary work in 2005. I’ll back that resolution 100 percent, and add a big thank you to Chief Gregg Giusiana and Assistant Chief Lanny Brown for their leadership at GPD in 2004, as well as to all the men and women in GPD who put their lives on the line – daily – in their course of duty to protect the Gilroy public. Remember, Gilroy is not immune from police officers getting shot when dealing with felony suspects or dangerous subjects.
If you read the police blotter in The Dispatch on a regular basis, you’ll see that GPD is very pro-active in arrests for driving under the influence, and drug busts. GPD’s gang enforcement unit continues to keep a lid on gang activity in Gilroy. If you compare the gang activity that’s going on in Salinas, you’ll thank your lucky stars that Gilroy is not like that. And it’s good to note that GPD will be getting a new police station in the next year or so. If you’ve had a chance to tour the existing station like I’ve done, you’d see that it is antiquated, and personnel are pressed for space everywhere in the building. The new station is bound to help boost officer morale, and good morale can only mean better officer safety on the streets.
It was also resolved that Gavilan College officials do more to brand the college as THE place for South County residents to attend college and play sports. That’s all well and fine, and I don’t disagree. A community college adds a lot for the residents of this area. I just find it interesting that none of the local environmentalists are out beating their drums over the evils of what the additional traffic – due to those additional students – will do the quality of air in South County.
Nope, absolute silence on college traffic generated air pollution, whereas they were out in force in 2004 against the evils of the additional traffic the new Super Wal-Mart would bring. Seems to me that this is selective hypocrisy. If one’s bad for pollution, why isn’t the other? Unless of course, adult public education is a sacred cow that can do no wrong, even when it comes to increasing its own air pollution from more students’ cars.