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Dear Randy: From Mast to Lakeside

The Mayor connects fiscal woes with the road connection that would better connect Santee and Lakeside.

You can call up , send emails all over, and reach out in many directions in looking for an answer to a local problem or help with an issue- or we can get that question right to , and he can use his resources and local government know-how to get the best answer around.

Send your questions or comments on any topic, preferably a local issue, to steven.bartholow@patch.com, or leave it as a comment below, and we'll pass it onto Mayor Voepel. He's agreed to shoot for answering one a week, so let's get those questions coming!

Q: "When is the Mast Boulevard extension going to be opened? Mayor Voepel proudly did not connect to the County portion for what ever misguided reason. He said it would be opened when 52 was completed. Is it open yet? Another politician, another lie." -Jeff

A: Gee, nicely worded question, gives me warm fuzzies all over to "feel" the warmth and respect you must have for me. I will answer you directly and candidly as always:

Jeff, sir, it is, all about the money. For years when the economy was roaring along, our City Council and myself planned to connect Mast Boulevard to Lakeside once Highway 52 was completed. We had money partially set aside (anticipating more road funds from the State of California) and were working with the County to coordinate the hook up when the time came.

Long story short (this seems to be where I always get in trouble when I blog, as everybody that does not particularly like me, gleefully attacks what ever they think I left out or maybe am hiding. I guess that is online culture, this is the first time I have been on a blog, so am in a learning curve): The economy went into the great recession, The State of California stripped all the Cities of a large amount of money and the local tax base has gone down.

Santee has large fiscal reserves that we put away during the good times to use during bad times. Well, the bad times are here.

The cost of completing the hook up of Mast Boulevard is $5.4 million dollars. Santee's portion would be $4 million dollars for 600 feet of roadway and the County would be $1.4 million for the other 400 feet of roadway.

Why so darned expensive you ask? The connection would be two lanes each way over VERY unstable dirt that would have to be extensively graded and packed. Also road building is inherently expensive because of the way we have to do it in California, with prevailing wage rules and 1,000 other California requirements.

Our City Council has decided for now, to take our road money to do the most extensive re-paving projects in the City's history. This will make sure our roads are as top-notch as possible if we have a double dip recession and the economy (tax base) gets worse.

Running a City is usually about allocating scarce resources (in this case road money) to ever shifting priorities. In this case, connecting Mast to Lakeside will continue to be delayed (probably for a very long time) as we scramble to take care of our own roads in Santee.

Jeff, I am confident that you will be delighted by an honest reply from a politician.

Respectfully submitted,

Randy Voepel

Mayor, City of Santee

rob November 22, 2011 at 01:31 AM
Very well said Mr Mayor and here is to NEVER having enough funding to complete the Mast to Lakeside corridor.
Doug Curlee November 22, 2011 at 01:58 AM
on the contrary.. i hope some angel pops up and finds the money to make that connection as soon as possible.. ANYTHING to keep from having to drive that el nopal mess.. doug
rudy reyes November 22, 2011 at 03:34 PM
Randy more "rich-pubican" rhetoric! If you had been fiscally responsible during good economic times we would have project done! Instead of your foot in mouth! Stop pandering to big business like Walmart and do your job! Mayors and city council's job is first and foremost public safety and public transit! Santee cutting firemen and horrible roads! Yet our mayor is imbedded with big business rather then doing good of community!
Alex Lantsberg November 22, 2011 at 05:18 PM
Mr. Mayor. While your views re: California construction may be sincere, the don't actually comport with the facts. Study after study has shown that prevailing wages do not affect the cost of construction either in California or anywhere in the US for that matter. We invite you to learn more at www.smartcitiesprevail.org.
James Jones November 22, 2011 at 05:52 PM
It's much more important to repair the existing surface streets. Money is tight. Decisions have to be made. Take Hwy 52 to 67 if you need to get to Lakeside.
Doug Curlee November 22, 2011 at 11:54 PM
yes..PLEASE repair the existing surface streets..quickly.. i thank you.. my back thanks you..my tires and shock absorbers thank you.. doug
safesantee November 23, 2011 at 03:02 AM
Mast to lakeside can wait, im glad and thankful that driving through santee is nothing like driving through the city of san diego. Have you drove on those streets? they make the streets that are being repaved in santee look good.
Big Daddy November 24, 2011 at 02:53 AM
Perhaps Target, Walmart, Home Depot and Lowe's would like to contribute to the fund to make it easier for Lakesiders to come into Santee and spend their money.
Chris McDaniel November 24, 2011 at 06:04 AM
so if I am FORCED to pay $60 an hour labor rate when I can actually get market pay at half the cost you have some report that says it has NO impact? Very credible of you on the prima facia premise that MORE expensive is less expensive? Sounds very Union of you
Alex Lantsberg November 24, 2011 at 05:07 PM
@chris: sometimes things aren't exactly as they appear at first blush. prevailing wages contribute to higher productivity and greater value added per worker. what that means is it take fewer higher paid workers working faster to do the same job as their less productive workers. study after study comparing the costs of similar construction in prevailing wage and non-prevailing wage environments confirms this basic fact.
Doug Curlee November 24, 2011 at 05:47 PM
daddy.. the bill has already been paid for lakesiders to have easy access to those stores.. it's called state route 52..and we the taxpayers took care of that bill for them.. doug
Earlene November 30, 2011 at 05:04 PM
Mr. Mayor, you've just proven that no matter what you say or how honest you answer a question, you cannot please everyone......ah, yes, such is life. I agree that it's absolutely imperative as well as sensible to improve Santee's roads than to worry about cutting through Mast Blvd. to Lakeside. The majority of us understand the economy is in the dump and that sacrifices and adjustments must be made accordingly whether we like it or not.
mike November 30, 2011 at 10:45 PM
It bugs that it doesn't connect. They should have forced that new community on the other side of the Mast gap to pay for it while they were building that beautiful divided road to a dead end. 900 feet more of Mast would cut that dangerous El Nopal mess of a detour. Maybe they can get whoever redevelops the old HGH to foot part of the bill.
Earlene November 30, 2011 at 11:58 PM
That would have been an excellent idea as the road goes in two directions and would have benefited Lakeside just as much as Santee, but I imagine the County would have something to do with that proposal and we all know how they drag their feet on everything.
Sand Tee August 31, 2012 at 03:20 AM
The developers did pay to upgrade that road. Far more than their share I can assure you. This is entirely Santee's ball drop. There was more than one legal document drawn up which held Santee's feet to the fire on the completion. The County still holds that funded money in it's coffers waiting for this battle to start. Santee's previous mayor made numerous commitments that simply put: were not upheld. And follow that up with the shyster currently in office and I assure you the ball will continue to be dropped by this "city".
Sand Tee August 31, 2012 at 03:27 AM
They already did contribute! Hundreds of thousands of dollars were paid by each entity to the "city" of Santee in permits, taxes, inspections, documentation and forced mitigations. All of which Santee squandered away on poor decision making ie. the entire area North of Mission Gorge and East of the Trolley station. So many businesses have attempted to start up there and been squashed by local government with shallow minds and the inability to see a profitable future anywhere in this "city".
S. Fulrath July 26, 2013 at 07:49 PM
It's "mitigation", the enviro-whackoes, unions (and prevailing wage), and the libs that run this God forsaken state that have INTENTIONALLY made it nearly impossible to build roads. They want us off the roads, out of our cars, and living in caves. With dits like Boxer closing power plants and obinBummers war on coal...blackouts, brownouts and skyrocketing electricity costs can only follow...
S. Fulrath July 26, 2013 at 07:50 PM
We're already circling the drain like most liberally controlled gov't entities...it's only a matter of time 'till the big FLUSH!
mike July 26, 2013 at 07:51 PM
S. Fulrath-what does this have to do with our President's energy plan? Go back to Fox News. Maybe our Mayor wants to keep people like you out of Santee from Lakeside-geesh.
Sand Tee October 21, 2013 at 06:38 PM
Mike, you had me with you on the questioning what this had to do with Mr. Obama's energy "plan". But then you went askew yourself in suggesting your beloved corrupt mayor perhaps wants to deny the residents of Lakeside the ability to spend our money in your little burb. You need to keep this in mind; Santee is NOTHING but a more commercialized Lakeside with a big attitude. The rest of San Diego county and the city itself considers the two towns identical. So I would suggest stepping off your high horse and realizing your argument is simply stupid.

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