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 email@example.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.
Mayor, City of Santee