Open letter to the mayor, council

To the Editor:

This month marks my 17th year as a proud Ridgecrest resident. Over that period of time:

I’ve watched with dismay and disgust as our roads have deteriorated to a most disgraceful condition. I’m embarrassed to have visiting (out-of-state) family and friends drive throughout the town and to try to explain why, in such a fair-weather climate, we cannot properly maintain our streets.

Crime in Ridgecrest has reached a point where I now feel unsafe, necessitating my need to spend a large amount of money (which I don’t have) on an alarm system for my Heritage Village home to mitigate the risk of widespread burglary, despite the best efforts of our fine police force.

I’ve also recently read of rampant graffiti (e.g., of Holland & Lyons Mortuary) and hate crimes being committed against our citizens and businesses.

I voted in favor of Measure L in the hopes that it would be enacted — and its funds spent — for the explicit purpose for which the measure was written. It is my understanding that this is not the case; that funds were being (or are being) considered for absurd projects such as, among others, “street art.”

I am deeply concerned that the Ridgecrest City Council is not allowing the Measure L Advisory Committee to do what it was chartered to do.

We need to spend within our means. We should only spend what we have and start building up our reserves. Our priorities must be police and sewer first, roads second, other services thereafter.

The oversight committee is doing a fine job of representing the citizens well. Let them do their job of monitoring city expenditures of our tax dollars.

For a better Ridgecrest,

Jeff Schaefer

Story First Published: 2013-01-30