Nobody likes traffic. But while you’re sitting in the new slowdowns on Interstate 5, here’s something to think about: This infrastructure project is bringing tens of millions of dollars and hundreds of jobs to our community.
Here’s something else to think about: our state Assemblyman Dante Acosta and state Senator Scott Wilk voted against it. But while they were waving around their pristine new shovels at the Aug. 9 groundbreaking, Acosta and Wilk hoped the people of Santa Clarita wouldn’t remember that. That’s not just hypocritical – it’s insulting, and both of them deserve to be called on it.
In early August, Caltrans began construction of a $171 million Roadway Rehabilitation Project on I-5. Nearly 16 miles of the freeway, which runs through Santa Clarita, will be repaired and improved in the upcoming years.
We need these improvements. We need them right here in Santa Clarita. On Aug. 18, one of The Signal’s front page stories stated: “Jobless rate jumps again in July.” After years of new employment, it’s the second month in a row that unemployment has gone up. It was 3.7 percent in May, and now it’s 4.8 percent. The many jobs this construction brings to the valley are very welcome.
Along with new jobs, there are other benefits. The construction will help millions of commuters throughout California by making the I-5 smoother and safer. And it was all made possible by the State Highway Operation and Protection Program, which pays for upgrades and expansions of the state’s vast network of highways.
That Caltrans Office of State Highway Operations and Protection Program recently got a boost from Senate Bill 1, a major piece of infrastructure legislation that was recently signed into law.
This is the bill Mr. Acosta and Mr. Wilk voted against.
SB 1 is a $52 billion initiative for widespread improvements to California’s transportation system, including adding new mass transit and fixing pothole-pocked roads and rusting bridges. That money will come from small boosts in gas taxes and vehicle fees, estimated to cost the average Californians a little less than $10 a month.
Just as nobody likes traffic, nobody likes taxes. Even small increases like this. But sometimes that’s the necessary price to making life in our town better, stronger, and more prosperous.
Mr. Acosta, the Republican who represents the 38th Assembly District, and Mr. Wilk, who represents the 21st Senate District, did everything they could to kill Senate Bill 1. As The Signal reported in an April 7 article, Acosta called it “disheartening” and claimed Democrats who were supporting it were “disconnected” from the people they represent.
Wilk used even more inflammatory language, claiming the bill was meant to “punish my constituents.” Those two, along with almost every Republican in the Assembly and Senate, voted no on SB 1.
But Acosta and Wilk wanted to have it both ways, so they showed up at the groundbreaking ceremony for the I-5 project to celebrate the same kind of infrastructure improvements that they opposed.
This is an example of staggering disrespect to those of us they represent. Do Dante Acosta and Scott Wilk really believe we’re stupid? Do they think people won’t notice that they’re claiming credit for infrastructure construction and new jobs after fighting like hell against the funding for them?
We’ve had enough lying and deception from politicians. This cannot continue. Mr. Acosta and Mr. Wilk show contempt for the people of this area through this blatant hypocrisy.
Nobody likes construction traffic. Nobody likes taxes, even small increases. But at least those things result in something good for the public.
Nobody likes deceptive politicians, either. And nothing useful comes from them. Nothing at all but more lies and cronyism and grandstanding.
If Wilk and Acosta think we will fall for this scam, this little dance, they are mistaken. That’s why this is a letter not merely from one person, or one household, but from many people throughout this area.
You thought you could fool us, Mr. Wilk and Mr. Acosta. But we see you.
And now, hopefully, you see us.
Jill and Anthony Breznican, Valencia; Shara and Ed Darden, Valencia; Amy and Steve Elzer, Valencia; Jen Franco, Valencia; Stacy Friedler, Valencia; Joan Datz Green, Valencia; Bess Birnbaum Kaufman, Stevenson Ranch; Anayeli Lopez and Wilfredo Marroquin, Valencia; Carol Meredith, Valencia; Shelly and Richard Ellis Preston Jr., Castaic; Clarence Rector, Valencia; Sue Sylwester-Rice and Greg Rice, Valencia; Natalie Garrett, Saugus.