Readers comments 8-12-16
The Gold Line bridge
Four of five members of the Claremont City Council voted to scrap the idea of building a Gold Line bridge over Indian Hill Boulevard.
Casting the dissenting vote, Joe Lyons expressed concern about the obvious resulting traffic problems at the crossing. But, perhaps, that’s the point, and a solution. Over past months citizens have expressed concern that use of Indian Hill as a thoroughfare creates traffic problems for the Village. The additional Gold Line trains crossing Indian Hill will create gridlock that will encourage residents and others travelling to north Claremont to use other routes.
Unless plans have changed since originally drafted, a bridge is scheduled over Towne Avenue for the Gold Line. Wouldn’t it make great sense to take the $28 million that would otherwise be spent on the Indian Hill Boulevard bridge, combine it with $28 million that will be spent on the Towne Avenue bridge and construct a grade separation that would put Towne Avenue under all of the railroad tracks? This would encourage use of Towne Avenue as the preferred route to north Claremont.
I understand that a similar grade separation is planned for Central Avenue, and already exists on Monte Vista Avenue. With Monte Vista, Central and Towne avenues established as routes unimpeded by train traffic, commuters from the east would eventually choose to use Central Avenue/Monte Vista to travel to north Claremont and commuters from the west would use Towne Avenue. And with no train crossing on Towne Avenue to contend with, ambulances going from Claremont to Pomona Valley Hospital will no longer be delayed.
Campaign finance reform
State Senate Bill (SB) 1107 would remove the 28-year-old ban on public financing of campaigns that keeps our state and local governments from finding innovative ways to approach campaign regulation. This bill does not establish a public financing program or require any government to offer public financing. It merely provides an option for innovation, including voluntary programs like those already in place in six charter cities.
Other provisions of the bill work to combat corruption and undue influence, by banning foreign money from California state and local candidate elections and requiring public officials convicted of corruption to donate their unspent campaign funds to the general fund.
Please join the League of Women Voters by contacting and urging your state Senator to vote yes on this important bill. The League has long worked to promote maximum citizen participation in the political process and combat public cynicism about government.
SB 1107 will create flexibility for local governments to explore public financing options that increase voter participation, restore public trust and strengthen our representative democracy. Please join us in taking action to support this valuable bill!
VP for Advocacy
LWV of the Claremont Area