Guest View: Why not abolish COG?

As the county supervisors prepare to have the Public Works
Department explain how the county will terminate services to 18
County Services Areas (

Community Meeting

Vets Hall, 6 p.m. Oct. 1st), I hear them proclaim their fiscal
prudence in this historic recession/depression.
BY JOSEPH THOMPSON

As the county supervisors prepare to have the Public Works Department explain how the county will terminate services to 18 County Services Areas (“Community Meeting” Vets Hall, 6 p.m. Oct. 1st), I hear them proclaim their fiscal prudence in this historic recession/depression.

However, what I witness is just the opposite. For example, yesterday COG’s directors approved spending $1,521,992 for a year’s worth of County Transit. The way Sacramento diverts our tax dollars, it takes SBC’s taxpayers 9.09 times $1,521,922, which equals $13,834,907 to send to Sacramento to get back the $1,521,992 for this government option transport. COG’s own data shows that 98-plus percent of the bus seats are transported empty. That means that 98 percent times $13,834,907 equals $13,558,208 of our tax dollars are wasted, and used to pollute our air and add unnecessary congestion to our streets and highways. Then add the “stimulus” pork that COG’s directors used to buy the new buses (purchased out-of-county; not from local dealerships). It reveals an ongoing practice of dedicated, planned, intentional, wasteful deficit spending, or in the words of the SCC Grand Jury Report, “fiscal irresponsibility,” “governance flaws,” and “taxpayer abuse.”

Instead of turning off our street lights, making intersection accidents more likely to happen, endangering children, pedestrians, bicyclists, skate-boarders, not to mention motorists, why not abolish COG. Private-sector carriers (e.g., taxis and shuttles) could do more transport for less money. Public Works Department could resume their former duties that COG took over about 35 years ago.

Redundant, wasteful, profligate, deficit-spending addicts at unnecessary government “authorities” like COG ought to have a lower priority for our local elected leaders than the safety of the citizens.

If they disagree, then we ought to start circulating the recall petition right after the meeting.

Joseph Thompson is a Tres Pinos resident.

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