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Mailbag: Burbank needs Measure P; could have done without the Metrolink North Station

I’m not a fan of big government, nor am I particularly fond of tax increases, however I wholeheartedly support Measure P in the current election cycle. As Burbank residents, we truly are blessed with the quality public services we receive from our city. Our parks, libraries, streets and public safety services are top-notch.

One only needs to cross into our neighboring communities within the city of Los Angeles to experience poor-quality streets, aging infrastructure, run-down properties and vastly inferior police and fire services. Good luck if you find yourself in Sunland or North Hollywood and happen to need a cop or other emergency service.

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Every time I’ve had to deal with the Burbank city staff on any matter, whether ambulance service, calls to the Police Department, concerns over street conditions or questions regarding utility services, I consistently receive a prompt, courteous and efficient response.

I was astounded to learn the city currently only receives one cent out of every dollar collected from Burbank residents in locally generated sales tax, with the remainder going to Sacramento and L.A. County. Measure P will assure that the additional revenue from the 3/4 cent sales tax adjustment will be spent locally to maintain our outstanding public-safety services here in Burbank.

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The bottom line is you cannot provide and sustain quality public services on the cheap. Let's keep Burbank the safe, clean and quality city that we all enjoy. Vote “Yes” on Measure P.

Matt Doyle

Burbank

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In 2016 the city of Burbank Transportation Commission voted to advise the City Council not to go ahead with the Metrolink North Station as the train service was inadequate to attract a worthwhile number of riders. I testified to the City Council on Dec. 6, 2016, to that effect. Your report of the airport commission meeting of Oct. 15, 2018, confirms our prediction. If the shuttle from the station is moving only about one person per hour then clearly the investment is a failure.

Former county Supervisor Michael Antonovich believed that airports should have rail service, and we don’t disagree. The problem is that building a station and running a shuttle bus is only part of “rail service.” Without frequent, reliable trains, the passengers will not materialize. Metro has failed to build the double track needed to expand capacity and enable Metrolink to run a schedule that will attract airport and local passengers. As a result we have empty buses and shuttle vans and an underused station wasting taxpayers’ money.

In 2016 the taxpayers of Los Angeles County overwhelmingly passed Measure M, handing yet more money to Metro for transportation projects. If this is the way that money is to be spent, on facilities that are ill thought out and uncoordinated with the providers of service, then far too much of that money will be wasted. Our public boards, filled with politicians without any knowledge of transportation, need to be reformed with at least some qualified members from the industry to provide guidance and ask the tough questions.

Paul Dyson

Burbank

President, Rail Passenger Assn. of California and Nevada

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