Dear all NE San Fernando Valley Elected Officials:
As you know, our communities have been requesting a high speed train board meeting in the NE San Fernando Valley since 2015 when the meeting proposed here was moved to downtown LA on a work day at the last minute by the CHSRA board. It’s now three years later and there still has not been a board meeting here or an opportunity for our communities, for you and for the high speed train board to face one another publicly.
As the 2018 Business Plan was nearing completion several months ago, we/SAFE Coalition asked for your assistance in securing a board meeting/public hearing related to the Business Plan here in the NE San Fernando Valley. We/SAFE Coalition petitioned CHSRA several months ago, prior to the Business Plan public review period, to hold the meeting here. Recently, following the February 22, 2018, Unity Meeting at All Nations Church, we delivered more than 225 signed letters from local residents to multiple CHSRA offices, including Chairman Dan Richard, and their new CEO, Brian Kelly, again calling for the meeting to be held in the NE San Fernando Valley.
As of today, Thursday, March 29, 2018, we have not heard back from CHSRA in any form. Their website simply shows a meeting in Los Angeles on April 17. While we’ve heard indirectly that information was shared at a recent SCAG meeting that the April 17 meeting would be at the downtown/SCAG location, that information is nowhere to be found publicly. Once this holiday weekend is past, we will be within 2 weeks of the April 17 meeting.
- First of all, how can we all accept that the public’s requests, spanning more than 3 years, for a meeting in the NE San Fernando Valley, have yet to be granted?
- Second, there is no public information about the location of the April 17 meeting, the agenda or any other meeting specifics. Need we call for an extension of the public comment period?
- Third, how can any of your constituents plan for a meeting anywhere during a work week, knowing we will need to juggle schedules, arrange for days off from work, arrange for child care and/or transportation?
- Fourth, how can you and your staff prepare adequately for such a meeting?
In its news release for the release of the Business Plan, the CHSRA states it, “transparently acknowledges the project’s challenges and outlines a sensible path forward that will continue to put thousands of Californians to work building the nation’s first high-speed rail system.” It’s just more talk from the project that is has nearly tripled in cost while being delayed more than a decade.
Again, we want you all to know, on the eve of yet another holiday weekend, that your constituents remain hostage to this boondoggle project, have not been extended the courtesy of a local board meeting/hearing, and have no information about a meeting that appears to be scheduled in just over two weeks.
We again call upon you individually and collectively to demand a CHSRA/Business Plan board meeting/hearing in the NE San Fernando Valley and to demand immediate removal of the E1, E2 and SR14 routes.
On behalf of the SAFE Coalition, representing the united communities of Sylmar, Kagel Canyon, Lake View Terrace, Sunland-Tujunga, La Tuna Canyon, Shadow Hills, Sun Valley and Pacoima, please take action today and thank you.
Member, SAFE Coalition
President, Shadow Hills Property Owners Assn.