Brea kicks seniors to the curb.

It was announced yesterday that the loss of an AQMD (Air Quality Management District) grant has resulted in the suspension of on-demand transportation services predominantly used by Brea’s seniors.

The program, paid mostly by the grant and seniors kicking in a buck a ride, cost $41,000 a year… oddly a number not too far off from the recent staff salary increases and the whopping increase and bonus given to City Manager Tim O’Donnell.

No wonder residents were up in arms over Staff getting such unmerited gifts from public coffers.

Best Use Of Public Monies?

The AQMD grant was “meant to help take cars off the road with people using public transportation to run personal errands in their city and also to nearby hospitals.” (Orange County Register – 02/01/12)

The program was principally used by seniors because they were no longer driving and needed to get to doctor’s appointments and outpatient treatments at local hospitals. Let’s see, grant monies designed to fund programs that get cars off the streets being predominantly used by people who no longer own cars.

How is this even remotely consistent with the purpose of the grant? Why is anyone surprised Brea no longer gets the grant?

The big losers in all this are our seniors, who are now stuck with some sort of taxi voucher program. No details on how this will work are available at the moment and city hall is on Furlough Friday, so no one is around to answer any questions.

Closing thoughts.

I was going to suggest that it might not be a bad idea to create a Common Sense Commission to help guide Council and Staff through tricky issues like this, but then I remembered who would be nominating and appointing it’s members.

That wasn’t a cheap shot at current Commissioners and Committee Members, many of whom are well qualified and are doing their best to fill in the intelligence gap in city government. I’m just reminded of the Phil Anton nonsense and how little Council and Staff really like dealing with the truth.