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The worst roads are in the County's unincorporated area. Who knew?

Road repair work with a person using a tool, vehicles, and asphalt.
Same as it ever was: A screen grab from a 2017 KCRA3 video about the County doing pothole sweeps in Arden Arcade.

Today the Sacramento Bee published a remarkably candid commentary by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Tom Philip entitled "Study predicts sea of potholes, rutty roads in county". The article is behind the Bee's usual paywall, but you can read it here. In the article, Mr. Philip said pretty much the same thing that Supervisor Desmond and his Roads Czar, Ron Vicari, told the public at this year's round of talks about the sad state of our roads.

Mr. Philip's article specifically mentions that the worst roads in Sacramento County are in the unincorporated area -  the vast UnCity that is home to more people than the state of Wyoming and where the County has consistently practiced neglect over the years. He correctly points out that the County's approach has been to spend as little money as possible on local streets, preferring for other entities (the feds, the state, the water district) or you, via sales taxes like Measure A. He also notes that transportation sales taxes are voted on by all voters in the county, whereas pavement conditions are not bad in some parts of the county. Why would voters in new subdivisions  vote to improve their already good pavement? Further, proactive cities like Elk Grove, Rancho Cordova and Citrus Heights are already engaged in pavement upgrades to correct years of County neglect. Now consider our situation: voters are unlikely to approve additional sales taxes because they don't see where our tax dollars have already been spent.  Yet Mr. Philip's article says that the biggest problem is in the unincorporated UnCity, where the Supervisors spend about $37M a year on roads despite the need over the next 30 years being more like $168M annually. Considering all those factors, how likely is it that anyone living today will see the County correct the UnCity's pavement problem (or anything else) in their lifetime?

This brings to mind a recent comment we received from one of our readers:

Unfortunately, the 2010 Measure D ballot measure for Arden Arcade cityhood failed and now we’re reaping the rewards.  As my grandkids would reply, LOL.  Arden Arcade has been an afterthought for Sacramento County Supervisors for a very long time. It’s now 14 years later. Do you see improvements for our tax dollars?  To paraphrase former President Ronald Reagan, "Are we better off now than we were 14 years ago"? Or even 4 years ago?  Arden Arcade needs a local government we can hold accountable for our community, as we surely don’t have one now. 
Stephanie Christensen, Wilhaggin Del Dayo resident

That's exactly right! The "Stay Sacramento" campaign was effective at orchestrating the defeat of Measure D in 2010. The campaign convinced voters that things were OK here, that the County was doing a swell job. History has proven otherwise. Still, the question is what to do about it now. Should our community continue to trust our future to the Board of Supervisors? Or is it time for an alternative course of action?


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