It’s not about getting rid of call boxes, but trying to either fix or eliminate a government program that has lost its relevancy. After our election and subsequent appointment to the SAFE Board, Councilmember Alvarez and I have been questioning and scrutinizing the practices of the San Diego SAFE organization. I am proud to announce that we have been working with Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher since the spring of this year, looking at revising SAFE statewide. Councilmember Alvarez and I hope this will create a dialogue that will transform the organization to improve public safety, government efficiency, and protect taxpayer money.
From the San Diego Union Tribune…
Call box use drops, funding keeps on growing
Some on the board, and in Sacramento, say fee should stop
Written by Christopher Cadelago
The bright-yellow emergency call boxes that line the highways and backcountry of San Diego County have dropped in use over the last two decades — from 170,511 calls in 1990 to 11,625 in 2010.
During the same time period, special tax revenue that supports them has grown to $2.6 million annually from $1.9 million, fueling a bureaucracy that has built up $12.8 million in reserves and spends its time seeking projects to enhance motorist safety in new ways.
“This has become the poster child for a government program that at one time was relevant but, as the world changed and our technology evolved, has become irrelevant,” said San Diego City Councilwoman Lorie Zapf, a board member for the call-box agency. “For years they have been floundering and looking for a justification for their existence.”
Continue reading here: http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/aug/23/call-box-use-drops-funding-keeps-on-growing/