Anne Jordan was a contributing editor to GOVERNING.E-mail: email@example.com
On hearing that 750 homes and businesses in Napa, California, were flooded by last weekend's storms, I immediately thought of the story Governing ran in the December issue about the city's $260 million flood-control project.
In the wake of this inundation, I wondered what local officials and residents were saying about their decision to scrap Corps of Engineers' plans for levees and floodwalls in favor of natural solutions, such as creating riverbank terraces and restoring wetlands. Here's the current take from several area newspapers:
Today's San Jose Mercury News reports, "As the waters receded, the debate began to rage about the flood-control project... Officials said it was slowed by delays in federal funding. 'It's like having half the shingles finished on your roof,' said Barry Martin, spokesman for the Napa River Flood Control Project. 'It's only going to keep you partly dry.' "
The San Francisco Chronicle quotes several residents as saying "it could have been worse" and "the project did some good" while pointing out that critical components are still missing. The story also makes note of the fact that "President Bush cut $18 million from the $24 million budget required for the project's 2005-06 construction phase." A related article reports that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger "promised Napa authorities that he will ask President Bush for more federal aid."
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.