This morning, I have again read through the many letters to the editor in the February 8th edition of the Independent. There was a spectrum of opinions, but the significant majority were critical of the downtown development plan concept approved by the City Council. I am acquainted with many of the respondents and friends with others and feel the need to make something very clear. The negative comments about the adopted concept plan are not coming from a collection of petulant children bleating their disappointment because they didn’t get what they wanted. On the contrary, these people are mature adult residents of the town who not only have a significant investment of time in their residency, but believe they have a right as long term residents to participate meaningfully in the future development of the place they chose to live and raise their families.
Jan and I have lived here for more than 50 years, raised 5 children, 4 of whom live within about 30 miles of Livermore, and they too complained that they cannot live in Livermore because of the expense of housing, and to a lesser degree because of the commute they would have to work. The fifth lives in Kansas with his family but has the same complaints. Of course they more-or-less expected to live in a similar environment to the one in which they grew up, but generally failed to realize, as most youth do, that our quality of life took many years to build and involved improvements in our living standard through income growth and using the equity in one home as leverage to acquire a larger home. Our children grew up in better circumstances than those in which we started – it’s as simple as that. The logic inherent in what I just described leads me to largely discount the complaints of many residents that their children cannot afford to live in Livermore because it is too expensive and the availability of low cost housing is insufficient to even find a starter home.