How to induce hysteria, cripple a cause and leave a really bad taste all around

By Joe Cahak

Recently the Ramona Community Planning Group held their monthly meeting and one of the issues was the South Bypass or Dye Road project. Along with this was the Ramona Street extension and the 13th Street bridge projects. The meeting was well attended especially so after the CFARR group and a certain individual when all down Main Street to purposely gin up every business owner that he (they) could. They got 70 signatures for what they claimed was a plan to re-route all Highway 67 traffic to the south bypass and away from town. They had a quite elevated and hostile group all worked up at the meeting ready for bear. Mean while the meeting progressed and the RCPG came to the agenda item. I was one of two people that showed up to voice my concern for the community looking to be asked to give away the easements of the south bypass and stop the road project. I voiced that this is the ONLY route left of the north and south routes that were on the Federal Highway Administration maps and was eligible for Federal funds. The RCPG voted years ago give up the easements for the north bypass I pointed out and this was the LAST and ONLY route left to our community and our future. Carol Fowler also braved the onslaught to speak her opine that this would not hurt business and was an opportunity for Ramona and why she felt so. After some deliberation, discussion and statements the RCPG voted to add the south bypass and the Ramona St extension back on the Ramona Road Priority List and to approve the list.

This Road Priority List was set up by the RCPG that I was involved with, after the RCPG appointed me to the Ad Hoc Ramona Master Road Plan committee. We did our work to analyze the info, road statistics , the geology, the occupancy and road engineering, capacity and future needs. We made our recommendations to RCPG. RCPG voted to approve the Ramona Master Road plan. Then we worked with Supervisor Jacob and the Department of Public Works to establish the Road Priority list and get Ramona some attention on focused and prioritized work. We are seeing the results of this on our roads today and have some significant results coming soon. While I helped this community get there, I did not do this alone. I was a voice among many. We worked diligently over years to see Ramona in general and yes my Estates get some road attention. We used a road tour to get county and state folks to see firsthand our problem and we got results.

I tell you this to inform you these results today are not an accident. They are the result of many people being involved recommending, analyzing the needs and possible solutions and making recommendation for the community. This was not Joe Cahak doing this. I was one of many working hard to sell Ramona and working together to get results by being one voice for the main items. This was all done through and with RCPG voting to approve, recommend and consider. They did so and it is now the majority expression for the community. I am proud to have been a small part of this community’s success to get some big things done for us, our neighbors and our friends. I salute our planning group members for having the time, taking the patience and the for suffering they do, to serve us without compensation.

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