EDITORIAL: from the News-Ledger, April 18, 2012 —

The mayor’s recap of West Sacramento’s 25-year history as a city during last week’s “State of the City” address brought back some fond memories.

Mayor Christopher Cabaldon noted that one of the things that delayed the creation of this city was a level of distrust between its neighborhoods. This distrust was a factor in the failure of a couple of prior attempts to create a city here.

Missing from the mayor’s address, though, was any mention of another element that complicated both the 1986 incorporation effort and the early years of West Sacramento: the influence of developers. Property developers hoping to earn a nice living off all that undeveloped real estate here in “East Yolo” joined citizens concerned about crime and the lack of shopping opportunities in campaigning for cityhood in 1986. They won.

And the city eventually made a lot of progress in improving public safety and creating retail shopping.

But the developers and land speculators also got a lot of what they wanted, and had an undue influence over the early West Sacramento city council. Any retrospective on these early years needs to note the city’s tension over development issues.

The News-Ledger doesn’t know for sure that this is a growing problem. But a look over our “Police Log” in recent weeks seems to show something alarming:

There has been an apparent small rash of home burglaries committed while a resident was home and asleep inside.  This kind of brazen break-in has occurred on Buckeye Drive, Fremont Boulevard and Meadow Road. In a couple of cases, the thief has taken car keys along with other things from inside, and then stolen a parked car from outside.

Burglaries of vacant homes are more common. But it’s easy to see the potential for something to go horribly wrong when thieves are breaking into a home while somebody is inside.

  When West Sacramento planned its West Capitol Avenue streetfront improvements, it needed to buy some small strips of property along edges of some privately-held land. Some property owners negotiated as hard as they could to get the best possible price.

At least one – the “City of Dharma Realm” Buddhist monastery at West Capitol Avenue, simply gave the needed square feet to West Sacramento’s taxpayers. That’s something you don’t see very often.

So it’s especially painful to see that the institution has been plagued by a lengthy serious of petty crimes and break-ins. Let’s all keep an eye out for them.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2012

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