Not happy with Paden, Kairis roundabout vote
On Dec. 20, I attended the Hanford City Council study session meeting. One of the issues was “presentation by City of Hanford staff and Peters Engineering regarding the proposed roundabouts or 4-way stops at the Douty intersection locations.”
This was also the first time our newly-elected councilmembers Mayor Travis Paden, Vice Mayor Mark Kairis and councilmember Lou Martinez would be on the dais making one of their toughest decisions for the community.
The issue of downtown roundabouts has been a long process beginning in the summer of 2020 with the discussion of downtown crosswalks.
Many citizens have posted on both Mr. Paden’s and Mr. Kairis’ Facebook [pages] and have indicated their strong opposition to having a roundabout in the heart of Hanford’s downtown as not only would it cost millions of dollars to install but would also affect the quality of life and the charm that downtown Hanford has to offer.
The money that is being used is from ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act). The City of Hanford will receive approximately $13.5 million to help. This money was sent for the purpose of assisting citizens with past due water, electric and gas bills caused by the recent pandemic.
This money can also be used to improve our downtown infrastructure such as curbs, gutters, sidewalk repairs, including reparing our downtown crosswalks to be ADA compliant, also to repair our street signals at Douty and 7th streets.
Leaving our traffic pattern as is would solve any liability issues and please the downtown business owners and our citizens and in a few years after the aforementioned repairs, we would have a safer and more attractive downtown.
But at this study session meeting, Mr. Kairis and Mr. Paden caved to the city staff and voted in favor of installing a roundabout at the intersection of Douty and 7th streets by giving staff direction to do a request for proposal.
Both Mr. Paden and Mr. Kairis went against their preelection statements to the public that they would not vote for the traffic circles. What changed that caused them to vote this way? Their vote has caused many repercussions to downtown business owners and citizens alike, the citizens feel again like the government has ignored their wishes.
I want to applaud our third newly-elected councilmember, Lou Martinez, who stood up against city staff and voted as he said he would during his campaign and voted with the citizens and voted no to the roundabouts.
The next City Council meeting is 7 p.m. Jan. 17. Check their website for a time of a possible study session.
Please use public comment time to address your thoughts regarding roundabouts or any other issue that is of concern to you.
Protesting roudabout for downtown Hanford
A 7th and Douty Street roundabout is a disaster project to our beautiful hometown history. I am requesting a rally protest at the corner of 7th and Douty.
I urge all those who are in agreement with the ban of this project to come to a Council meeting and let your voice be heard. To let these city officials know that this is our hometown and we will not stand by.
An issue like this will change our beautiful hometown.