60 years ago

Oakley voters defeat water district bonds: Oakley voters decided Tuesday that they don't want a public water system if it means bonding the district for $365,000. In the special election, requiring a two-thirds majority to authorize the bonds, 95 YES votes were cast and 122 NO.

The Oakley Water District was formed in May of this year, and is was proposed to obtain water from the nearby Contra Costa canal, replacing the present supply obtained from private wells. The defeated bond issue was for purpose of constructing a treatment plant and distribution system.

25 years ago

1988 brings growing pains to East County cities: East County is growing up from an industrial and agricultural area into a more diversified suburban region, and in 1988 there was much evidence of the pleasure and pain wrought by the maturing process.

City and county leaders, like adoring parents, smiled broadly as thousands of new homes arrived, followed closely by the opening of supermarkets, restaurants and shopping centers. The new residents on average have had larger incomes, triggering more consumer spending and in turn funneling more sales-tax dollars to local coffers.

But this development has had a negative side.

East County's murder rate went up.

Traffic congestion worsened on city roads and state Highway 4 causing daily frustrations and spurring voters to back a higher sales tax to fix and widen roads.

School became overloaded with students, and voters again responded statewide by approving the sale of bonds for building new school.

The result is that leaders everywhere have been forced to deal with concerns of this process.

"The sleepy farm villages of East Contra Costa County are now the screaming suburbs," said Bill Nick, president of Oakley's Chamber of Commerce.

"The resident clearly realized there was a cost to all of this growth and were willing to ante up, to my great relief," said Pittsburg Mayor Richard Lettman.

-- Brentwood News and Daily Ledger-Post Dispatch news files