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JANUARY 2014 – VOL 4, 1

YOUR COMMUNITY WATCHDOG

Community Common Sense San Juan Capistrano - Mission Viejo

In this Issue...

San Juan Capistrano Judge Restores Newspapers to City Property Page 1

City Hall’s Water Workshop “whitewash”; a costly PR event without answers Page 3 Recall Rumors: Setting the Record Straight Page 4 CR&R Contract Amendment: an Attempt to Avoid Proposition 218? Page 5

JUDGE RESTORES NEWSPAPERS TO CITY PROPERTY By Kim Lefner

Despite three council members’ attempt to ban the Community Common Sense from city-owned property, an OC Superior Court Judge recently ordered that newspapers be temporarily restored pending a full hearing on the matter. “The people have the right to read and access newspapers on public property,” stated OC Superior Court Judge James Di Cesare in response to an application for a Temporary Retraining Order filed by attorney

The Voting Record of Frank Ury Page 7

Resident Activists Serve A Vital Purpose Page 8

Not-So-Free FreewaysPart 2 Page 9

Story continued on page 6 ...

By Don Wilder I have been a resident of Mission Viejo since 1970 and have lived in the same house since then except for a several year hiatus that ended when I returned last February.

Mission Viejo Page 1

The judge also ordered the City to allow CCS to place its publication in the Seniors Reading Room at the Community Center, where several

“ART PROGRAM” DESERVES CLOSER SCRUTINY

The High Cost of Bad Decisions Page 5

"Art Program" Deserves Closer Scrutiny

Wayne Tate who is representing the Community Common Sense (“CCS”). The judge directed the attorney representing the city, Philip Kohn of Rutan & Tucker, to work out a mutually agreed upon location with CCS for placement of its news racks or, said Judge Di Cesare, “I’ll do it for you.”

Art "kiosks" on Crown Valley.

Among some of the changes I have seen on my return are kiosks, sculp-

tures and public “art” at several places around town. While appreciation of “art” is very subjective, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder, this beholder sees little beauty and has little appreciation for much of what has been installed in our city and passed off as “art.” I recently learned that some applicants for city approval of major new Story continued on page 10...

About the Community Common Sense

The CCS is a non-partisan community watchdog publication, distributed monthly to 35,000 homes and businesses in our local communities. We were established in 2009 by a group of residents who recognize that tax dollars are often spent in

ways that enrich a select few, while average residents are left with the resulting increases to cost of living, traffic and debt.

We believe knowledge is power, and are committed to reporting facts not offered in other publications. Aided by Public Records Act requests

Community Common Sense

for information and extensive research, we print fact-based information about fiscal and quality of life issues which enables residents to make educated decisions about local leadership. We do the homework – you decide!


Community Common Sense

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City Hall’s Water Workshop “whitewash”; a costly PR event without answers By Melissa Kaffen After attending the “Water Workshop” orchestrated by the city to allegedly answer questions about water produced by the Ground Water SJC Resident Recovery Melissa Kaffen Plant, I came away with more questions than answers. The event was coordinated in an “exhibit” style format, where you had to go from table to table to ask questions of employees at each “exhibit station”. Unfortunately, this format shielded questions and answers from the public rather than informing everyone at once. The answers I did get were lacking, which left me with the following unanswered questions: • I understand that although we paid to build our Ground Water Recovery Plant (GWRP), we are only leasing it. Why? • Who actually OWNS the GWRP? (I think you already know the answer to this; although we paid to build it, it’s owned by the San Juan Basin Authority from whom we lease it). • Is it true that the “Emergency water” from the plant will also serve three surrounding towns that pay none of the construction & maintenance costs? • Isn't the GWRP defined as a “Regional Water Facility? If so, why are SJC residents shouldering the entire cost of a “regional” plant?

• Wouldn't it be considered financial misconduct for any former or current member of our city council to obligate us to pay the entire cost of a Regional Emergency Water Facility? And if so, who made that decision? • Why is the City adding chloramine to the GWRP water? • Isn't chloramine known to cause pinhole leaks & corrode residential water pipes? Is there no concern about the increase in pinhole and slab leaks in SJC as a result? • Doesn’t that expose the taxpayers to yet another class action lawsuit? • How many times has the plant had to be re-piped? Why & how much does that cost? • Will the plant need to be re-piped again? • What are the environmental hazards of depleting the ground water table; isn't it reckless to deplete ground water tables? • What happens when the San Juan basin is pumped to such a low level that barriers must be constructed to protect from salt water contamination? Who will pay to construct the massively expensive (up to $100 million) barriers? • Wasn't the plant supposed to be only an EMERGENCY SOURCE of water; not a primary source of drinking water? • Who made the decision to attempt to make the plant produce drinking water? • Are we in a water emergency? If not, why routinely use expensive corrosive ground water to try and produce drinking water?

Copyright © 2014, All Rights Reserved Commonsense.com LLC

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Letters and Submissions for consideration must meet submission guidelines, are subject to editorial adjustment and may be sent to:

eboard@ccsense.com Editor: Kim Lefner Mission Viejo Contributing Editor: Steve Magdziak

Find out more on our website www.ccsense.com Show your support for the CCS by supporting our advertisers! Like Us on Facebook! Please Visit Us at: www.facebook.com/CommunityCommonSense Find Us on Twitter! @ SJCommonSense • What was the total amount borrowed against our water bills to build & maintain the GWRP bonds? Haven't we already exceeded the allotted funding? • How much of a budget deficit are we running now based on cost overruns and revenue shortfalls? • How much did the Water Workshop PR event cost taxpayers in city employee pay and overtime? Fortunately, the public will have an opportunity to ask these questions of staff and City Council on January 16th at 5:30pm, during a scheduled meeting to set new water rates.

Community Common Sense

Melissa Kaffen has lived in San Juan Capistrano for 19 years with her husband and three children. Melissa is a former candidate for City Council who remains active in the community.

Want important updates?

Add your email address to our list at: edboard@ccsense.com or on our website at: www.ccsense.com

mise! o r p e m; w a p s No

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Letter to the Editor

Recall Rumors: Setting the Record Straight

I am one of many volunteers collecting signatures to recall Councilman Sam Allevato. I am encouraged to report that about 8 out of every 10 residents I talk to have signed the recall petition. I have also heard several false rumors circulating about the recall, and I appreciate the opportunity to set the record straight. Rumor #1: Everyone will be able to see my signature on the petition and know that I signed it. FALSE. OC Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley has confirmed that signatures on recall petitions are confidential and that the signer has a constitutionally protected right to privacy. If anyone tells you that the public will be able to see your signature, they are not telling you the truth; please notify the OC Registrar of Voters at: 714-567-7600. Rumor #2: The recall will cost $100,000 and is too expensive. REALITY: The recall will cost approximately $93,000 which amounts to about $5 per resident. This is peanuts compared to the MILLIONS of dollars that Sam Allevato has cost us in irresponsible votes resulting in overcharges on our water bills, his insistence on continuing to run the Ground Water Recovery

Plant which we cannot afford and in unnecessary legal fees. Rumor #3: The recall will be held too close to the regular election; we should just wait. REALITY: Sam Allevato is not up for re-election in November 2014. We residents deserve to be represented however, the current council majority is comprised of three council members who repeatedly vote to benefit special interests such as big developers who increase our cost of living and decrease our quality of life through more traffic and strain on infrastructure. Unlike Sam Allevato and his supporters who are spending tens of thousands of dollars to insure that he holds on to his $360/ month council position (ask yourself why), the recall group is comprised of residents who are all unpaid volunteers. We don’t have the deep pockets of developers and special interests; we are just average residents who love our town enough to try and preserve it. As a result, we need your help! If you agree that our town is worth saving, please join us by collecting signatures from your neighbors, friends and family. Contact us at: www.RecallSam.com .

ANNOUNCEMENT

The City wants your input on the setting of water and sewer rates.

Make your voice heard! Let the City Council know how you feel about:

• High water rates.

• Refusal to follow a lawful court order about water rates. • Continuing to operate the expensive Ground Water Recovery Plant which keeps water rates high at your expense. • Inaccuracies on your water bill (wrong lot size, wrong amount, off schedule, etc.) Where: City Hall (in City Council Chambers) 25925 Camino Del Avion, SJC When: January 16, 2014 5:30 pm

Christie Smead San Juan Capistrano

For advertising rates, please contact Kim McCarthy: Call - (949)489-2800 or Email - eboard@ccsense.com Community Common Sense

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CR&R Contract Amendment: An Attempt to Avoid Prop 218? By Clint Worthington

CR&R was back in front of the City Council at the December Council meeting. This time City staff stated the main reason was to eliminate the “evergreen” clause which allows the continual renewal of the CR&R contract without the contract ever going out to bid. This clause has allowed CR&R to serve as the City’s trash hauler since 1997 without ever having to bid for the multi-milliondollar-per-year contract. It is worth noting that CR&R paid the City Attorneys to rewrite the amendment to the contract. Now, if CR&R is paying our City Attorneys to do the work, whose best interests do you think will be represented CR&R’s or the residents’? A review of the amendment might help to answer that question. The new amendment to the Con-

tract says that customers can now choose to “self haul” their trash to the landfill. Sounds good - until you read that you must do so in a vehicle approved by the City Manager. Section e). states: "Self haulers must obtain all equipment, including containers and collection and transportation equipment, at a fair market value that does not include any hauling services, ‘free’ or otherwise." So, let me make sure I understand this correctly. Any trash container for a self hauler must be paid for at “fair market value”? Who determines what fair market value is? Who enforces it? This verbiage in the

Letter to the Editor

The High Cost of Bad Decisions

I have watched with dismay too many council decisions that have cost us millions in legal fees over the years. The latest is the council majority’s approval of the Mercado Market when they knew it did not have enough parking. The council majority has proven that they will not stop one minute to consider the potential cost of a lawsuit. Take note of the Mercado fiasco which is the latest among many, several of which are listed below: 1. Mercado Market approval which violated city zoning - LOST. Decision upheld on appeal. Legal fees to be determined but backs up the basics of poor decision-making by the council majority. 2. CCS Newspaper Ban / violation of First Amendment rights to free speech - LOST.

OC Superior Court judge restored newspapers to public property pending further judgment(s) with potential to lose many more taxpayer dollars. There are legal fees to be determined but estimated at more than $10,000 so far. 3. CTA lawsuit against city for illegal water rate structure - LOST. An OC Superior Court judgment also awarded $200,000 in legal fees to CTA attorney thru 9/30/13, not counting the fees paid to the attorneys representing the city, estimated to be hundreds of thousands of taxpayer’s dollars. 4. Appeal of CTA lawsuit judgment. Council majority voted 3-0 to file an appeal of this court decision in the very same appellate court that upheld a similar judgment in favor of the City of Palmdale. There will be significant legal fees yet to be determined.

contract seems to me either silly, or worse; perhaps designed to make sure that no one will meet the vague definition of “fair market value”. Even more questionable though, is whether this move by CR&R was done to get out from under the provisions of Proposition 218. The Municipal Code requires every real property owner to pay for trash services whether you receive them or not. Because of this requirement, it falls under Proposition 218. Prop 218 states that providers of certain mandatory municipal utilities can only

5. Class Action lawsuit filed on behalf of all ratepayers by an SJC resident, to recover illegally billed water rates. Case was filed recently in response to CTA lawsuit victory. Meanwhile, the city continues to bill the illegal rates. If they lose the appeal they will potentially be liable for up to $30 million in refunds to us residents who have been overcharged on our water bills for the past three years. They continue to illegally bill residents despite repeated warnings of the dire financial consequences.

charge customers for the actual cost of the service they are receiving. A number of residents have expressed concern at City council meetings that residential customers in SJC are unfairly charged to haul (or at least to subsidize the hauling of) stable waste to a processing facility out in the Inland Empire. We cannot be forced to pay for a service that we do not receive. The City was recently reminded of this when the OC Superior Court ruled that our water rates were illegal; one reason was that each resident was being charged for recycled water it did not receive. In the case of CR&R, it's my understanding that part of the cost of the trash service to each resident is the transportation of horse manure to a processing facility in Rancho Cucamonga. The Story continued on page 6... Numbers 1, 2, 3, & 4 with the votes of Councilmen Larry Kramer and John Taylor in addition to Allevato. How can these councilmen complain about the cost of a recall when Sam Allevato’s poor decisions have cost we residents too many millions? The cost of a recall is a drop in the ocean compared to the many millions wasted on poor decisions by Sam Allevato and the council majority.

6. Scalzo lawsuit, filed by an SJC resident - LOST. Cost $9 million plus many thousands in legal fees.

It surely would be far less expensive and beneficial to elect a council majority that is more responsible about how 7. San Juan Creek Rd injury our tax dollars are spent and accident, filed by an SJC resident who will make decisions that due to city’s negligence in failing represent only the best interests to maintain landscaping on a center of our residents. These three median - LOST. Jury awarded have clearly demonstrated an plaintiff $8.3 million, plus legal fees. abandonment of sound judgment. Every one of these cases happened on Sam Allevato's watch, and

Community Common Sense

Ian Smith San Juan Capistrano

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Ligten ordering the removal of its news racks, so clearly action was taken.

Story continued from page 1... members of city staff had been observed throwing it in the trash while leaving copies of other publications on tables and in display racks. “Our constitutional rights of free speech, free press and the right to distribute the press were upheld, and [the CCS’] actions were vindicated,“ said attorney Wayne Tate after the hearing. The city made a number of CCS News racks at the Community Center before the ban (left) and after the claims about why news racks judge ordered the news rack restored (right). The city's insistence on fighting would no longer be allowed the issue in court will cost the taxpayers more than $10,000 in attorney's fees to in front of City Hall and the move the news rack approximately four feet to the right of its original location. Community Center where members Sam Allevato, Larry any of these issues during the many they had stood for many Kramer and John Taylor voted years that other publications stood years. Councilman (now Mayor) behind closed doors to ban news in news racks at those locations? Sam Allevato commented that if racks on city property. The public It wasn’t until the CCS placed its everyone is allowed to place their was initially unaware of the ban news racks next to two others that news racks there, “pornography” as the vote was not reported out in they raised any of these alleged might proliferate in those locations. open session as required by law. “Public safety” and “littering” were concerns.” City Attorney Hans Van Ligten later also offered as reasons for banning claimed that was because “there was In fact, according to Council news racks. no reportable action” taken during member Roy Byrnes (who voted the closed door meeting. However, against the ban), within four days But according to attorney Tate, just two weeks after the meeting, of CCS placing its news racks “Their reasons defy logic. Where the CCS received a letter from Van alongside two others, Council was their supposed concern about Story continued from page 5... problem is that each resident is being charged for that service even though you do not receive it. I asked a local attorney whether a trash hauler can charge residential customers to haul stable waste if they do not own horses, or whether residential customers can be charged to subsidize the hauling of commercial waste. In his opinion, residential customers cannot legally be charged for services they are not receiving. CR&R is the same trash hauler that was required to refund money to all SJC customers after resident Ian Smith pointed out that our trash rate was being calculated incorrectly. Only after the miscalculation was brought to staff's attention did residents who had been overcharged receive a refund. When some of the residents demanded an audit of the

Community Common Sense

Van Ligten went a step further in a follow up letter to CCS in which he stated the CCS was prohibited from placing its publication “on any city property” under threat of criminal prosecution. Van Ligten ended the letter with; “There is no misunderstanding on the part of Sheriff personnel and City employees. The understanding is that such conduct is illegal and will subject CCS and its members to legal repercussions.” “This court action was totally avoidable,” said Tate. “The city council members who voted for the ban were given plenty of time to work out a solution. We offered three reasonable proposals to settle the issue outside of court, but the city rejected all of them, so they left us no choice but to ask the court to intervene." Judge Di Cesare’s order is temporary until a more permanent solution can be determined. The CCS’ next court date is scheduled for February 27th.

contract, it was found that CR&R owed the City thousands of dollars in late payments to the City for a 5% “Franchise Fee” due to the City. The 5% franchise fee is a tax the City charges CR&R to do business in our City. CR&R simply passes that tax on to the residents. Dean Ruffridge of CR&R stated at a recent City Council meeting that the residents’ trash bill could be lower if the City eliminated the Franchise Fee. CR&R’s proposed amendment will come back to the City Council for approval. Let's hope this time, there is something in there for the residents, like removing the 5% Franchise tax, oops, I mean fee.

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The Voting Record of Frank Ury Candidate for Orange County Board of Supervisors

The CCS occasionally prints the voting record of candidates for elected office in order to help our readers understand the candidates’ background and voting history. Listed below is the voting record of Mission Viejo Council member Frank Ury, who has served on the City Council for three terms, for a total of nine years so far. Ury has stated his intention to run for the Orange County Board of Supervisors in 2014. MV Councilman Frank Ury Proposed Item

Frank Ury Vote

Result of Vote

Jan. 3, 2006 - Dismantling of City’s Affordable Housing plan by turning it over to an ad hoc committee.

Yes

Feb. 20, 2006. "Steadfast" high-density development with 144 units, 22 affordable units, May 7, 2007 - Public’s right to pull agenda items from the consent calendar.

Yes

April 7, 2008 - Fund Rose Parade float at a time when City had to liquidate two bonds to meet payroll. July 7, 2008 - Adoption of “Social Host Ordinance”, which holds adults responsible with fines and penalties for underage drinkers on their property. Nov. 17, 2008 - Bestow lifetime medical benefits on part-time council members who serve three four-year terms. June 22, 2009 - Spend $4 million from City Reserve Fund to upgrade a tennis club, following three years of deficit spending. Feb. 1, 2010 - Removal of “Misconduct Clause” in City Manager’s contract. Jan. 3, 2011 - Stop audio recordings of closed door council sessions. May 17, 2011 - “Pension reform” while simultaneously providing pay raises. Sept. 9, 2011 - "Watermark" high-density development of 256 apartment units and 38 low income units. March 19, 2012 - City to give county 7.18 acres, for 4 acres of county land for the $1 million Dog Park.

Yes (Oct. 20, 2008)

No

Yes Yes - Ury cast the sole vote which would have retained lifetime healthcare for himself.

Triggered decertification of City’s housing element, resulting in lawsuit against the City at a cost of approx. $1 million. Increase in traffic, strain on infrastructure. Ury received $1,500 in campaign donations from developer. Limits public's ability to question the council members' actions, by forcing the public to address items during "Public Comments" which has a three-minute time limit, and to which council members are not required to respond. Cost of float: in excess of $300,000 Infringes on constitutional rights of due process and probable cause. Cost would have been $250,000 per each council member who served three terms.

Yes

Depletion of emergency reserve fund by $4 million.

Yes

Yes

City Manager cannot be fired, even if convicted of certain felonies. Lack of transparency; shields discussions about public business from the public. Salary increases offset "decrease" in pension funding

Yes

Increase in traffic, strain on infrastructure.

Yes

Yes

May 7, 2012 - "UDR" high-density development increase of size to 320 apartment units, 24 affordable.

Yes

June 17, 2012 - Rezone of approximately two-thirds of all Mission Viejo homes into “special” fire zones. Oct. 21, 2013 - “Party Ordinance” to bill residents for police calls. Nov. 18, 2013 - Funding of counseling for teens, including the “option” of abortion.

Yes

Value of 7.18 acres of City property "swapped" with county was $1.7 million per acre, for a total of $12. 2 million. In return, City got 4 acres of unknown value. Ury received $5,000 in campaign donations from developer in 2012. Development increased traffic, strain on infrastructure. Increased property and liability insurance rates.

Yes

Additional tax on homeowners.

Yes

Voted to support teen abortion option.

Community Common Sense

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Resident Activists Serve A Vital Purpose By Larry Gilbert

Larry Gilbert

In my opinion, voters in every city can and should hold local governments accountable. The following illustrates why this is so important.

During the 2002 council election in Mission Viejo, city watchdogs succeeded in removing the mayor and mayor-pro-tem. As this shock and awe was occurring and, with no discussion or approval by the Planning Commission or City Council, members of city staff authorized Granich Construction to perform what they called clean-up of "illegal dumping" below the Curtis Park ball fields. I discovered this when reviewing city Check Registers shortly after the election. I spotted three questionable invoices that were ready for council approval during the transition of power. These three in-

voices totaled $120,946. At that time Granich had an Annual Maintenance Contract limited to "Emergency response for the repair and reconstruction of streets, drainage channels, storm drains and slopes."

cease the clean up effort. "We will be able to restart the work and finish the clean up at some future date if council determines that funds should be expended on this activity."

After questioning these charges at a Jan. 2003 council meeting, the Planning Commission met with and quizzed then-Assistant City Manager Dennis Wilberg, who admitted that the city had granted permission for some of the “illegal dumping”. A number of us found it suspect that while staff alleged that the illegal dumping was going on for many years, they chose to perform the clean-up as newly elected council members were seated. Council member Gail Reavis and newly-elected member Trish Kelley witnessed the “clean up” which consisted of the sifting, grading and compacting of 8,000 cubic yards of dirt spread along a two hundred yard stretch below Curtis Park. Less than 30 days later this “stealth project” was halted by the city manager who instructed Wilberg to have Granich

Looking for the Community Common Sense? Pick up a copy of the Community Common Sense in the following locations in Mission Viejo:

Paul’s Pantry - 27409 Bellogente, next to Chili’s on Crown Valley It’s a Grind Coffee Shop - 25522 Marguerite Parkway at Oso Mission Viejo Auto Spa - 23156 Los Alisos Blvd - East of Jeronimo Tony and Rami Liquor and Deli - 24011-A Marguerite Pkwy Bagels & Brew - 23052 Alicia Pkwy at Olympiad Surfin’ Donuts - Alicia & Trabuco Sabatino’s - 23052 Alicia Pkwy at Olympiad

The concerns I expressed during a Jan. 2003 council meeting were: 1. Bogus charges of "illegal dumping" when it was sanctioned by staff. 2. Allowing another agency and contractors to dump debris that MV taxpayers had to pay to remove. This essentially amounted to a "stealth project" that Assistant City Manager Dennis Wilberg denied existed. 3. Approval of close to $200,000 to Granich Construction that was not discussed before the fact, and which exceeded the city manager's standalone expense cap. Following my public comments, Saddleback Valley News reporter Magda Liszewska reported my concern that more was going on at the site than just a clean-up and that residents and council members were not being properly notified of the scope of the work. She quoted me as stating, "If this is the beginning of a capital improvement project [CIP] it needs to be discussed." This

was followed by Dennis Wilberg’s cleverly worded response: "There is at this point no CIP and no plan for one. That would be something that City Council would have to approve." Despite Wilberg’s denial of any "stealth" activity in this area, I had a copy of a General Fund list of non-funded Capital Improvement Projects dated Jan. 15, 2001 that proved otherwise. The list included costs of $1 million each for developments at Lower Curtis Park and Gilleran Park, with a start date in 2007-08. By Jan. 2007, the project costs, not including annual maintenance, for these as-yet unfunded CIPs for lower Curtis and lower Gilleran parks escalated to $7 million each. "Trust, but verify" is one of my favorite Reagan quotes. If you see something that doesn't look right question those in charge. Larry Gilbert, a retired electronics industry executive, has lived in Mission Viejo since 1977. He is an elected board member of the California Alliance to Protect Private Property Rights. Larry is also a former Board Member of South Coast Christian Assembly church and leader of their Senior Ministry. Questions? Comments? The CCS wants to hear from you! Contact Mission Viejo Contributing Editor Steve Magdziak at: (949) 441-0499.

More locations coming soon! Community Common Sense

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The Not-So-Free Freeways - Part 2 By Ed Sachs Compliments are in order for the eleven members of the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) who listened to both the Ed Sachs corridor cities and voters of Orange County, and elected not to bring toll lanes to the 405 freeway, but rather to add one “free” lane in both directions to the 405 between Costa Mesa and Seal Beach. Votes against adding the free lanes were Spitzer, Harper, County Supervisor John Moorlach and Seal Beach Mayor Gary Miller. Construction begins in 2015 and could be completed by 2020. The vote taken December 9, 2013 affirmed “Alternate 1” which expands the freeway by one lane, fulfilling the promise made to Orange County voters when they approved the Measure M half cent per gallon gasoline sales tax increase.

tion to resistance to double-taxation (since commuters are already being taxed to pay for traffic management and road repairs), local residents could find it difficult to enter and/or exit the toll lane, as entry/exit areas could be limited like the toll lanes on the 91 freeway. Local businesses might suffer, as toll lanes could skip exits to their communities. Some of the eleven votes against toll-lanes might raise a “political” question. During discussion on the day of the vote for example, Mission Viejo Councilman Frank Ury said that taking the money for toll lanes on the 405 “would be a kick in the head” to South Orange County. There are a number of south county freeway projects that are in need of funding. But remember Mr. Ury declared during a November Mission Viejo council meeting, that Caltrans would force the toll lanes on Orange County. So why would Councilman Ury originally favor the toll lane plan which he knew at that time would strip monies from south county road projects? Thus he was Story continued on page 11...

Federal pressure remains on California to improve traffic flow and usage of single HOV lanes. But many OTCA council members heard your voice and understand the commitment that was made when Orange County voted twice to tax themselves for road improvements, first through Measure M and the second time through Measure M2. “This is part of the promise that was made to the voters,” said OCTA Board member and Irvine councilman Jeff Lalloway. “Let’s follow through on the promises.” Unfortunately, this isn’t necessarily the final word. The toll lane proposal is still supported by the Orange County Business Council, which has long promoted tolls as a way to manage traffic and raise revenue for road repairs. However, in addi-

Community Common Sense

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Story continued from page 1... projects or improvements are required to make a contribution for art installations around the city in order to obtain approval of their projects. On the project I am aware of, the demand was for $10,000, either art of that value to be selected by the applicant and installed on the project site (subject to city approval) or a payment to the city Sculpture at the corner of Crown Valley and for “art” to be installed at some other location Medical Center Drive. in the city. It is unclear details in the Mission Viejo City whether the applicant writing the Outlook Newsletter so that its citicheck would have any say as to the selection of the art to be selected and zens can understand how the city works to make our town a better installed by the city. place to live for our residents and businesses. It seems to me that the city might do a good thing if it would initiDon Wilder is a native southern ate opening the books on the whole Californian and resident of Mispublic art program in all its detail, sion Viejo since 1970. He bought e.g.; what companies and projects his home after returning from Viet have contributed? How many times Nam while serving with the U.S. and how much money? What is Navy. His two children attended the accounting for contributions received and art purchased? What is local schools before attending and the cost of each item of public art in graduating from Cal State Universiour city? Who are the artists for each ties. Don is now retired from the law of the “art” items and what are their department of a major computer manufacturer and services company. credentials? What is the process for selecting each artist and item of art? Questions? Comments? The CCS wants to hear from you! Contact Who in the city has the final say? Mission Viejo Contributing Editor Steve Magdziak at: (949) 441-0499. Maybe the city could publish an article with all the above-described

Scan this code with your smartphone to visit our website for advertisers' coupons and specials. Community Common Sense

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Story continued from page 9... in favor of the toll lanes until he was against them. The proposed south county roadwork Councilman Ury is referring to will be on the I-5 south of El Toro to the 73 Toll Road. One lane will be added in each direction from Avery to Alicia. An extension of the HOV lane from El Toro to Alicia is part of the proposal, as well as adding and extending auxiliary lanes while widening Avery and La Paz interchanges in Mission Viejo. To learn more about these plans here is a link that provides detailed information: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/ parkway-529498-project-viejo.html Supervisor Todd Spitzer led a few members to look at preserving space for the two-lane plan, while Assemblyman Alan Mansoor wants legislation to keep toll-lanes off our freeways. The vote to add a single lane to each side of the 405 still needs support

Community Common Sense

from Caltrans. District Director Ryan Chamberlin is hopeful to have a decision early 2014 and said that Caltrans would want to move forward in a collaborative manner. Ed Sachs and his family have lived in Mission Viejo since 1991. Ed spent 30 years in the consumer electronics industry and was inducted in the Hall of Fame. He retired as President Emeritus at Pioneer Electronics in 2009. Since retirement, Ed has opened his own leadershipconsulting agency while becoming active in the community. In 2012, Ed ran for Mission Viejo City Council. Ed and his wife Leagh, an accomplished and award winning photographer, have two sons, David and Daniel. Questions? Comments? The CCS wants to hear from you! Contact Mission Viejo Contributing Editor Steve Magdziak at: (949) 441-0499.

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Community Common Sense

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Community Common Sense - January 2014  

The CCS is a non-partisan community watchdog publication, distributed monthly to 35,000 homes and businesses in our local communities. We...

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