Guest Opinion: Your Questions Answered

Mayor Allevato responds to a resident’s letter

San Juan Capistrano Mayor Sam Allevato. Courtesy of the city of San Juan Capistrano

San Juan Capistrano Mayor Sam Allevato. Courtesy of the city of San Juan Capistrano

By Sam Allevato, San Juan Capistrano Mayor

I am responding to Mr. Jim Schneider’s letter to the editor that appeared in The Dispatch (“I Want Answers, Mr. Allevato,” December 27, 2013). In this letter, Mr. Schneider requested answers to several issues primarily dealing with the Groundwater Recovery Plant.

I can tell you, Mr. Schneider, the GWRP is now operating at a very efficient level, providing millions of gallons of drinking water daily at a cost less than what we pay for imported Metropolitan Water District Water per acre foot.

The GWRP provides us with the requisite seven days storage capacity. This production capacity is comparable to the city having to locate and building three or four additional storage tanks, which would have come with a much higher price tag.

I believe my decision making is something residents should consider, that is during the election cycle. This is what occurred slightly over a year ago when thousands of residents voted me back into office for my third full term.

This current recall attempt by a small group of residents seeks to disenfranchise those voters’ decisions and is motivated purely by politics. Recalls should be reserved for public officials that have violated the law, committed ethical violations and such, not on one’s voting record.

I am embarrassed for my wonderful city because of this unnecessary and wasteful recall attempt. The true embarrassment is that this recall attempt will cost our residents $100,000 for a special election in July or August, just months before the general election in November. Why not wait until November and allow the electorate to exercise their vote on a candidate’s voting record and decision-making?

Sam Allevato has lived in San Juan Capistrano for more than 37 years. He is currently serving his third term as mayor and was first appointed to the council in March 2004.

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2 Responses to “Guest Opinion: Your Questions Answered”

  1. Joanna Clark
    January 11, 2014 at 10:56 pm #

    I agree with the Mayor, the recall election is a waste of valuable tax dollars by a minority that are opposed to the Ground Water Recovery Plant. These people are either in total denial of what we are facing or just plain ignorant.

    We are in an extended severe drought and this drought is going to continue through and perhaps beyond 2014. Our water, regardless of source is overstress. Climate change, extended severe drought, increasing demands of our growing population, and the extreme demand of the hydraulic fracturing (fracking) industry siphoning off billions of gallons of our drinking water upstream. Lake Mead is turning into a dry lake. It is anticipated that its level will drop 25 feet during 2014, with a 10% chance that it will be a dry lake by the end of 2014. If the Governor signs the bill to allow virtually unrestricted fracking throughout California, we will become a second Texas, where up to 30 towns are about out of water, with Barnhart, Texas the first to have its wells pumped dry. And if a well casing leaks, then the surrounding aquifer becomes contaminated and we have another Hinkley disaster on our hands.

    Two things need to be done immediately: 1) find new and better ways to conserve our water, and 2) send a message to the Governor and legislature that fracking is dangerous and unacceptable. Wecan do this by banning fracking within the City limits of San Juan Capistrano.

    The council should adopt the following resolution at the next City Council meeting:

    The people of San Juan Capistrano, California, have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. San Juan Capistrano’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the City of San Juan Capistrano conserves and maintains them for the benefit of all the people. Therefore, it is resolved that the technology known as hydraulic fracturing (fracking) used to recover oil and gas from shale formation, including the use of injection wells for the storage of fracking waste water and fluids, are permanently banned within the city limits of San Juan Capistrano and its adjoining ocean.

    And then we should thank our council for the courage they have exhibited to make sure San Juan Capistrano has water when the MWD can no longer meet our needs.

    • Jim Schneider
      January 15, 2014 at 9:55 pm #

      All the more reason to have a geologist on the dias.

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