Lon Uso, Former mayor of San Juan Capistrano

Hi San Juan Capistrano,

It’s been six years since I left. I do miss many of you and think about my beautiful old town often. I have to say that there is life after San Juan, and I am enjoying it to the fullest here in Cool, California.

I have tried to stay out of the city business because the continuing dysfunction is heartbreaking, yet there are a couple of issues that have come up that make it impossible to stay quiet.

I’ll start with the ridiculous recall of Mayor Pro Tem Sergio Farias. There is something much more important you should be seeing here than this recall attempt. You have to look at a sinister group that is so intent in maintaining political control of the city that truth and facts have little meaning. I am talking about Community Common (non) Sense and the people who run it.

My understanding is that Mr. Farias asked for their support and that they gave it to him. Once elected, he realized that some of the things that he promised were impossible to keep, which is very common for newly elected officials. When he would no longer take their marching orders, they turned against him, and so you have this absurd recall.

Some might be skeptical of this scenario, but I have experienced their filthy tactics firsthand. During my unsuccessful reelection campaign, they had two handpicked candidates. They approached me and asked me to run with their cabal as a slate. When I told them that I needed my independence as I didn’t agree with them on some important issues, they reached out to another candidate already running and then turned on me like a pack of rabid dogs. They proceeded to print endless lies about me in their rag knowing that as a public figure, I had virtually no recourse. I guarantee you that if I had kowtowed to them, they would have written very different things about me, but I could have never allowed my vote to be controlled by these people.

I won’t deny that I made some mistakes during my term, but I admitted to all of them because I believed that at the very least, you deserved some honesty.

The second issue is the hotels. You have an opportunity to do something great for San Juan. I know, like and respect the people involved in both of these projects. The fact that these projects have deteriorated into a lawsuit exemplifies the complete lack of leadership from City Hall. There is room for both hotels if accompanied by a comprehensive downtown redevelopment plan. Doing this piecemeal has led to this lawsuit, as they are each trying to capture a small market. The end result could easily mean that you end up with no hotel at all and will continue with a perpetually failing downtown.

I have no dog in this fight, but I hope that in reading this you will be willing to work for Mr. Farias even if you can’t vote for him, because he will need help fighting the influence of this group trying to buy another vote to stay in power.

I also hope that you will reach out to City Hall and tell them that you want them to dust off the old downtown redevelopment plan that you spent a half a million bucks designing and putting together and then sit down with both developers to determine what needs to happen to build both hotels.

Good luck my friends. I wish you all health and happiness, but mostly I wish you peace and good governance—you deserve it.

About The Author Capo Dispatch

comments (23)

  • You were soundly beaten by six other candidates. The voters overwhelmingly rejected you due to your voting record and the comments you continue to make..

    You have not changed. One only needs to google your name to see that.

    • Jim, don’t hide behind the argumentum ad hominem. Address the issues that he raises.

      • If you google Lon Uso and read what he writes, you will see he writes the same thing in Cool, Ca. It is nothing different. Just, Poor pitiful me. The voters all have it wrong. They did not listen to me.

        The bottom line is the voters did listen to Lon Uso. They followed his track record on his voting and he was voted out. The voters saw through him and his whimsical tales.

        If you don’t believe the voters are not smart and read and listen, ask Larry Kramer how he did two elections ago. Ask Larry Kramer how he did in the last election. The fact is, he has slipped lower and lower by the voters no matter how many tens of thousands of dollars he has raised.

        People will no longer tolerate people such as Lon Uso and Larry Kramer. They are both been kicked to the curb by the voters and are both non events politically.

        Is Community Commons Sense a political party or a newspaper?

      • I have no hard feelings with the voters of SJC, they were lied to by special interests that didn’t like the fact that my vote could not be bought or coerced.
        I am very happy with my life here and regret nothing. The people can either accept what I said or not, it will make no difference to me but someone had to show enough guts to expose these malevolent forces controlling the narrative. You must be one of them James

      • The laws that have been broken have been identified for you. It is the District Attorney that enforces the Brown Act. Not the FPPC. Just an FYI.

        Please just go away Dr. Uso.

    • Jim, I won’t deny that I was soundly beaten. If you look at the record you will see that it was not just common sense that dog piled on me, it was the OC Firefighters Union, the Building Industry Association and the Ranch. They spent almost $50,000 to get me off the council because I always stood up for you against those special interests.

      • Stood up for us ? When in the world did you stand up for us? You have stated numerous times that you regret for having voted to purchase the Riding Park.

        Exactly how did you stand up for us there as that was thirty million dollars down the drain?

        Please don’t give us the song and dance that your voting to not purchase the park would not have made a difference. The fact is, you did not stand up for us and this is only one instance. I can give you many more instances.

        You sold our town out.

      • I regretted that vote the day after I cast it and have admitted so many times. It would have then been a 4 to 1 vote but I agree that it was the worst decision I made as a council member, we got ripped off. You had to be in that room during closed session at two in the morning.
        I’m so glad that you’ve been able to elect perfect council members after me.

      • BTW, bring on all the examples you want.

      • You wrote “bring on all the examples you want”. You also said “your vote could not be bought or coerced”. I easily gave you one example of where your vote was coerced to vote for the riding park. Again, you sold the residents of San Juan Capistrano out by not voting for what you believe and being coerced to change your vote. Please don’t insult us by saying it would have not changed anything as it would have been a 4 to 1 vote. It only takes one person and one vote to possibly change the minds of others.

        How in the world could you have allowed Brad Gates into the closed door session of the City Council meeting knowing full well that the Brown Act precludes outside people from being included in closed door City Council sessions. Yet, you believed you were above the law and went ahead and allowed Brad Gates in didn’t you ? Real Property negotiators who are not apart of the City Council, City Manager or City Attorney are prohibited from being in Closed Session.

        Shame on you.

        Would you like more examples on how you sold the residents of San Juan Capistrano out ? Or, is it best that you climb back under the rock in Cool, Ca and I won’t right anymore about your misdeeds.

      • You need to ask the four others about Brad because I clearly voted against him acting as the city’s representative in the negotiations with the ranch and always felt that he had a conflict of interest.
        Look at the record, I am not the one that appointed him to the open space committee which probably was the beginning of the end of my relationship with Mark.
        I am happy to accept the blame for what I did, but this wasn’t one of them. So you may think you know some things about me but obviously you don’t.

      • BTW, I don’t know where you get your Brown Act information or who your legal counsel is but you are wrong. You are allowed to have any number of people that have relevant information testify to the council during closed session, you simply don’t generally discuss the issue or vote with others in the room. Over the years, we had several staff members who had relevant information speak to us in closed session.
        So now there are two things you are wrong about.

      • Not wrong. Government Code (Brown Act) 54956.8 and 54957.6 requires you to identify who will be attending the closed session meetings by name, if other than the City Council, City Manager and City Attorney. Brad Gates was not identified by name on the City Council Closed Session Agenda, resulting in the Brown Act Violation..
        Thank you for admitting the Brown Act violation.

        Do you want to stop digging your hole now (most people would) ? Or, do you want to keep digging your hole deeper ? If you wish, I can reveal more on how you did not stand up for the residents of San Juan Capistrano. Or, you can climb back into your hole in Cool, Ca and leave us residents to clean up your mess.

      • It must be an easy life when you know everything, lol
        Brad was officially selected by the council (not me) to negotiate with the ranch so his participation in bringing information about those negotiations was a necessary part of the process. There was no violation of the Brown Act. If you think otherwise, contact the FPPC, you might get the deal reversed in court 😂.
        The most telling thing here is that you only want to talk about the messenger, not the message. You can’t dispute the statements I made in this letter.

      • And it just struck me how much your ridiculous posts remind me of the lies perpetrated by common nonsense during the election

  • I don’t think Mayor ProTem Faris asked for their help help, I think they gave it thinking they would own him, and because they were mad at his opponent for not granting them an interview. They found out they don’t own him. Now they are using falsehood to try to bully him.
    Mayor ProTem Farias is looking out for the interests of his district and the people of San Juan Capistrano. He has been against the SDGE Expansion since day one, as they well know.

  • San Juan Collective Reply

    Lon – San Juan does do not miss you. Who cares what you think? We could care less about what you have to think or say.

    [This comment has been edited for content.]

  • You did not cast a no vote on the purchase of the Riding Park.

    Now that the Riding Park is going to cost millions and millions in fines, attorney fees and repair work fact exceeding the cost of the purchase of the park by about six fold, the legacy you left the residents by casting a yes vote will impair the residents of our town for generations to try and pay off this debt. Don’t give us the wimpy excuse that your voting yes would not have changed a thing. You don’t know that. You don’t know who else may have been on the fence about casting a yes vote. Instead, you wanted to be apart of the crowd and the boys and cast a yes vote.

    We will be saddled with your poor, poor decision for years.

    It is now wonder why you left town.

  • San Juan Colective, and who cares what you have to say since you hide behind some phony name.

  • Oh, and I left town to be closer to my grandkids so I could watch them grow into wonderful young men.
    It doesn’t hurt that I now have ten beautiful acres where my horses don’t have to worry about some nutbag suing us for a little horse excrement and I can saddle up and ride out of my back gate every day.

  • James, since you weren’t in the room, it is you who doesn’t know what happened in there.
    There were undoubtedly enough votes without mine to do this deal.
    As to the lawsuit, perhaps you should be blaming the evil people who can’t seem to let go of their little vendettas and allow the city to heal.
    You must know who they are since you appear to know everything else. Maybe they are friends of yours and you can talk them into growing a soul so they don’t destroy the equestrian community in town because without that, San Juan is just Laguna Niguel without the revenue.

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