Letter: I Want Answers, Mr. Allevato

By Jim Schneider, San Juan Capistrano

Mr. Allevato. Are you responsible for the email (spam) I received today regarding your recall? I’m curious how my email was obtained for this? I don’t remember signing up for it. Since it’s in my inbox, here is my retort.

Should you get recalled? Your email presented no strong reason why you shouldn’t. The information contained is surficial and weak on facts.

I was against you in 2012 and remain so. You and several other current council members are not transparent enough with your decisions. If you truly represented all of the residents, you would disclose concise and clear justification for the decisions you make for us. Who are your constituents in San Juan?

Please help me decide on the recall vote by educating me on your decision making in the following:

Although most of the council claims to possess backgrounds in leadership, no one strikes me as a strong leader. Leaders do by example. How do you represent a majority us all?

The financial decisions you make are the most important issue for residents. Several council members claim to possess strong business sense, yet many contractors you hire in this city to conduct work are typically the lowest or sole bidders. One bid for work does not make a sound decision for the people. You and the council are supposed to be fiscally responsible.

The Groundwater Recovery Plant. As a geologist, I view the San Juan aquifer as usable but not the most desirable for water extraction. The idea was good, but in practice not efficient. Who on the council is educated in life-cycle costing? Who mapped the life-cycle costs for this plant? How could it go awry so quickly? Why does this plant continue to drain our wallets? You and others argue that our water rates were too low over the last ten years and we were lucky. As demand increases, I agree we will pay more for water. I vote to pay Colorado and Los Angeles for the water, not San Juan. At least their rates and rate structures are straightforward. The GWRP functions but does not save residents money. Why is no one on council looking forward 50 years? 100 years? What’s the bidding process for material for the GWRP? Sole source? How does that practice save us residents money?

You might decide that I am only one voter and choose not to respond. That’s fine. I am only one voter, but I do believe I represent a percentage of folks who want answers.

The fact that a vote is out for your recall should embarrass you and the current council. We look like the City of Bell—foolish.

The city demands better, as do I.

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One Response to “Letter: I Want Answers, Mr. Allevato”

  1. Dave Solt
    January 20, 2014 at 6:15 pm #

    Mr. Schneider, no one expects the City Council members to have water plant expertise. (and traffic engineering, city bonds, parks and recreation expertise, etc.) That is why the council is supported by our City Commissions, and the Utilities Commission is one of the sharpest. It includes geologic knowledge, etc. Attend one of their meetings and you’ll be pleased at the wisdom of that group.

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