Letter: There’s Value in the Recall

By Christie Smead, San Juan Capistrano

I am writing in response to Mayor Sam Allevato’s opinion column (“Your Questions Answered,” Jan. 10-23), in which he states his “decision making is something residents should consider … during the election cycle.”

I agree that we should consider his decision making. To begin, let’s consider the council’s illegal method of water billing. It was brought to Allevato’s attention on at least two occasions by the Capistrano Taxpayers Association, a volunteer group of residents. Allevato ignored the concerns and proceeded with the billing, which was deemed illegal by Orange County Superior Court Judge Gregory Munoz.

Let’s consider Allevato’s decision to appeal the judge’s ruling, costing us taxpayers many thousands more in additional legal fees.

Let’s consider Allevato’s decision to have news publications removed from city property. This is clearly a violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, state law and our municipal code. This decision is costing us taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars. When a governing entity wants to silence reporting on the government’s activities, it is cause for suspicion and concern. What is he trying to hide?

Let’s consider that Judge James Di Cesare had to step in to temporary put a stay on the newspaper ban. Once again, not just the townspeople find Allevato’s decisions illegal, a judge has as well. Let’s consider the additional cost in attorney fees to continue to pursure, in court, Allevato’s efforts to ban news publications.

New let’s consider the $93,000 to $100,000 in special election cost. This is a one-time expense of just under $5 per household.

Let’s consider that we do have an election in November, but Allevato will not be on that ballot. November is an excellent opportunity to retire councilmen Larry Kramer and John Taylor from their duties too, considering that they have played an integral part in much of Allevato’s folly, including the expensive legal battles we taxpayers are forced to fund.

Allevato states that, “slightly over a year ago … thousands of residents voted me back into office for my third full term.” This is true, but he barely won (by around 300 votes) despite being a nine-year incumbent and outspending his opponents 10-to-1.

Let’s consider the offensive glossy mailers Allevato’s supporters have spent tens of thousands of dollars to create and mail to each of us. It reminds me of something I heard about “the company you keep.”

To finalize this consideration, Allevato states that “recalls should be reserved for public officials that have violated the law, committed ethical violations and such.” In my opinion, he is correct here, and it is obvious that he too sees the value in his recall.

We cannot afford Allevato’s bad decisions. Please support your resident volunteers circulating the recall petitions.

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One Response to “Letter: There’s Value in the Recall”

  1. Joanna Clark
    February 15, 2014 at 10:58 am #

    Personally, I have more important things to spend my money on than a special election.

    People complain about the high cost of water here in San Juan Capistrano. Tier water rates are generally enacted to keep people from wasting water, something we’re running out of, but that doesn’t matter does it? You can always purchased bottled water at 900 times the cost of an equivalent amount of tap water.

    Common sense people complain about our having a ground water recovery plant. My question to them is what are you going to do when the MWD can no longer supply water?

    The Colorado river basin is drying up. Lake Mead is turning into a dry lake . . . don’t believe me, look at the Landsat pictures taken each year since 1985. Lake Mead is less than 1/3 the size it was in 1985. Water level has been dropping at the rate of about 10 feet a year for the past decade. The San Joaquin and Owen’s Valleys are turning into dust bowls thanks to our prolonged drought, growing population, and hydraulic fracturing.

    Yes, hydraulic fracturing. When you frack a well in order to get the last drop of gas or oil out of the shale, you consume between 3 and 5 MILLION gallons of water. You can frack a well 18 times, resulting in 54- to 90-million gallons of water being consumed. Kern county based news media reports that the gas/oil cartel is planning on fracking an additional 1,000 wells. If they do, the water consumed will rise to 54 to 90 BILLION gallons of water. That is enough water to cover the entire state in six to nine inches of water.

    If the drought continues and our population continues to escalate, the only water available will come from our GWRP, and even that will not be sufficient to meet our needs.

    You want to do something useful, get the City Council to pass the following resolution:

    “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.”

    Send a message to Sacramento – BAN FRACKING.

    I seem to recall that Sam Allevato, Larry Kramer and John Taylor are the only ones who support the GWRP. You are going to be grateful that they have had the foresight to maintain the GWRP in the not to distance future.

    Rather than a recall election, I would suggest spending our hard earned money on dual flush toilets, automatic faucets in our sinks, recycle pumps that recirculate the cold water in our hot water pipes back into the cold water pipes until the hot water reaches the faucets, drip irrigation and drought tolerant plants. And if you still want a grass lawn, put in astroturf.

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