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Councilman Roy Byrnes announced his intent to retire at the Jan. 20 San Juan Capistrano Council Meeting. Photo by Allison Jarrell
Councilman Roy Byrnes announced his intent to retire at the Jan. 20 San Juan Capistrano Council Meeting. Photo by Allison Jarrell

By Allison Jarrell

At the San Juan Capistrano City Council’s Jan. 20 meeting, councilmember and former mayor Roy Byrnes announced his intent to retire from the dais. Following that announcement, the decision was made at the council’s Feb. 3 meeting to expedite the replacement process by appointing a resident to fill the vacancy on Feb. 10.

The City Council was faced with three options for replacing Byrnes at Tuesday’s meeting: appoint a resident to fill the vacancy within 60 days, call a special election to be held no less than 114 days from the decision, or make an interim appointment until the next election. Byrnes’ resignation marks the eighth time there has been such a vacancy on the council, according to city staff. In past cases, the council has chosen twice to appoint an interim council member. The five other replacements were all appointed.

The council voted unanimously to make an appointment that will serve until the 2016 race, and Mayor Derek Reeve requested that the process be expedited with an application deadline of Friday, Feb. 6 and an appointment made at a council meeting on Feb. 10. The motion passed 3-1, with Byrnes recusing himself from the discussion and vote and councilmember Sam Allevato objecting to the accelerated schedule.

Allevato said the deadline was too “aggressive” and that “some people may not get the word in two days.”

“If you’re going to be a City Council member, chances are you know what’s going on,” Reeve said in response to Allevato’s concerns. “As a council member, you’re doing a lot of work on a quick basis. So for me, it’s almost a job interview to get your application in on time.”

As for the process for selecting a new council member, Reeve presented three options Monday night: conducting a public interview, forming an appointment subcommittee or presenting the choices on Feb. 10 and hashing it out themselves. The council voted unanimously for the first option, allowing the candidates to make three-minute presentations at the beginning of public comment on Feb. 10 before making a decision. Council members will also be able to ask clarifying questions of each candidate.

While it wasn’t the intent of the council to discuss possible choices for the vacant seat on Monday night, the majority of residents who spoke during public comment voiced their opinions on the subject, and most of the letters sent to the council also included specific candidates. While some asked for a new voice on the council, others pulled for incumbent Larry Kramer or architect Rob Williams, both of whom lost in the November 2014 election. With 2,788 votes, Kramer was the fourth highest vote getter and lost reelection by 902 votes to councilmember Kerry Ferguson. After incumbent John Taylor, Williams placed sixth in the running with 2,528 votes.

Application forms are available at the City Clerk’s office, located at 32400 Paseo Adelanto, San Juan Capistrano, on the city’s website at sanjuancapistrano.org or by calling 949.493.1171. Completed forms will be accepted at the same office until 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 6. Questions concerning the vacancy may be directed to City Clerk Maria Morris at 949.443.6309 or mmorris@sanjuancapistrano.org.

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comments (190)

  • While I feel a great deal of gratitude and respect for Mayor Byrnes and his wife for their years of public service, I am really disappointed by the timing of his announcement. By delaying his retirement until just after the election, Mr. Byrnes took what was designed to be an elected position and turned it into a political appointment. He could have announced a few months ago and the voice of the people could have filled the seat as they did with the other three candidates who served out their full terms. I would not have voted for Mr. Byrnes when he ran two years ago if he would have stated then his intention to retire mid-term once his political colleagues had secured a majority. A city council seat is not a judicial appointment and retiring from office should not be a political calculation. His action could set a dangerous precedent for future candidates and councils if Mayor Reeves and his new majority do anything other than honor the vote count from the election conducted less than 90 days ago. However we may feel about Larry Kramer, he is the candidate who the residents of San Juan Capistrano voted for and we need to honor that. The new majority has already blocked public votes on two important issues (retirement community and hotel). To ignore the public’s clear and very recently stated preference for the vacant seat would be completely inappropriate.

    • Well said, Lauren. My first reaction was that Dr. Byrnes had conspired with Reeve to insure that their follow colaborater s would gain control of the City Council. While this remains to be proven, the fact that the council voted 3-1 to expedite the application process, allowing only two (2) days to file an application to be considered leads me to believe that this was a well planned conspiracy designed so that Reeve, et. al. would control the council for the next two years and perhaps beyond.

      Larry Kramer was, as Lauren pointed out, the voters choice. He lost by only a few percentage points to Ferguson; consequently, he is the logical choice to fill the vacancy.

      • The voters did not choose Larry Kramer. If they had, he would have been elected.

        Thank you so very much to Dr. Byrnes and his wife Ilsa for devoting 55 years of their lives to our town. San Juan would not be what it is today without either if these two great people,

      • Clint, if Dr. Brynes had submitted his resignation before the election and the vote tally was the same, Larry Kramer would have had the votes to fill the fourth slot. It’s that simple. I would love to see all of the e-mails that Reeve and Brynes exchanged before the election . . . Hmmm, perhaps an FOIA to the NSA might produce them. 🙂

      • Joanna Clark, with all do respect, you can “if” all night long, and be a Monday night quarterback, but this was Dr. Byrnes choice as to when he chose to resign.

      • Clint Worthington,
        The people of SJC did not choose or vote for John Perry either. They did not get the opportunity to choose. The democratic process was circumvented.

      • Shelly Welcome, the people did not vote for Sam Allevato either. He was appointed.

    • Yes, he lost . . . I believe I said that. If there had been one more seat open, he would be on the council today. But Brynes saw too it that his seat would not be open until after the election, so that Reeve, Patterson and you could appoint someone from your gang. Now you have a chance to do the right thing and appoint Larry Kramer.

      The most important and critical issue facing the council today and in coming months, however, is the safety of our water supply, yet no mention of it on any published agenda of the council to date. Tell me, if the drought continues and the state runs out of water, what are you going to do?

      Towns in Northern California are already trucking in water. The farmers in the Central gallery are leaving land fallow because there is insuffient water to grow their crops. More than 17,000 have lost their jobs there and agriculture has racked up more than $2.2 billion in losses. Food prices will escalate right along with the food price increase.

      As water becomes more scarce, the water districts will be bidding against each other and the price of water will escalate. Don’t believe me? Check out Santa Barbara. They bid the unheard of price of $1600 an acre foot last summer. The winning bid was $2300 an acre foot. So, what are you and Patterson and Reeve going to do to guarantee the safety of our water supply, as well as keeping it affordable for the poorest among us?

  • Please note: Per Orange County Registrar of Voters, Larry Kramer was 902 votes behind Kerry Ferguson.

    • Thanks for letting us know Kerry. We’ve fixed the error.

    • Kerry Ferguson,
      I sent you two e-mails concerning the parking on Lacouague and you did not respond. You respond here about vote count but not to an issue that affects hundreds of SJC children. Why?

  • Apparently folks don’t understand that the voters rejected Mr. Kremer becaue he became nothing less that a second vote for Allevado. 60% of the vote demanded that the three incumbents were no longer in control.

    • No poor losers, Jerry. Just questions. Why didn’t Dr. Brynes announced his retirement BEFORE the election so the voters could fill the position? Instead he timed his retirement announcement AFTER the election so council could appoint another from their group.

      Larry Kramer was the 4th highest vote-getter in the election. If Dr. Byrnes had retired before the election, there would have been no need to appoint someone to fill his seat. The voters would have decided, and by the count, we would not have to go through this travesty.

      It certainly looks like Reeve and Byrne colluded so as to guarantee they — the council — could appoint someone of Reeve’s liking. And, yes, as one writer wrote, it “could set a dangerous precedent for future candidates and councils if Mayor Reeves and his new majority do anything other than honor the vote count from the election conducted less than 90 days ago.”

      Yes, the public did speak, and the council should listen to all its residents.

    • Yep, Dan -no doubt that Allevato, Kramer and Taylor are political allies who were soundly rejected by the majority of San Juan voters – something some of their political allies posting on this page want to conveniently overlook.

      • Kim McCarthy was also rejected by the citizens of SJC.

      • Barb, you allege that the voters rejected Allevato. I don’t think so, since he’s still on the board.

      • Incurable Optimist

        I was never great at math, however I am sure that the 3 council members who won the election with 49% of the vote did not get anywhere close to a “landslide”, when 51% of the voters did not vote for them. I don’t care how many votes the 3 got individually, they did not get a majority of all votes that were cast in SJC! Seems like the majority of residents actually DID NOT want the the 3 elected – they just couldn’t decide who would b best out of the 5 other well qualified candidates we were offered.

      • Shelly Welcome, interesting rejected by the voters. When I checked, Kim McCarthy received 4,793 votes. Almost double the amount of 2,000 plus votes that Larry Kramer received. Kim only finished behind Sam Allevato by 441 votes. Rejected. I don’t think so.

      • @ Clint, and yet hardly a landslide or a mandate. In plurality elections involving fewer candidates those candidates will receive more votes. If you are allowed to vote for three then everyone will vote for three and if there are only five candidates (versus say 10 candidates) then each of those five candidates will receive far more votes than each of the 10 candidates do. In fact, some winning candidates from the 10 party slate might have fewer votes than a loser from the 5 party slate. Comparing vote totals between different plurality elections is meaningless. Everyone should understand that.

      • T. Blankenship, 442 votes is all that separated Sam Allevato from losing the election.

      • Clint Worthington,
        Kim lost her election therefore she was “rejected” as defined by Barb who I was responding to. Read her comment above. I don’t know how Allevato was “rejected” though when he won his election over Kim.

      • Clint Worthington and Barb,
        In this 2014 election there were 9 candidates who split the vote with only 17.7% voter turnout. In the 2012 election there were 5 candidates (6 if you count Kaffen) with 32% voter turn out. Sam Allevato received more votes in the last election then Pam Patterson who was the highest vote getter in this election. More SJC citizens actually went to the polls and voted for Sam Allevato than for Pam Patterson. More SJC citizens voted for Kim McCarthy and Ginny Kerr in the last election than for Pam Patterson. 51% of the voters in SJC voted for others in this last election. In this last election the vote was split by a big field. And it had low voter turn out. Each election is different.

      • Shelly Welcome, so is your point every election is different ?

      • Clint Worthington,
        Yep, that was my point. Someone suggested that Kim McCarthy be appointed because she came in third in the 2012 election. She lost.

        The voters voted in this election for 3 candidates. Roy Byrnes is resigning right after the election. In this last election the 4th place vote getter was Kramer. Out of 9 people Kramer came in 4th.

        If he would have retired before the election then SJC would have voted for 4 people. Kramer would have won.

        I did not vote for Kramer but many people did and the their votes should be respected. But the council instead appointed a friend.

        If it were reversed and the former council appointed a political friend would you be okay with that? If not then why?

      • Shelly Welcome, it is an appointment, not an election process. In all of the appointments that have been made for a city council member there is no history of any city council member being appointed by the next vote getter in the election process.

        This is an appointment, not an election. No other city council in SJC has appointed someone to fill the remainder of a term in the manner you described. None.

      • Shelly Welcome – you stated:
        “If he (Byrnes) would have retired before the election then SJC would have voted for 4 people. Kramer would have won.”

        You are forgetting one very important fact. If Byrnes had stepped down prior to the election then there would have been 4 open seats instead of 3, and therefor all voters would have been able to cast 4 votes instead of 3. All the people that voted for the three that ran as a slate (that won convincingly) would have had an addition vote. Guessing how the vote would have turned out would be just that, a guess. But to assume Kramer would have won the 4th seat requires a stretch of the imagination. More likely what would have happened is that the slate would have endorsed a 4th candidate and that person would have won the 4th seat.

        Furthermore, the logic that Byrnes planned the timing until after the election so that John Perry or someone similar could be appointed by the new majority seems risky if that was his plan. He would have had to know that the slate was going to sweep the election and I think most people were shocked by the results. If either Kramer or Taylor had won a seat (most people that I know that they were both going to be re-elected), then this would have completely backfired. I personally appreciate the years of service that Roy Byrnes dedicated to our City and wish him well.

      • Mike, excellent points.

      • Clint Worthington,
        It is an appointment and it is cronyism to appoint a friend or political ally to a position of power. You have not answered my question. Would you have been okay if it were reversed and the former council had appointed friend?

      • Mike,
        I have no idea who would have won if Roy Byrnes would have stepped down before the election. All I know is that he did not leave it up to the people to decide his replacement. He left it up to three political allies. Not very democratic. 51% of the voters of SJC voted for other candidates. The 4th candidates would not have been running on the same slate. Maybe they would have been someone not on one side or the other. Roy Byrnes did not give the people of SJC the opportunity to decide for themselves. So much for being a “watch dog” and advocate for the people.

      • Shelly Welcome, there is not requirement for Dr. Byrnes to do what you asked. None. Keep in mind Shelly that in 100% of the situations that this has happened in San Juan, the city council has appointed someone to flu fill the remaining term. What you are asking Shelly is for something that our city council has not history of doing.

      • Clint Worthington,
        No, there is no requirement but if you are going to put yourself out there as a watchdog of the people then you should actually allow the people to vote for who they want to represent them. You should actually represent and believe in the democratic process you represent. Roy Byrnes left it up to three political allies and it seems intentional. I do not believe he would have stepped down if his three allies were not in office. He may be a great guy and represented the city well but in this case he did not. This is manipulating the process. The city council should have really considered this. And the vote count. 51% of the voters of SJC elected someone else. They should have respected this. These people claimed they would represent all and be transparent but appointing a political ally and friend is no representing all. It is cronyism. It does nothing to heal our city. Who ever they appointed they still would have had the majority. They could have stepped up beyond the fray and act like real leaders. And it is better to have diverse group of a people who will discuss and debate decisions instead of just vote in lock step.

      • Shelly Welcome, yet, you had no problem or voiced any displeasure when Sam Allevato was appointed did you ?

      • Clint Worthington,
        Yes, I did. And I did not vote for Sam Allevato. So what is your point?

      • Clint Worthington,
        The point is the current council exercised cronyism. Pure and simple. This current board appointed a friend and political ally. They manipulated and circumvented the democratic process. You can deny this or try to explain it away or try to justify it. You do this because you voted for these people. I doubt you would be happy and accepting if it were other people who made an appointment. If people run on a platform to be transparent and a “watch dog” for the people then they should actually do what they say. But as we can see it is politics as usual. And campaign promises were broken in this appointment. They talked the talk but they did not walk the walk. Very disappointing.

      • Shelly Welcome, the law was followed as required for appointing someone. If you are unhappy with that, then change the law. What is not transparent about not following the law ?

      • Clint Worthington,
        The council exercised cronyism. They appointed a friend and political ally. You, Clint, feel it is okay but many do not and so the battle goes on with no olive branch to heal any of it. Sometimes people step up and act like real leaders and sometimes they do not. In this case this council did not and it is very disappointing.

      • @Shelly, it’s not cronyism if Perry is qualified for the position.

      • Pat, I agree John Oerry is very well qualified for the position.

      • It is cronyism when other people who applied were just as qualified or more qualified. And it is cronyism when the definition of “qualified” is defined by political allies. Along with others who applied John Perry may be a competent candidate but his appointment did nothing to heal our city. It served to stoke the fires. It did not show true leadership or a willingness to represent all SJC citizens. All the campaign promises were just fluffy rhetoric. Just recognize this. You can agree with the appointment but just recognize that this council really could have done something to heal our city a little of the acrimony. But it did not.

  • Sounds like a lot of Taylor/Kramer “poor losers” here. I think this council is doing a great job so far and look forward to the positive “building up” of our community once again. Dr. Byrnes was a great political leader in San Juan and many will miss this presence on the council.

    I suggest Ms. Welcome volunteer her time her time and do pedestrian and traffic control on Lacouague instead of whining and complaining. Let’s see how long that would last! By the way, I remember the days when the only traffic on Lacouague were horses and their riders – very happy days!

    • Mr. Nieblas,

      I have lived in SJC for 19 years and I find that the politics in this town are very confrontational and dysfunctional. People should be able to disagree but remain civil. The problem is there seem to be two very strong sides and if you disagree with one side or the other insults are heaped on you. I comment to advocate for children.

      • outweighs

      • After 63 years of living here, I stand by my comments.

      • I stand by mine also. I am sure many things have changed in 63 years. Did you expect them to stay the same or only things you wanted to stay the same? I advocate for kids. As I stated in my not yet posted comment I volunteer at my kids schools and at Kinoshita. I am willing to volunteer to help monitor traffic and pedestrians on Lacouague and I am sure there are other willing volunteers because it helps the children of SJC. It would be only 10 to 15 minutes out of my day.

      • I stand by my post also. And I would volunteer Mr. Nieblas if it helps kids in SJC.

      • Mr. Nieblas,
        I posted earlier but my posts are not posting. But I would volunteer especially to keep public spaces open to the public. It would only be 10 to 15 minutes out of my day.

    • Mr. Nieblas,
      Why the rudeness? I do not know you and I have not been rude to you or anyone but if that is the way you need to behave towards another resident who you may not agree with so be it. I volunteer my time at my children’s schools and Kinoshita. If SJC needs a guard there to do pedestrian and traffic control I would gladly volunteer if it helps the kids of San Jan Capistrano. Since it would only be 10 to 15 minutes out of my day when I pick up kids it would not be too hard. I am sure there are many who would volunteer. It takes a village to raise kids. These are the kids of SJC who are affected by this. Instead of helping the children of SJC the current council has made it harder for them because they feel the needs of a few people who cannot tolerate 10 to 15 minutes of traffic on a public street outside the gates of their neighborhood outweighs the needs of 100s of SJC children who attend SJHHS. Kerry Ferguson and others campaigned to listen to the people and be transparent. I wrote her and all the council members e-mails about Lacouague and I only heard back from Sam Allevato. I am wondering how many of the current council members live in or near those neighborhoods on San Juan Creek. How many of their adamant supporters? Have a lovely day.

    • Mr. Nieblas,
      Kerry Ferguson and others campaigned to be transparent and listen to the people, not just a few people. I e-mailed all the council members about this issue and only heard back from Sam Allevato.

    • Let’s put it another way, Jerry. It doesn’t matter who the fourth runner up was. The fourth runner up should be the one filling the empty seat. In this case it is Larry Kramer. If Kim McCarthy had been the fourth runner up, then she would be entitled to fill the empty slot. If you were the fourth runner up, then you’d be entitled to fill the slot. It has nothing to do with who is a poor loser.

      • Where does it state that “the fourth runner up should be filling the empty seat”? Oh, that’s right; it doesn’t state that anywhere. That apparently is Joanna Clark’s dictate.

      • Barb, if Brynes had resigned BEFORE the election, we would not be having this discussion. Kramer would have been elected.

      • I’m not aware of any law, but that is generally how it is decided. Like I’ve said previously, but you chose to apparently ignore is that if Brynes had announced his retirement BEFORE the election, then there would have been four seats open, not three, and Larry Kramer would have been reelected.

        The sad part is that not all eligible voters bothered to vote. I think we should follow Australia’s lead, if you are an eligible voter and you don’t vote, you get fined. Problem is their $100 fine is chump change to many. I’d rather see first offense, $100 fine; second offense, $1000 file; third offense we escort the voter to the border, take their passport, and tell them have a nice life and don’t come back. A lot of good people died over the past 200+ years to give us the right to vote, and by not voting we disrespect their sacrifice.

  • I’ve got you beat Jerry. I remember a time on Lacouague when I could walk out of my cave and club anything that walked by. Times change and you need to change with them or become extinct like the dinosaurs.

  • Obviously the city council does not want to give all SJC residents a real chance to submit applications- due date is THIS Friday FOR A CITY COUNCIL POSITION. Absurd.
    We all know that there are only one or two applicants that they even care about.

  • Welcome to politics Lauren Woodland, Joanna Clark & Martha Vera…it doesn’t always turn out the way you want it to. Besides, it seems to me that whoever wants the vacancy bad enough, will get an application filled out & turned in with time to spare.

    • Well said and right to the point!

    • And wifeofhandsome, you are? No, it doesn’t always turn out the way you want it, but then, you don’t often see a board member waiting until the day after the election to announce his or her retirement, so that the board can appoint someone to their liking with the same agenda.

  • I agree with Lauren. Three seats on the current council were filled by the same election results, for them to deny the person that received the next highest number of votes would be against the very thing they campaigned on – listening to the people. They also claim to be against “closed door deals” yet it sure seems to me that there must be some collusion here between Dr. Byrnes and Mayor Reeve… I left out Patterson and Ferguson because they were obviously too busy gathering signatures in front of grocery stores.

    Actions speak louder than words.

  • I am no fan of the current city council but frankly I think they should just go ahead and double down on the madness by appointing Clint or one of the two Kims. For pure entertainment value that wins my vote. What’s the difference anyway? I am not aware of any council votes that require a super-majority so whether votes are 4 -1 or 3 – 2 it doesn’t matter. The appointee is only going to be around until the next election cycle anyway. Go for it City Council! Embrace your dark side. Alternatively the entire City Council could just resign and Jerry Nieblas could just run the city as a dictator. After all he’s been here 63 years and has roots going all the way back. That means whatever he says is always right and anyone who thinks otherwise is always wrong. What’s the point in arguing with him? Hey Jerry, remember that time we were remembering about remembering?? Remember?!?

  • While I am posting, I’d like to add that before last month I had never watched a city council meeting. Nor would I Google news search San Juan City Council. The last meeting seemed so juicy though that I watched the video on the city website. I have to say, it strikes me that Mayor Reeve has risen to the occasion and is doing a good job as mayor. On the other hand I was disappointed by Pam Patterson. Every time she speaks I can hear the persecution complex. Despite the fact she was the top vote getter she seems to feel everyone is out to get her. What struck me most was a Jan 14 story in the OC Register that said in a meeting Pam “accused City Attorney Hans Van Ligten and City Clerk Maria Morris of illegally interfering with the referendum process” but Mayor Reeve came to their defense, he told the Register that the City Council had determined the allegations lacked merit. Furthermore,” said Reeve, “Maria Morris has faithfully served the residents of San Juan Capistrano for 15 years and we as residents are fortunate and blessed to have her as our city clerk.” Way to go Mayor Reeve! Let me be the first to say I may have misjudged you in the past. I apologize for that. Please keep up the good work. To Pam I would say, you have a lot to learn. Stop worrying so much about what is going on to your left at the council meetings and start paying a little more attention to the person on your right. You could learn a lot.

  • If the council took the course that some are suggesting, which is to select “the next top vote getter” in the election to replace Dr. Byrnes, then the fair thing to do would be to go back to the 2012 election in which Dr. Byrnes was elected. The next top vote getter in that election was Kim McCarthy, who lost to Sam Allevato by about 230 votes.

    Perhaps we should ask the council members to consider appointing Kim McCarthy.

    Whether or not that happens, what I do acknowledge is that the majority of the residents soundly rejected Larry Kramer, and the Sam Allevato council majority and the direction they were taking our town.

    That said, whatever the council decides to do, it is their decision and I as a resident will support it.

    • If Kim McCarthy is selected then it is true manipulation and cronyism.

    • Jan S – very interesting background comment and well said!

    • I really can’t follow this type of thinking Jan S. – Go back to Dr. Byrnes’ running mate from 2012? Isn’t she the lady that runs the paper that sued the city so their now empty newspaper racks can sit in front of city hall? She and her paper are old news now that their usefulness in getting the Reeve triplets in the seats is over.

      • Is it possible Common Sense newspaper was never a true newspaper, but rather a political hit piece used over for years with no fact check to spread rhetoric? Yep!

    • If we take that line of reasoning, then perhaps we should go back to the second election of council members and work forward until we find one still living and able to serve.

  • If Kim McCarthy is appointed Roy Byrnes timing of his resignation is just one big political manipulation. It would not be about democracy and fairness and the American system of government but it would be like back door politics blatant and outright dishonest.

  • Dr. Byrnes can choose to retire whenever he wants to.
    Kerry Fergueson can choose whether or not to respond to an email.
    The city council majority can give a 3 day window for receiving applicants to fill the vacancy on city council.
    People can gather signatures.
    People can make their assumptions, hurl accusations and express their opinions – it’s called FREEDOM. Whether you like it or not, the current council will select from those applications, someone to fill the vacancy. IF you are opposed to those sitting in the council seats, get off your butts when the next election nears and do something about it. And, I can guarantee you that NO MATTER WHO fills those seats the next time around, there will be people who are unhappy with the results.

    • T. Blankenship and wifeofhandsome, way to go with the GREAT comments!!

    • wifeofhandsome,

      Yes, people can do what they do. Freedom. But people in power who represent the people should respect the will of the people and should act transparently and ethically. They should respect the democratic process. Roy Byrnes could have retired 3 months earlier and gave the decision of his replacement to the people of SJC but he did not. And it is okay if people are suspect of the timing of this retirement, and it is okay if people feel the democratic process has been manipulated. Freedom and all that jazz.

    • SHE’S back!!

      • Yep – still rambling.

      • Jerry Nieblas and Wifeofhandsome,

        Why not just respond specifically to what I write. What specifically do you have an issue with? Why is it rambling? Why is it whining to disagree with the council decisions? Was it whining when you disagreed with the former council’s decisions?

        Why not just stick to commenting instead of subtle insults.

        You actually do not know me nor do you know who I voted for or where I stand except on a few issues. I support democracy, I support letting SJC citizens and their children park on a public street, and I do not support the appointment of a person who spreads discrimination against many of our city’s citizens.

        This appointment actually could heal some of the bitterness between the two sides. We will see if the current leaders of our city steps up to this challenge.

      • But well said, who ever you are.

      • Jerry, don’t be rude.

    • Wifeofhandsome,
      I love how people justify unethical behavior. So you are saying it’s acceptable for a City Council member to ignore public requests for a response. Ridiculous!

  • Why Shelley? Because you don’t like McCarthy? Based on your comments, I’m guessing that according to you, any appointment besides Sam Allevato’s pick would be because of some “political manipulation” conspiracy.

    What happened to the need for “civility”?

    By the way, speaking of civility, I don’t live in any of the neighborhoods off San Juan Creek Road, but I know people who do. Where is the “civility” or in fact any concern at all for the residents that have to put up with idling cars, trash and traffic so backed up that residents in the gated community at the end of San Juan Creek road cannot use their side entrance because of YOUR need to get YOUR kid to school at San Juan Hills? I am guessing here that you never uttered a peep about the location of that school when it was first built and now you are ticked off at the neighbors who have a legitimate concern about YOUR rudeness in turning their neighborhood street into a parking lot.

    I guess “civility” only applies to what YOU want.

    • Jan – you make some very good points.

    • Jan S.,
      I offered you my opinion and I did it civilly without insults to you.

      Yes, it would be cronyism to appoint Kim McCarthy. I do not think they should appoint Sam Allevato’s pick either because that also would be cronyism and manipulation.

      Last time I checked Lacouague is a public street and my children do not throw trash in the street, nor do I idle my car in front of any neighborhood outlet. When I go to pick up my child I park and wait and follow the law. My concern was for the children of SJC who park there in order to save money or for convenience.

      The traffic occurs for 10 to 15 minutes out of this neighborhoods day and why would these neighbors park outside of their gated community.

    • Jan S.,
      Lacouague is a public street. Right? We pay taxes for the upkeep of that street. Right? There is traffic all over SJC at certain times of day. I didn’t know only certain people are supposed to be exempt from it.

      I think appointing a friend and campaign supporter would be unethical.

      I think appointing a neutral party would be better or listening to the will of the people who voted in the last election. Voting and democracy and will of the people and all that jazz. Even SJC Americans and Common Sense should understand that, right? Roy Byrnes is resigning now not in 2012. Right? He could have resigned before the election but he didn’t. Why? I don’t know but if Kim McCarthy is appointed then I do know.

    • Jan S.
      And as a matter of fact I did vote against the high school and wrote letters that building a high school near a dump and near power lines was not a good idea. Did you? Maybe, I don’t know. But the high school is here. And SJC kids attend this school and they had nothing to do with the politics of how it came to be. Kids walk home on that trail and they walk down to be picked up by their parents who are RESIDENTS and TAXPAYERS of SJC. I apologize for the 10 to 15 but probably actually 5 minute inconvenience these people must suffer trying to get into their gated community. These are SJC kids. It takes a village to raise them. Sorry you seem to see these bright wonderful kids as an inconvenience.

      • Now who is being insulting and rude?

      • Barb,
        How is my comment addressing specifically what Jan S. wrote rude. I disagree with her. I did not say she is “whining” or “rambling”.

      • Shelley: “Sorry you seem to see these bright wonderful kids as an inconvenience” isn’t just a rude comment, it’s smarmy.

        You holier-than-thou attitude is part of the problem IMO.

      • Read what she wrote and I responded to this.

      • Barb,
        In my opinion, the problem is that if anyone posts any opposing view is attacked and insulted. She actually I addressed what she said and I did not attack her. This is the problem with SJC. Be civil. Argue and debate are great but when they always degrade into personal attacks then the conversation does not move forward.

        The current SJC council actually could have addressed some of this acrimony but it chose not to. It appointed a fellow contributor to the Common Sense. This is called cronyism. I posted the definition. Do you feel this was okay? Would you have felt differently if the previous council had appointed one of its political allies? I wonder if I will get an answer to this one or another insult? This is a democracy or more technically a republic form of government. How were the candidates vetted? What was the criteria for selection?

      • Shelly Welcome, just to give you a heads up, Sam Allevato also wrote and contributed to Community Common Sense. So, your comment just does not hold water.

      • Clint Worthington,
        Common Sense endorsed Patterson, Ferguson, Byrnes and Reeves. Common Sense advocated against Allevato and Kramer. Reeves is an attorney and represented the Common Sense. John Perry is or was an editorial board member of the Common Sense. So my argument holds water. Speaking of water are you going to demand that this council immediately bring down water rates, let everyone use as much as they want without any added cost to them, and get all our water from MWD?

      • Shelly Welcome, sorry I disagree for all the reasons previously stated.

        No Shelly, no need to demand that the water rates be decreased. The Orange County Superior Court already ruled the water rates ILLEGAL. In addition the Orange County Superior Court also ruled that charging residents for recycled water that they don’t receive is also illegal. The Appeals Court has already heard the oral arguments, just waiting for the decision from the appeals court. That should bring you up to date.

      • Clint Worthington,
        The price of water is about the same and will be the same for most of us because that is the price of water right now. A tiered rate for water is not illegal. So are you going to demand that they lower the rate? The courts do not get to decide the rate.

      • Clint Worthington,
        Are you going to demand of this council that SJC get all its water from MWD like you did of the last council? Remember when you stated that MWD had been a reliable source of water for 100 years (even though it is not 100 years old) so no need to worry because there was plenty of water. Do you still feel the same and if so can you please explain your reasoning.

      • Shelly Welcome, no one said a tiered water rate is illegal. However, the way the city calculated the tiered water rate is illegal. Again Shelly, there is no need to demand that the water rates be lowered as the water rates have already been determined by the Orange County Superior Court to be ILLEGAL. They water rates have already been adjudicated by the court.

      • Clint Worthington,

        Are you going to demand that SJC get all its water from MWD like you did of the former council? Are you going to demand that they shut down the ground water recovery plant? SJC has cut its water usage under the leadership of the previous city councils.

        The tiered rates were not illegal. So people who complained and complain about their water bills should actually start finding ways to use less water.

        Water is a limited resource in Southern California. Remember when you said I wasn’t.

      • Shelly Welcome, for the third time, no one said tiered water rates were illegal. However, the way the city calculated the tiered water rates the Orange County Superior Court ruled was ILLEGAL.

        Sorry Shelly, it is the people who cut the water usage, not the city councils.

      • Clint Worthington,
        Are you trying to say that people just spontaneously cut their water? The tiered rates and higher cost of water did not help? Really????

      • Clint Worthington,
        You didn’t answer my question about the MWD? Remember when you insisted there was plenty of water and the MWD had been a stable source for 100 years (even though it has not existed for 100 years) so there was no need to worry. Are you going to insist that the current council get all our water from the MWD because that is what you were advocating for before?

      • Shelly Welcome, why not cut expenses ? Don’t you think $175,000 for a Customer Service Supervisor in compensation is a little bit much ? Or, the 21 employees in the utility department who all make over $100,000 a year. Expenses can easily be cut. A little research goes a long way.

      • Clint Worthington,
        You still have not answered my question about MWD. Are you going to insist to this council that SJC get all its water from MWD? Yes or no?

      • Clint Worthington,
        Please cite your sources.

      • Shelly Welcome, City documents.

      • Clint Worthington,
        Post a link to your numbers please.

      • Shelly Welcome,
        I know you asked Clint to post a link to compensation figures, but I’ll help you out. Everything is on the City’s website, the best place is in the annual budget documents. Here is a direct link to the 2013 numbers:

        http://www.sanjuancapistrano.org/modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=29831

        The 2015 numbers are obviously higher because a pay raise was instated not long ago, but this document will give you a feel for how well our City staff is compensated. The customer service supervisor on this document shows $128,803 (I believe it’s now > $140,000 after the pay raise but I’m not certain). This is not the $175,000 that Clint said, but he may have be confusing it with the Utilities Director at $224,774, not sure. Either way, the numbers are all there to verify for yourself.

        2013 Total Compensation:

        Executives
        City Manager $327,283
        Development Services Director $319,956
        Chief Financial Officer $251,696
        Utilities Director $224,774
        HR Manager $178,812
        Community Services Manager $156,775
        City Clerk $145,719

        Another 47 employees earning well over $100,000 in total compensation

        Some highlights:
        Plant Operator $203,812
        Assistant Utilities Director $198,031
        Code Enforcement Manager $185,284
        Water Construction Inspector $167,925
        Public Works Manager $151,685
        Assistant Public Works Director $212,426
        Emergency Services Manager $150,027
        Utilities Engineer $180,314
        Utilities Superintendent $142,624
        Utilities Operator III $147,665
        Utilities Operator II $124,892
        Utilities Operator I $121,097
        Utilities Operator II $116,229
        Utilities Operator III $114,191
        Utilities Operator II $111,216
        Utilities Operator II $110,117
        Water Conservation Coordinator $117,054

      • Clint Worthington,
        You still have not answered the question about MWD. Are you going to demand that this city council get all of our water from MWD. This is what you asked of the former council. Yes or no?

      • Mike,
        Thanks for the numbers and the link.

      • Clint Worthington,
        So according to the numbers that Mike posted there is no customer service rep who makes $175,000. And there are engineers and operators who make over $100,000 a year. Is this more than other people in this field make? And since public utilities and water is important in fact essential to life and since it is complicated running a plant of any kind I think paying people who are qualified to manage it and operate it is also important. Don’t you? Would you prefer they make less? How much do you feel that we should be paying them and how does this compare to other cities?

        And you still have not answered the MWD question.

    • Jan S.,
      Their neighborhood streets are behind gates. Lacouague is a public street.

    • What made you think I was commenting about you???

    • Barb,
      have you watched the last 3 council meetings? The new council constitutes a monkey court. No need for public comment, they made up their minds in advance and somehow know what we want without listening. History repeats. New Junta, worse abuse.

  • People talking about “democracy” and “fairness” of the process to fill a council vacancy must have either not known about Sam Allevato’s appointment process in 2004 or maybe they forgot. But I remember. Sam Allevato had not even run as a candidate – he was never on the ballot. He simply submitted an application and was not even interviewed by the council – they just voted to appoint him.

    So much for democracy.

    • Barb,
      So do you feel it was okay for the council to appoint political ally?

      • Shelly if the table was reversed and the former council were in power, would you expect they would appoint Reeve if he had finished 4th? Elections have consequences.

      • You’re kidding, right? Do you really believe that the previous council majority who voted for nearly everything in lock step were not political allies? If so then you are more hopelessly naïve then you appear.

      • Barb and Pat,
        Let’s see what this current council does. Will they elect a friend and political ally, another common sense contributor?

        If this were reversed how would you feel about the appointment of a political ally? Would you be okay with the former council’s appointment?

        This current council could go a long way in ending some of the political acrimony by this appointment. We will see what happens.

        And I am not in either camp. I have specific issues with both sides.

    • Jan – Thanks for that reminder 🙂

    • oops! I meant Barb, not Jan….sorry.

    • Barb, were their any candidates that didn’t get enough votes to get elected, like this time? If there were, like this time, then I would say the board should not have appointed Allevato, but rather should have appointed the candidate with the most votes. Like him or hate him, Larry Kramer ran and received the most vote after Ferguson, and he should fill the slot vacated by Brynes. If Brynes had resigned before the election we would not be having this debate now.

    • Pat,
      I would expect them to do the right thing. The right thing would be to not exercise cronyism. I think they should either appoint a neutral person who is qualified or to respect the democratic processes and respect the voters of SJC and go back to the last election. Otherwise the timing of Roy Byrnes retirement is suspect and the behavior and every vote the council makes is suspect. Why not try to end the acrimony in our town and behave like true leaders? If you believe one group would have behaved badly then does that make it right for another group to behave unethically, badly, and deceptively?

      • Shelly, you didn’t answer the question.

      • Pat,
        I did answer your question. The right thing in your scenario would be to appoint Reeves. And if Reeves was the 4th in an election to get 3 council members and someone retired right after the election then Reeves should be appointed or a neutral party appointed. I would have encouraged the council in your scenario to respect the will of the people.

        So Pat, what is your opinion.> Who do you think should be appointed?

      • Pat,
        You didn’t answer the question.

      • Just because you disagree with a decision doesn’t make it cronyism. I would have voted for Evan Chaffee, but the council explained why they thought Perry was most qualified.

      • @ Pat, I agree with you there. I would have voted for Evan too and if the City Council was interested in healing the divisions in this community that would have been their pick. Picking Perry is the political equivalent of giving the middle finger to the 51% of the votes cast for the non-CCS slate. And people, that is “votes”, not “voters”! Mayor Reeve actually gave a very cogent analysis at meeting on how to analyze the results of a plurality election. One speaker, Mark Speros (sp?) gave the most ridiculous comparison I have ever heard in my live. He compared the vote total of three candidates combined against the vote total of one single candidate. That analysis defies the basic laws of math!

      • Pat,
        Cronyism. Appointing a friend to a position of power. The person they appointed was involved in all their campaigns and worked with some at the Common Sense. These people stated they would be transparent and fair and listen to the will of the people. 51% of the people wanted someone else. So is appointing their friend the will of the people and being democratic? No.

      • Shelly Welcome, just to give you a heads up, Sam Allevato also contributed to Community Common Sense, so your comment does not hold water.

      • Clint Worthington,
        But Sam Allevato didn’t appoint someone that he campaigned with. This current council did. And we all know that there are two groups in this town that fight. The one labelled the “good ole boys” and the one labelled the “Common Sense” . But there are many more San Juan Capistrano residents who are outside the fray who are not in either group and this current council did not respect or represent them. This council appointed a friend. It is cronyism. And it does nothing to heal the city of its acrimony. They could have stepped up and actually represented more people than just their friends. They could have chosen a neutral party or respected the democratic process. If the tables were reversed and the “good ole boys” were in charge would you be comfortable with their appointment? Be honest.

      • Shelly Welcome , Larry Kramer also wrote for Community Common Sense. When Sam Allevato was appointed, he was appointed because he thought of like mind of the City Council.

        Both Sam Allevato and Larry Kramer have written for Community Common Sense. It is curious how you label a newspaper a political party. Under your scenario, that makes Kramer and Allevato part of that “political party” that you have labeled doesn’t it ? So when you say the person who was appointed was because of cronyism, that is not true is it ?

      • Clint Worthington,
        If you don’t like the Common Sense label then use whatever name you want for your group. But who did the Common Sense endorse as candidates? Definitely not Allevato or Kramer or Taylor. This paper advocated against those candidates. Allevato and Kramer were guest contributors but did not have a title or job with the Common Sense political advocacy paper. Common Sense endorsed Byrnes, Reeves, Patterson, and Ferguson. Please be honest, Clint. John Perry is a friend and political ally of these people and if you say he is not you are not being honest. When a political ally and friend is appointed to a position of power when other candidates may be more qualified it is cronyism. You and others constantly accused the former board of being dishonest so just be honest. Don’t deny it. It may be legal but it is not what this current council ran on.

      • Shelly Welcome, and the Orange County Register endorsed them and the Republican Party endorsed them also. Community Common Sense is a newspaper not a political party. Your statement makes as much sense as saying is is the Orange County Register Party who endorsed them also. These are the names you had labelled people with. It is not my group. I was just pointing out that the label you had given people was incorrect. A newspaper is not a political party.

        Shelly, I did not have to accuse. The Orange County Superior Court found the water rates ILLEGAL. The Orange County Superior Court issued an injunction against the City that they could not send out a water bill until they had a legal water rate. The City entered into a stipulated judgement for violating the First Amendment. The City held secret meetings behind closed doors in violation of the Ralph M. Brown Act. I did not have to accuse Shelly, this is what he courts have found the City has done that are illegal !!!!

      • Clint, I think history will tell just how bad the court’s decision was in the water rate litigation. NASA reports that we – California – has a 11 trillion gallon water deficit. Our rivers and reservoirs are at the lowest levels in 100 years. Lake Powell and Mead have lost more than two-thirds of their water. If the drought doesn’t let up, Powell and Mead will be dry lake beds by 2021. NASA scientists at JPL report that California will be out of water within the next 12 to 18 months. The City Council was correct in its action, because very few people in San Juan are making an effort to conserve water. Even after the State enacted water conservation rules this past year, people were watering their lawns at mid-day. After receiving Reeve’s response to my email last Spring, see:

        http://www.thecapistranodispatch.com/councilman-reeve-issues-call-to-action-against-increased-water-rates/#comments

        I doubt seriously if the new board will do anything. All they have talked about is lowering water rates at a time when the water wars have begun. Santa Barbara bid $1600 an acre foot last year. They were outbid by $700 an acre foot. When our local water districts start bidding against each other, do you really think our monthly waters are going to go down?

      • Clint Worthington,
        I didn’t bring up water rates. You did. So are you going to demand that our council bring down the rates and let everyone use as much as they want? Because that is what you were advocating for before. Remember when you stated that there were no water supply issues in southern California and the MWD has plenty of water? Can you explain the science of this? I asked you if the former council had appointed a friend and political ally would you have been okay with that. You did not answer. Common Sense is an advocacy paper and everyone knows this.

      • Clint Worthington,
        Just be honest and transparent, please. Nobody is fooled.

      • Clint Worthington,
        Cronysim is when you appoint a friend or political ally to a position of power. Are you trying to say that Perry is not a friend and political ally of Reeves, Ferguson, Patterson and Byrnes? Be honest and transparent.

      • Joanna Clark, the decision by the court has nothing to do with the supply of water. The ruling was based upon illegal water rates. In fact, the ruling was based upon a decision that has already been heard by the appellate court in City of Palmdale vs. Palmdale Water. Again, the courts decision had nothing to do with the supply of water, but the water rates as they applied to the California Constitution under Proposition 218.

        As for your comment that very few people in San Juan are making an effort to conserve water. Sorry, you are incorrect. Our city has already met the 20 percent water reduction required by the state by I believe 2020. I may be wrong in the year. But, the 20 percent reduction has already been met.

      • Shelly Welcome, sorry again, the FPPC and the Orange County Superior Court have both ruled that Community Common Sense is a newspaper. According to the FPPC and the Orange County Superior Court, you are incorrect.

      • Clint, I fully understand the law. I clerked for a year and authored a law book in 1990, and I believe the reasoning was sound for creating the ordinance. I also think that both decisions were flawed because but courts were operating under the believe that we would never run out of water.

        I have driven around San Juan and continue to find sprinklers on mid-day, albeit not as many these days. The 20% conservation figure is flawed; however, in that we are the one’s being told to conserve water.

        Sacramento has done absolutely nothing to curb fracking or bottling water for export out-of-state. Furthermore, they have allowed the oil companies to inject fracking waste water into aquifers that were off limits because the water was clean enough to use for drinking. Now those aquifers are contaminated; nor have they done nothing about Nestles and Coca Cola’s water bottling plants. They bottle and export millions of gallons of water that they export out-of-state

        Global warming is no longer a philosophical threat, no longer a future threat, no longer a threat at all. It is happening now, Clint. Global warming has brought about major changes in global climate, and as a result of these changes California is experiencing the worst drought in our recorded history, producing a statewide 11 trillion gallon water deficit and the threat that we could be out of water in the next 12 to 18 months. Yet, there is hardly a mention of the potential crisis facing us by our the City Councils around the state. And they will probably never bring it up here now that Reeve is the Mayor.

        And it will get worse. If we are going to save the future for our children and grandchildren, City Councils across the state need to join together and begin addressing how climate change is affecting drought, storm severity, seismic activity and sea-level rise, and they need to take a serious look at hydraulic fracturing. This unconventional process is affecting our food and water supply through consumption and pollution of ground water.

        NASA reported that California has a 11-trillion gallon water deficit. Scientists are reporting that we could be out of water in the next 12 to 18 months. Drought, population growth and a growing reliance on unconventional well stimulation technologies known as hydraulic fracturing (fracking), hi-rate gravel packing, and acidizing pose a significant threats to our food and water supply. In other words, Clint, “How do you like your coffee. With or without benzene?”

        Western States Petroleum Association has spent more than $23,987,896 to help pass legislation (SB-4) that will result in the expansion of hydraulic fracturing in Kern County, coastal areas and offshore waters. A well, by the way, consumes between three and five million gallons of water per frack. With the number of wells being considered, we’re talking 54 to 90 billion gallons of water being lost. This presents a significant threat to our water and food supplies. But, hey, no problem. We’ll make it up through conservation measures being imposed on us, but not the corporate elite..

        Not having $23,987,896 to buy a seat at the table in Sacramento, we can get a seat if we follow the State of New York’s lead. More than 200 cities and townships in New York banned fracking within their city limits forcing the governor to ban the procedure statewide. San Juan Capistrano should join the 20 cities and counties in California that have enacted, or are in the process of enacting, bans on fracking, but over the past 18 months, the previous counsel refused to bring the issue up. And now the chief obstacle is our new Mayor.

        So, Clint, how would you solve our growing water problem?

      • Clint Worthington,
        And Fox news is real news, right. It is an advocacy paper.

      • Joanna Clark,
        Thank you!

      • Joanna Clark, you are certainly entitled to your opinion. However, proposition 218 which is what the courts ruled on in City if Palmdale Vs. Palmdale Water has nothing to do with running out of water. It has to do with the government charging more for a service than it cost to provide that service. I am sorry that you missed that appellate court ruling. That is also what the Orange County Superior Court based his ruling on. It is case law.

        It has nothing to do with running out of water as you described in your second sentence.

        While we may all of have our own opinions, it is the courts opinions that counts. If you believe the court got it wrong, you are welcome to spend your money in what you believe in and pay the attorneys.

      • Clint Worthington,
        Joanna asked you a question and you did not answer it. “So, Clint, how would you solve our growing water problem?” Do you feel we should ban fracking in our city?

        “While we may all of have our own opinions, it is the courts opinions that counts” Unless we run out of water because, Clint, you can’t drink a court opinion.

  • Jan S.,
    Sometimes it takes me 10 to 15 minutes to drive through downtown SJC to try to get home because other cars are in my way. Should we ban parking and traffic on these public streets so that I can get home?

  • Jan S.,
    Cronyism – the appointment of friends and associates to positions of authority, without proper regard to their qualifications.

    • Thanks Shelly. Important to define our present tense. This council’s decisions in only 75 days perfectly define cronyism.

  • Jan S.,
    Does this sound like someone who will represent every citizen in San Juan Capistrano? This is outright racial profiling and a prejudicial opinion by someone you wish to represent our city and all our citizens.

    “So, if you are wondering why you see so many pregnant Latinas and male Latinos not at work, with their well-dressed, well-fed, well-accessorized families, driving their new SUV’s or trucks around town, now you will understand. They come over the border, move in with their families, put their kids in school, are fed breakfast and lunch virtually for free, then they are directed to CHEC who hooks them up with tax-payer funded money and services galore.”

    — The Capistrano Dispatch, Kim McCarthy, April 24, 2009

    • Shelley-

      If you had asked Kim McCarthy rather than quoting her out of context, you might understand where her comments were coming from. She was born and raised in Detroit and watched a once-thriving middle-class town degrade into the poor, crime-ridden ghost town that it is today. According to McCarthy, one of the biggest drivers of Detroit’s degradation was welfare.

      She shared with me her belief that making people dependent on government hand-outs to survive is doing them a big disservice; it robs them of their dignity and their drive to accomplish something more than just living off others. She said she watched it happen in Detroit, and sees the same thing happening here. Her comments at the time were a result of her frustration with what she sees happening.

      I know her well enough to say that she believes welfare recipients can do better, and that groups that enable welfare are one the biggest stumbling blocks to lifting welfare recipients out of poverty. She told me she was raised a Catholic and was taught growing up to offer a hand up, not a hand out. I remember being taught the same thing, so what she says makes sense to me.

      McCarthy is far from racist. She started an afterschool homework club at Ambuehl Elementary to help kids, especially English language learners, with their homework. I remember having conversations with her during that period. She loved those kids – her eyes would light up when she talked about how receptive they were to learning. She recognized that many of their parents were unable to help their children as they were poor immigrants from Mexico who were themselves uneducated. She was sad that by the time they got to Marco Forster middle school, without support from programs like the one at Ambuehl, the kids would fall behind again. The state Dept. of Education stats from Marco bear this out.

      To offer another example of who she is, I remember when McCarthy welcomed a teenager (Hispanic) from a bad situation in one of San Juan’s gang-injunction neighborhoods into her home. He lived with her family (husband, three children and lots of rescued pets) as part of the family for many months and they remain close today. His parents were illegal immigrants; she had compassion for them and tried to help them – she did not disrespect them. She encourages education and learning English in order to get better-paying jobs. I admire that.

      Anyway, this is the context of her remarks. Sometimes what we don’t know about people can surprise us.

      • Correction; I meant to say that by the time the kids got out of – not to- Marco middle school…

      • I grew up up in Pontiac. The downfall of Detroit wasn’t welfare, it was GM, and other manufacturers’ exporting all the decent paying jobs overseas. Same thing happened to Flint and Pontiac when GM moved to Mexico. The rich got richer and the middle-class and working poor got the shaft. Of course, any Republican will tell you it was all President Obama’s fault.

      • San Juanian,
        I read Kim McCarthy’s guest opinion and the other ones she posted in the Capistrano Dispatch. I should have posted the whole article so that you can see that what I quoted was not out of context. Read the whole thing for yourself. And I also read the letter she wrote the school district about Marco Forster Middle School. Read that lovely rant. Would you like me to post some of the gems she wrote in that letter. When she labelled a whole group of people it is discrimination and racial profiling. She did not just do it once but multiple times. And welfare is something that we, as a nation and state, decided to offer people who live in various degrees of poverty. We do this not as a hand out but a hand up. Sometimes people need help to raise themselves out of poverty or just to eat. People who get any level of assistance are not living in the lap of luxury. I know many people who have been on government assistance who were able to gain a footing, a job, and stability and contribute to society and pay taxes in order to help someone else out. I also know people who live in poverty and struggle. Immigrants do not come to America legally or illegally to get on welfare because welfare is not the picnic that Kim McCarthy seems to believe it to be. They come here to work towards a better life, freedom, safety and for a better future for their children.

        I am happy Kim McCarthy started a tutoring group. Good for her and the children. Many of us mentor youth and foster children and we keep doing it. Many do not write prejudicial articles about people.

      • San Juanian,
        I responded but it is not posting yet. It is “awaiting moderation”. Kim McCarthy’s comment is discriminatory and there is no context that makes it okay or not offensive. And read the whole article it was taken from. It is not out of context.

      • San- Are you talking about the same McCarthy that stood in front of stores to stop the retirement project and hotel? Two projects that would have created hundreds of jobs for SJC residents, and I’m guessing many would have been taken by the very group which you say she cares about. Not to mention the tax revenue to the city of SJC may have helped keep us out of financial ruin.

        So what is this new council going to do about jobs, revenue and private property rights? Oh that’s right..it’s potholes and the ghost train that are on the top of their list.

      • Ellen, jobs cannot be created specifically for just the community. The employer will hire the best applicant which may be outside the community, Just look at the newest hotel in town. How many were hired from the community ? Just one person. I believe you know exactly who that person is.

  • “They come over the border, move in with their families, put their kids in school, are fed breakfast and lunch virtually for free, then they are directed to CHEC who hooks them up with tax-payer funded money and services galore.”

    Hey Shelly, the truth isn’t always politically correct. Illegal immigration is a burden on our resources.

    McCarthy didn’t apply anyway. Kramer and Taylor did.

    (This comment was edited for content that could be interpreted as a personal attack).

    • Pat,
      So who is “they”? Specifically. Do you know any of “they” by name. And why is it the truth?

      • They are illegal immigrants and obviously you are extremely liberal and support open borders.

      • Pat,
        Who are the “they” that Kim describes. Read back on what she wrote. Many of the “they”s families she describes have lived in the USA for longer than all of us. Yes, I am liberal and proud to be liberal. People are people, Pat.

      • “They’s” ancestors settled this land 13,000 to perhaps 33,000 years ago. Our ancestors didn’t start arriving here in force until about 1620, and they took the majority of their land by force as they moved westward.

    • Kim a racist? Yep.

  • Steve Behmerwohld

    Larry is by far the most deserving, being the 4th largest vote getter in the November election. I feel he is also the most qualified of the 10. If Roy had stepped down a few months ago, Larry would already be on Council. The timing of Roy’s resignation begs to question the new Council Majority’s claims of “transparency” and alleged distaste for back room deals. I also question Derek’s decision to only allow people 2 days to decide and apply for Roy’s vacated spot. I only put my name in so that the new Council majority couldn’t say that only their supporters submitted applications and they had no choice, but to appoint someone like John Perry or Rob Williams.

    • If Larry Kramer is the most deserving, then why did you submit an application. Odd that you would right that he is the most deserving and then you yourself submit an application.
      Since when are people appointed because they deserve it ? Oh I forgot, that was the old City Council mentality that also held secret meetings behind closed doors and through the First Amendment right out the window.

      • Clint, If you bothered to read the last sentence of my comment, I explained exactly why I applied. It obviously didn’t do any good. Speaking of trampling the First Amendment, how do you feel about Pam’s attempt to reduce Oral Communications from three minutes to one? I guess her “Listen to all of her constituents” campaign rhetoric, was just that, rhetoric.

      • Clint, where were you last night? Only Mike Johnson was there screaming at the council (i.e. Sam). I was afraid you had left town when your girlfriend kicked you out. Things are so much more entertaining when you are attacking others. Welcome back!

      • J.R. sorry, some of us do work.

      • Steve Behmerwold, so you wasted staff and city council time by submitting an application that you had no intention of fulfilling ? Nice. Limiting Oral Communications or public comments on an item before the city council was originally done by Sam Allevato. When he was Mayor. I am sorry that you missed that. FYI, it is not the First Amendment that allows the public to speak before a government agency. It is the Ralph M. Brown Act that allows people to speak before a government agency.

  • Steve, is Rob Williams somehow aligned with John Perry? Rob seemed to me be to sort of independant during the campaign. Maybe I’m missing something?

    • Excellent question Maeve. From the earlier postings about the hotel I gathered there was some schism between two large property holders in the downtown area. Oderkerk and Griffith. Oderkerk was for the hotel but Griffith is against it. It was never clear why Griffith was against it. Perhaps he has other ideas for downtown development plans that would profit his properties more? All we can do is guess. In any case it appears Griffith aligned himself with the no development types on the council to ensure the hotel was defeated. Rob William appears to work with Griffith as an architect and helped the no development types by developing some drawings of what they thought the hotel would look like (very large!) in an effort to get people to oppose the hotel. So I would agree Rob is not “with” the CCS/current city council crowd but their interests seem to have overlapped for awhile on the hotel project. I imagine their interests would diverge substantially if Griffith’s idea of downtown development ever started to move forward. In any case this is just my best guess from reading the prior hotel related postings and the comments to those.

    • Rob Williams is a puppet for Bill Grifith. Look at his finance statements when he tab for council. Hardly independent.

  • Maeve, I don’t know that Rob is “aligned” with John Perry, but after hearing what Rob had to say at the Council retreat and at the 2/3 Council meeting, I would say that his relationship with the new Council majority is anything but adversarial. Let’s just say that I won’t be surprised if the new Councilman is Rob or John Perry.

  • Apparently mo appointment tonight?

    • They appointed John Perry

      • So much for democracy.

      • what a shocker. This council never moved from activists to council activists. They only represent a narrow minority.

      • what a shocker. This council never moved from activists to council members. They only represent a narrow minority.

      • Last night’s SJC council meeting was an example of the disdain the new members of the council have for the people they represent. We all remember how the new majority campaigned saying they wanted to listen to the people. JK. Last night Pam Patterson opened her mouth and proved that it was just a campaign slogan.

        In case you weren’t in the city council chambers on February 10: Before the seats were even warm, Pam Patterson made a motion. She said she didn’t want to listen to 2/3 of what the residents wanted to say. Mayor Pro Tem Patterson thought it best if instead of allowing each citizen the normal 3 minutes during public comment to express their views, each citizen should only be allowed 1 minute to speak. During PUBLIC COMMENT we could talk to the new council for 1 minute. ONE MINUTE. Kerry Ferguson seconded the motion. Q: Why? A: Pam and Kerry didn’t want to hear from us. Q: Had the two of them already made up their minds who they would appoint and simply didn’t want any input? A: That seems obvious.

        Luckily Councilman Sam Allevato and Mayor Derek Reeve disagreed with the women. (There was sustained applause from the audience which I hope Mayor Pro Tem Patterson realized was the residents making her aware that it is not acceptable to silence the people you represent.) Apparently Councilwoman Ferguson decided to side with Mayor Reeve (or she came to her senses) because she then voted against the motion that she had moments earlier seconded.

        Stay tuned. I expect Pam’s next motion to be that Public Comment be dropped altogether from the agenda. Who needs to hear from those people that voted her into office?

        When do we get to vote again? Not soon enough.

  • I have ESPN

    • @Steve, good for you, that should prove valuable as March Madness approaches. On another note, are you going to start the recall Perry petition? That would be an excellent way to prove this otherwise unprovable point that gets bandied about so much on this comment section and at the last council meeting. Is 49% of a plurality vote a landslide and a mandate? A successful recall petition followed by a vote for a non-CCS candidate would answer that “no”. Failure to must the signatures for the recall would suggest a “yes”.

      • T. Blankenship,
        On March 2nd Derek Reeve, Pam Patterson and Kerry Ferguson become available for recall. Time to get these folks out before they bankrupt our city! I for one would happily sign to recall all three and have many other friends in the same boat.

      • Everyone in my household will also happily sign a recall of Reeve, Patterson and Ferguson.

      • T. B. My ESPN comment was a joke (ESP) regarding my prognostication abilities. I am not starting a recall effort. I have heard many rumblings (before and after last night’s meeting) about a recall effort though. FYI, Larry Kramer and I are co hosting Coffee Chat on Friday 8am at Mission Grill. I’m guessing that there will be plenty to discuss. I’m going to invite our Mayor and Kerry or Pam (no Brown act violations) to attend.

      • Richard Brown, just curious how in the past 60 days have they bankrupted the City. There has been no new spending, no new bonds issued. Please explain when no new debt has been issued ?

      • Clint, by rescinding the approvals of two projects that would have paid taxes they certainly didn’t un-bankrupt the city. Again happy to have you back on the comments and defending P., K. and D!

      • J.R., it also allows us residents to be able to travel from one side of the town to the other without additional traffic. Our town has done very nicely all these years without that revenue source and will continue to do so. Keep in mind, our town does not have a revenue problem, but an expense problem.

      • Clint, good point. We will be just fine when the new majority gets to build their kids a new private school on the same street with all the other private and public schools because private schools don’t cause traffic and don’t generate revenue. Nothing will change. The only problem we have is the expense of fighting 5 lawsuits. Our current revenue streams can keep up with that for sure.

      • J.R. Who exactly is building a school there ? If you remember, the school that was going to be built on Alipaz where the KB homes are did not get built because of traffic concerns. And that was when there was less traffic.

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