Ed Richards, San Juan Capistrano

The City Council is aware of a number of proposals by the Toll Road Agency (TCA) relative to the completion of the final extension for SR-241 through the eastern portions of our city. Your awareness extends back to late fall 2016, based on the TCA attendance reporting by Mayor Kerry Ferguson. I am concerned that the Council has not even formulated any position on what arguably is one of the most important, most impactful events to visit our town in a long time.

The conclusion I draw is that a clear majority on Council views this issue as being “of no particular importance” to their newly formed districts. After all, Councilmember Brian Maryott, whose district is uniquely impacted, has not taken a position. In fact, Maryott did not even bother to report back to Council that the TCA is holding a full-scale public hearing about their road plans for our town on June 5 at Saddleback College. Allow me to opine that adding a third major road facility through our small city will have major impacts for our entire city—most of them negative.

As a voter and long-time resident of San Juan, all of this is deeply troubling and leads me to believe that something very sinister might be going on. Why else—in stark contrast—would the San Clemente City Council be all over this issue? As our elected representatives, you have the duty to proactively engage on this matter by at least providing the citizenry with full and timely information and notification about this issue to all affected property owners, by holding a special session on this matter, by holding in-district meetings, by requiring full and adequate reporting by Maryott (the Council’s TCA representative), by updating the city website, and by attending the June 5 TCA forum to inform that body that the city will not condone any further action by TCA until San Juan has fully come up to speed with the issue. I request that you ask the TCA to publicly notify all affected San Juan Capistrano property owners with a special mailing that shows a map of the toll road alignments the TCA is studying.

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