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.