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John Perry, San Juan Capistrano
I am saddened by the recall against three San Juan Capistrano City Council members. I have known all three and can honestly say that they share a love for this small corner of Orange County and have worked very hard to approve only the new development projects that improve the property values of those residents who already live here. They share a vision with the city’s residents who have voted over $50 million to buy open space to keep the property from being covered with tightly packed houses or apartments.
It is true that I once initiated a recall action against a City Council member because that member voted to continue to charge tiered water rates that were ruled illegal by a Superior Court Judge while the city appealed that ruling. The Appellant Court also said the water rates were illegal and ordered the city to adopt water rates that met the requirements of the law. The recall was not my first choice, but my last resort to stop the city from gouging the water rate payers.
As a former Council member, I know firsthand that sitting on the City Council and making decisions that keep the city functional is often a thankless job. This community is very politically polarized and each Council member spends many hours researching issues before casting a vote. People who disagree with your vote get very personal about your motives and make hurtful accusations. That goes with the job—each City Council member asked to be elected (or in my case, appointed).
Unless a Council member has committed a crime or malfeasance, they should be allowed to complete the term they were duly elected to serve. The reasons for recall provided by the proponents in the recall petitions represent personal agendas on issues in which they may have a vested interest.
I therefore cannot support the recalls and will do everything I can to see that they fail. Before signing a recall petition, ask yourself if the person circulating the petition is acting in the best interests of the city and its future. Ask the petition circulator why they believe the recall is beneficial.