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Mark Speros , San Juan Capistrano

Having personally attended both the San Juan Capistrano City Council forums on Sept. 30 and Oct. 2, voters have yet see all candidates at a single neutral forum—and that’s really a shame.

But even these forums provide insight into the candidate’s viewpoints and mastery of the facts.

While incumbents John Taylor and Larry Kramer should have the high ground on facts, some of their statements were troubling. At Thursday’s event, Kramer, when asked about saltwater incursion into the basin, stated that those issues are only with wells in San Clemente, not San Juan’s, which are pumping 3 million gallons a day. But he then noted that two of San Juan’s wells are shut down. What?

Taylor responded to the golf course lawsuit saying the club now needs to import water but the city recognizes and supports their need to keep fairways green and was frankly surprised by the lawsuit. Huh?

At Thursday’s event, the Speiker development (Laguna Glen) brought up many interesting comments. Stephanie Frisch, after touring the property with the developer, had a total change of heart and now thinks the development “is a great idea.”

Jan Siegel said since none of the Armstrong plants are actually planted in the ground, the property is not currently being used as agricultural and the development “would be a good use of the property.” Taylor noted that the developer’s Carlsbad facility was outstanding and they’d become the largest payer of property taxes in the city. The city needs that money to repair pothole-ravaged roads.

Kramer felt that the traffic impact, while not zero, would only be minor and recommended a minor rework. Robin Williams took the only negative stand, based on the requirement for a general plan amendment, the very high density which included three story buildings and the high additional demand for water these new residences would bring.

With just a little over 30 days left before the elections, we need a lot more dialog and interaction with these candidates to be able to make an informed decision.

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comments (5)

  • You have it right, Mark. This project will not benefit San Juan Capistrano in any way. And it will only cause problems. The council members who voted for it should be investigated. This is a travesty.

  • Bonnie, you called it right last week . . . “The best government money can buy.” Traffic is a nightmare, and if the drought continues into 2015, there won’t be enough water to go around.

  • The Planning Commission (Cohen and Nunn) certainly took a bashing at the City Council meeting. Wouldn’t surprise me to see them get them replaced with people that will say yes instead of doing what they think is right.

    • Is that what the people of SJC want and need in a Planning Commission? These are not elected positions. They are appointed. Development issues are complicated and require extensive background knowledge of, not only the development process, but the ability to see potential ramifications. In my opinion, this should also be an elective position. But in a small town, with a limited population it’s a problem. So, we are stuck with electing City Council members who have some background, knowledge, and soul to guide the city. They are rare.

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