OC District Attorney Criticizes City Council Action

In response to citizen complaints (1, 2), the OC District Attorney has quietly conducted an inquiry and formally objected to actions of our City Council in connection with approval of an agreement to purchase property for “Open Space” in the northwest area of the City. On January 20, 2009, the Council met in secret session and approved an Option Agreement that provides that the City may purchase the property for $10 million, but also included provisions related to water supply, parking, access, and other land-use considerations for the land developer.

Can San Juan Capistrano Afford Affordable Housing?

Our town is a microcosm of Sacramento and Washington D.C. The tendency to grow government and to embrace social engineering programs is thriving here. City-funded “affordable” housing is an excellent example.

It is taken as the gospel truth at City Hall that the State has mandated that we provide a number of low cost housing units… or else! However, upon closer examination, one can see that there really is nothing to fear. There are no laws prescribing penalties; there is no downside for non-compliance. There is a nebulous risk of losing future “grant opportunities” (a topic for another story), but City Hall has embraced affordable housing and moved us further down the wealth re-distribution and big government road.

Time for CHEC to Check Out?

The license agreement between the City and CHEC is coming up for renewal at the April 6 City Council meeting. CHEC is a collaborative effort between Mission Hospital, OC Social Services Agency, Mission Basilica, The Raise Foundation, and the City of San Juan Capistrano. It serves as a guide to the public in accessing welfare benefits.

Council Priorities are Upside Down

Our City Council has been skimping on police protection, attempting to economize on the level of police services that it purchases from the Orange County Sheriff Department. Sadly, our Council has long been in denial (no, that's not a river in Egypt). Their emphasis has been on “feel-good projects” -- skate parks, services to illegal immigrants (The Sanctuary City program), Open Space schemes, “affordable” housing, a huge water fiasco, etc. The basic responsibility of local government, which is to suppress crime and facilitate traffic, has been largely sidetracked in favor of sexy, socialist programs inspired by the wildly liberal leadership of Washington and Sacramento.

City Hall Spending: Time to Face the Truth

Kim Lefner
San Juan Capistrano

In the midst of the worst recession in decades, it’s a mystery why the City is proposing to spend our declining tax revenue on such items as a Diversity Sustainability Action Plan, preschool and after school programs, lobbyists, consultants and grant writers. With the City Council’s recent acknowledgement of another two million dollar revenue shortfall, do these programs and services make sense? They certainly don’t appear to be essential public services.

Keep Criminals in Jail

Bill Hunt
Guest Columnist

The Office of the Sheriff is responsible for maintaining our county jails. Yet, our appointed sheriff Sandra Hutchens has released more than 400 criminals early back into our community. Despite having 1400 open jail beds, the interim Sheriff continues the unsafe practice of citing and releasing all misdemeanor arrestees. This practice was instituted by court order to relieve a jail overcrowding problem that no longer exists. Daily, non violent felonies are released with nothing more than a promise to appear in court. They are not required to post bail or provide any other guarantee to appear as promised and many flee.

Criminal attorneys and bail bondsman are legitimate components of a normally functioning criminal justice system. They are private alternatives to excessive government bureaucracies that have greatly exceeded their mandate. Both contribute to the economy, create jobs and save tax payers millions of dollars annually.

City Hall Spin Zone - II

§ On March 5, we discussed plans being discussed by our City Council to erect a new City Hall. We criticized the falsehoods and political "spin" that are at the root of this discussion.

Here are some details on the fixable “problems” with the current City Hall location. These are estimates based upon a tour of City Hall by a General Contractor and tradesmen in the construction industry:

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