Sewer Insanity

By Ian Smith

Thank goodness it’s not often one has to think about sewers. They aren’t usually a topic of discussion except maybe here in San Juan. At a recent Utilities Commission meeting we learned that some of our aging sewers urgently need repair. In addition, we learned that our City Water Enterprise is at least $8.2 million in debt.

Recently, City staff gave a slide presentation of a sewer investigation which revealed pictures of cracked, deteriorating piping and manhole covers that have been paved over, prohibiting access to sewers. They also discussed complaints from residents about foul odors from sewer gases in the neighborhoods. The repairs will of course increase the current indebtedness of the utility department. There has been no discussion yet regarding funding of the repairs. 

Despite this knowledge the May 4th Council agenda listed an item requesting approval to extend water/sewer lines to the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park. Staff claims this is needed to provide water and toilets for the equestrians and other park visitors. The Riding Park is currently leased to an equestrian event promoter who generates significant revenue from equestrian and soccer events. We taxpayers have paid dearly for the property but we cannot use it unless we pay a fee! The City gets none of the revenue and the paltry lease amount we collect pays only a fraction of the principle and interest on the property. Why then should taxpayers pay even more to install toilets for an equestrian event promoter and outside visitors? 

Why is CCS So "Negative"?


For the past year and a half, the Capistrano Common Sense (CCS) has exposed the machinations of what many refer to as the entrenched “Good ol’ boy politicos” on the last two City Councils. Our CCS was created by San Juan citizens who became frustrated with the Council’s lack of transparency, self-dealing and financial irresponsibility.

We wear as a badge of pride the fact that neither the Council politicians nor their supporters have been able to demonstrate that we were wrong in any of the dozens of act-based reports we’ve printed. The most that City Council politicians and their supporters seem to be able to manage is to resort to name calling. “Mean-spirited”; “naysayers” and “CCS is so negative” are some of the more popular responses. I guess when you have no real defense you stoop to calling the opposition names. At this point we take it as validation of their concern that we’re exposing the truth. We’re a “watchdog” publication. Would you want your watch dog to growl and bark at a burglar or just lick his hand and go back to sleep?

Mayor Sam's Quarter Million Dollar Raid...

A Letter from Roy Byrnes MD, former SJC Mayor

Mayor Sam Allevato wants you San Juan taxpayers to fork out over $225,000 a year to pay for a Deputy Sheriff as “School Resource Officer” (SRO) for the Capistrano Unified School District. I disagree. Why doesn’t CUSD pay for its own SRO? Nope, says Mayor Sam!

Much as I respect our good Mayor, I think he’s off the reservation on this one. There is absolutely no reason for us to shell-out a quarter million to pay for a school position that could be paid out of CUSD’s massive $374 million annual budget.
“But the SRO does an important job”, says Sam. I agree, yes siree! The SRO is a part of the anti-truant and anti-gang program, and is an asset to the schools in many ways. I commend the program and the excellent Deputies who serve. But these are all school functions. The gang and truancy issues are CUSD’s responsibility. All of the Deputies on the City payroll should be patrolling the city streets to serve the anti-crime needs of all citizens.

Water and Sewer Rates Increase Again!

By Kim Lefner

Are you aware that your water and sewer rates are increasing this month? This isn’t just a one-time increase; your rates will increase every July until 2018 thanks to the vote in February 2010 of the previous council majority. Council members Sam Allevato and Laura Freese joined Mark Nielsen in raising your water rates 40% + last year and approved the on-going automatic increases. 

Sewer fees will increase 5% every year until 2014. Water rates will increase 3% every year until 2015, when the increase will continue at 2% until 2018.

The Time for E-Verify is Now!

By Kim McCarthy

If you could give jobs to unemployed Americans and immigrants who are legally documented to work in the U.S. would you do it? Can you think of any reason not to? Personally, I can’t imagine anyone with the ability to do so choosing not to hire American citizens or legally documented immigrants. Politicians in our own backyard have no problem talking about what they will do about debt and unemployment levels, yet they lack the courage and political will to take simple actions at their disposal that are provided by law. 

Ask yourself why. Who and what are these politicians protecting that could be more important than restoring jobs to local families, enabling them to pay their mortgages, buy gas or purchase groceries to feed their families? Could it be personal ambition, favoritism to those with special interests or political pandering for votes?

Welcome Our New City Manager!

We would like to offer a warm welcome to Ms. Karen Brust, the new City Manager of San Juan Capistrano. We anticipate that she may require a few weeks to re-orient herself from a Charter City to a General Law City. A General Law City expects the City Manager to function as chief administrative officer receiving policy direction from the voters through the elected City Council.

As a grass roots organization dedicated to our social and historical traditions which have existed here for over 200 years, CCS' hope is that San Juan can be restored to a stable, fiscally conservative governmental atmosphere. Indeed, when we meet with Karen Brust, we’ll offer her our opinion that recent City Councils have too closely micromanaged City Hall. They have exhibited an alarming tendency to engage in liberal social engineering which has driven up our debt.
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