By Kim McCarthy
By Kim McCarthy
In March of this year, the “Annual Mayor’s Dinner Address” to the City was held at El Adobe Restaurant where Mayor Sam Allevato held court with the ‘Good Ol’ Boys’ of San Juan. Well, at least some live in San Juan. Not Rancho Mission Viejo Company land owner Tony Moiso, who was featured in the Mayor’s address but who I understand lives in Laguna Beach.
Instead of a speech, Mayor Allevato showed his creative side with a movie narrated by and starring himself, with appearances by such luminaries as Moiso and Chamber of Commerce President Mark Bodenhamer (who I’m guessing probably doesn’t live here either). The “actors” gushed about the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park “Open Space” that we bought from Moiso for 27 million dollars (that we are prohibited from using). Missing from the movie was any mention of Moiso’s plans to build a city across the street from our “Open Space” and how the traffic created by his development will forever change the lives of San Juan residents.
This “movie” cost us taxpayers around $7000.
At the same time Allevato was debuting his tribute to the Good Ol’ Boys, I was attending a community forum in Dana Point conducted by the San Clemente Border Patrol. All cities in South Orange County were invited, including San Juan. At the meeting, the Border Patrol stated that the “new border” is our South Orange County beaches, where smuggling boats are found abandoned. They explained the dangers of drug and human traffickers and how cities like SJC are used as safe havens for the business of moving people and drugs.
Since SJC received an invitation to the meeting, I wondered why the City did not post the meeting notice on the City website or enclose it in our water bills, as they do other important notices to the community? I asked the council; if one of the main functions of local government is public safety, why did I have to hear about this meeting from a friend in Dana Point? Mayor Sam Allevato responded, “It is not ‘our job’ to do the P.R. for the San Clemente Border Patrol.” The Mayor’s statement says it all. Apparently, he believes his “job” is doing P.R. for the Rancho Mission Viejo Company and playing power broker with taxpayer dollars. If you want to see where the Mayor’s priorities lie in my opinion, you need only view his movie. Go to www.SanJuanCapistrano.org and click on “State of the City 2011”. While watching it think about the 14,000 homes going in across from the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park along with the 5 million sq. ft. of Commercial and Retail and ask yourself why Allevato didn’t protect his constituents from San Juan becoming an on/off ramp for the Ranch? For that matter, why are we paying for sewer (and possibly water?) connections to the Ranch’s new development?
It seems clear that our town needs to break the control of the Good Ol’ Boys. Under their watch, our debt has increased to over 150 million dollars, our water bills have skyrocketed and traffic is just getting worse. In November of 2012 you will have the opportunity to shift the balance of power. I encourage you to stay informed. Your family’s safety and your property values depend on it!