Redevelopment San Juan Style

What's in a word?

Jim Reardon

The term "redevelopment" often is used to avoid discussion of unpleasant specific realities in our town. The positive connotation of the term obscures uncomfortable facts.

Our City has a Redevelopment Agency. This is the arm of City Hall that just gifted $5 million of borrowed public money to a car dealership. By the City's own estimate, the break-even return of this arrangement is at least 12 years in the future. Under numerous obvious scenarios, the City may never see a return on these funds. Have we forgotten how and why we lost the previous car dealers?

Economic Profiling by the OC Sheriff and San Juan Capistrano

More Taxation by Citation... 

Kim McCarthy

A Public Request for Information filed with the OCSD yielded the following response:

  • Provide the last 90 days of tickets written in SJC- OCSD: We have collected documents responsive to your request for copies of tickets written in SJC in the last 90 days. If you wish to view the responsive records, free of charge, please contact the Media Relations office at (714) 647-7042. If you want copies of the documents there are 857 pages and, pursuant to Government Code section 6253(b), you are required to pay the direct cost of duplication, which is $171.45. Redactions have been made to some of the responsive documents pursuant to Government Code section 6254(c) and (k); Article 1, section 1 of the California Constitution.
  • Provide weekly tickets issued in SJC- OCSD: The Sheriff declines to produce copies of tickets issued in SJC on a weekly basis, as the California Public Records Act does not apply to records that are not yet in existence.
  • Provide last 90 days record of tickets ‘PAID’ in SJC- OCSD: The Sheriff has no records responsive to your request for information on tickets paid in the last 90 days. We suggest you contact Orange County Superior Court to request this information.
  • How is the ticket revenue divided between the OCSD and the City of SJC- OCSD: We suggest you contact Orange County Superior Court to request this information.
  • How many police officers are assigned to SJC and exactly WHERE and WHAT do they do all day- OCSD: San Juan Police Services has 1- Lieutenant, 4- Sergeants, 2- Investigators and *21- Deputies. They are assigned to front-line law enforcement duties, document crime, investigate crime, conduct preventative, targeted and specialized enforcement, traffic enforcement and investigations. The deputies provide 24/7 coverage to the city. During the shifts, sworn deputies are engaged in either preventative, directed or assigned patrol duties, in addition to administrative duties. *(this is over a 24 hour 7 day period, therefore approximately 3 deputies at a time are on duty). 

Currently, Capistrano Common Sense is compiling a team of residents to view the 857 pages of tickets given in SJC over a 90 day period, the findings will be reported in the next issue of Capistrano Common Sense. Orange County Superior Court is also being contacted for an explanation of how the revenue from tickets issued in SJC is divided between our city and the county.

Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens took an oath to “support and defend the Constitution,” as it is written. The oath is to the Constitution, not to politicians, bureaucrats, political parties, or big business. But what appears to be going on in SJC is a complete lack of law enforcement, operating under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” with Hutchens CITE and RELEASE policy allowing illegals to go free, drive unlicensed, without insurance or registration… they are undocumented, therefore they can’t be located to arrest or collect on fines anyway. This is a major factor in why San Juan Capistrano is a Sanctuary for illegal aliens and why some of us are being economically profiled for citations. An ASAP here in San Juan Capistrano conveyed to Capistrano Common Sense that they were told by a representative of the local Sheriff’s office not to bother ticketing in the Villas for outdated registrations.

Bottom line: When you make excuses for people to break the law you are making the choice to sacrifice those who are not breaking the law to a host of unintended consequences; overpopulation, crime, blight, gangs, a complete breakdown of our cities infrastructure…this is unlawful and unethical. ENOUGH is ENOUGH.

Water Bondage

In too deep...
John Perry

Our City Council plans to sell another $18 million in bonds to support the expansion of the Ground Water Recovery Plant (GWRP) and to finance the pipeline system to distribute recycled water. This bond sale is in addition to the previous bond sales which amount to over $72 million since 2002.

For those of you unfamiliar with bonds, they are defined as debt instruments with the purpose of raising capital by borrowing. Government agencies such as cities and other types of institutions sell bonds. Generally, a bond is a promise to repay the principal along with interest. The city has sold a number of bonds to finance such things as capital improvements and land purchases.

The principal and interest are repaid with city funds (your taxes). The City Council has repeatedly increased water rates since 2002 to provide funding for these water bonds over a period of 30 years. The rate increases imposed by the City Council in February 2010 included the anticipated bond funding of the $18 million in capital improvements to our GWRP, as outlined in a “Water Rate Study” prepared for our city by utilities consultant Black & Veatch and adopted by the Council in February 2010.

The El Horno Creek Flood of 2010

City spin is all wet...
Orrie Brown

On Wednesday, December 22, we awoke to a portion of our home under standing water, our garage flooded and about 16” to 20” of water running through our property. El Horno Creek had overflowed its banks. We had no warning from anyone that this might occur, meaning we did not receive a reverse 911 call, as other residents in potential danger, did receive.

We began the cleanup process and placed multiple calls to the City’s main phone and also to the Public Works department. We were never able to speak to a live person nor did anyone return our calls. We did not know if anyone at City Hall even knew that Horno Creek had spilled, as all attention seemed to be focused on Trabuco Creek, which was also damaged. Yes, there were many homes in danger from a POTENTIAL breach, but Mission Flats neighborhood was actually FLOODED and received zero attention.
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