Guest Column

Why I am Running for San Juan City Council

by Roy Byrnes, MD 

People have asked me, a gray-haired retired doc, why I am willing to spend my retirement running for office again. After all, they’ve reminded me, I’d already done my “civic duty” years ago when serving multiple terms as Mayor of San Juan.

I tell them that after spending years working to preserve our ridgelines, Open Space and in general our quality of life, I cannot in all good conscience stand by and watch San Juan continue to be hijacked by powerful people with deep pockets.

A look at my track record will reveal that during my two terms as Mayor, I along with other good citizens established the original General Plan as a guideline for reasonable and sustainable future growth while protecting the quality of life in our small town. Sadly, things have gone badly astray.

Since my time on the council I have spent many years attending City Council meetings and speaking up when I believed our original City vision was being subverted to serve the interests of a select few, known as “the good ol’ boys” by many of us in San Juan.

In my opinion, some of the goings-on at City Hall are questionably legal, as evidenced by the most recent lawsuit filed against the City by the Capistrano Taxpayers Association (CTA). That lawsuit is designed to force the City to obey the law and bring our water rates down to a reasonable, affordable figure. Too bad it takes a lawsuit to get our City Council to listen. I hope to change that.

I believe it’s time to reassess; to come together and reassert a common sense approach to operating our City with transparency and fiscal honesty. One way to do this is to renounce the current “credit card” mentality of City Hall.

Some are already attacking me based on my age but the way I see it, my age is an asset. My experience and historical knowledge of San Juan will become your assets. I know how to get things done and I will represent you the resident and not some good ol' boy who doesn't care about your quality of life and who only wants your money or your vote in order to enrich himself.

I urge you to research the candidates. If they’re City officials, look at their voting records. Look at how they’ve managed growth and our finances. Look around town and see if you like the results of their leadership, then VOTE on November 6 – your quality of life depends on it!

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