Reata Park – Whose Park Is It?

At the July 16 council meeting, despite receiving nine letters in opposition and none in support, Council members Allevato, Kramer and Taylor voted to approve the private Open Space Foundation’s recommendation to add its name and logo to the entrance monument at our publicly owned Reata Park. Council members Byrnes and Reeve voted no.

We received several letters from readers expressing concern about this issue. Due to space limitations we are only able to print one, which is listed below.

Letter to the Editor

After watching the video of the July 16 council meeting, I am stunned by the public comments made by certain council members!

There’s a strange pretzel logic that’s permeated the brains of certain council members…it seems to go like this:

· Convince property owners to tax themselves $30 million to buy “open space” in the City.

· Allow non-public entity to decide what to buy, at what price and on what terms, out of public view.

· Approve entity’s selection of a $27.5 million property outside the City limits (that just happens to be owned by a life-long friend of entity)

· Have council bless entity’s sovereignty by allowing all sweetheart aspects of the deal they negotiated to remain…despite the invitation by previous owner to re-negotiate terms of the deal

· Disallow citizens from any and all access to the park

· Grant entity exclusive access to park to construct what they want on our public property (including a monument to themselves)

· Allow entity to proclaim they’ve spent “hours and hours” working on park development to justify placing their name, and no others – not even the City’s - on the park signage

· Since so many hours have been spent on park, it’s theirs by default

· Entity is lauded by Council members. Councilman Sam Allevato shames citizens for doing “nothing at all” towards the creation and payment of the park !
So, to sum up; entity submits a proposal for a sign with no reference to the city or citizens who funded it at all and Councilmen Allevato, Kramer and Taylor applaud the entity’s “gift” to the citizens! “You should stop complaining and be grateful for this gift of property”, says Allevato.

Okay, let’s say 10,000 hours of “sweat equity” (to use Allevato’s term) has been spent by OSF (which has got to be waaaay high), that still works out to $3,000 per hour in “sweat equity” to equal the $30 million taxpayers spent. Yeah, right; we taxpayers haven’t done anything! Can I have my portion of the $30 million back? This is NOT what I voted for!

I was sure when one of the council members saw all the other City park signs a light would go off that every single one of the signs referenced the City of San Juan, save two, one of which also dedicated the park to “The people of San Juan Capistrano”. But no, they focused instead on the material the majority of the signs were made of (wood). At least Councilman Taylor pointed out that the City’s name should also be on the sign.

This has got to be stopped cold in its tracks. Or I’m going to spend “hours and hours” weeding Councilman Allevato’s yard and then put up a big sign on his front lawn; “This home is owned by the Citizens of RMV, whom I proudly represent”.
Mark Speros
18-year resident, San Juan Capistrano

Editor’s note: Do you support or oppose the Council majority’s decision to allow the Open Space Foundation to put their sign on a publicly owned park? Take our survey in the column to the right. You can also watch the discussion about this issue in the video of the City Council meeting (see column to the right; click on item #G1a under the video). 


Anonymous said...

You couldn't have said it better Speros...stunned all my days I have never seen a more arrogant self entitled individual such as Allevato, who has no shame whatsoever for betraying the residents of San Juan time and time again.

Anonymous said...

Some people in this town act like they own it. Weird how power goes to some peoples' heads.

Anonymous said...

The ongoing San Juan Capistrano City Council- LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS. I consider the "recovered" ground water non potable & wouldn't serve it to my dog given the MtBE and arsenic content of the ground water.

How perfectly corrupt our 3 man ($300/mo) ruling majority is...

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