San Juan Capistrano


                          Unspinning the Spin

I recently received in my mailbox a “newsletter” from the City entitled “City News and Notes”. I was astounded at some of the claims in this newsletter which read more like a Public Relations fluff piece than a City update. I wanted to highlight some of the issues that the city is putting its "spin" on of late:

City spin #1: "The 18-acre Reata Park & Visitors Center, made possible by the volunteerism of the Open Space Foundation”. 

Un-spin:  Last I checked, I am being charged about $300 a year to pay for this “open space” property that the Open Space Foundation negotiated for with my tax dollars behind closed doors and to which they, not I, have been given exclusive access. Meanwhile, my family and I (along with every other average taxpaying citizen) are prohibited from setting foot on it. So, we taxpayers pay the mortgage and upkeep, the private foundation gets to put their permanent sign on it, they get access to it and we’re supposed to thank them for their “volunteerism”?
City Spin #2: The $86 million Ortega interchange “will bring significant traffic relief to our City”.

Un-spin: How is building a gigantic interchange in the middle of a tiny little town within a stone’s throw of one of the state’s oldest Missions going to “improve” traffic when the streets in town remain the same size? I think a better question would be; where is all the traffic coming from that this inappropriately sized interchange will service? Would that be the huge new city the Rancho Mission Viejo Co is building on our eastern border?

City spin #3: “A new entrance sign into Downtown, funded by the City car dealerships illustrates the extraordinary efforts of the Mayoral Committee on Economic Preservation to bolster business while construction on the Ortega Highway bridge takes place.”

Un-spin: I don’t even know where to start with this. Would these be the same dealerships that collectively were given $7 million of our tax dollars in low-interest loans?

In regards to “economic preservation”; why have Mayor Sam Allevato, along with current and previous SJC council majorities, bent over backwards to accommodate the building of the Rancho Mission Viejo development east of our city, which will include 5 million square feet of retail/commercial? How is facilitating that massive development “preserving” our economic climate in San Juan? That huge new development will no doubt severely impact San Juan merchants alright; what they will “get” from it is more traffic, and lots of it.

History shows us that this current City council does one thing really well: it wastes OUR money in copious amounts. This latest “newsletter” is more proof that our City officials have no problem wasting our tax dollars in a unabashed effort to convince us that wasting our tax dollars is somehow good for us! This is one resident who isn’t buying the spin.

Jay (and Cathryn) Wade
San Juan Capistrano

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