San Juan Capistrano

Letter to the Editor           
                     “San Juan Cares” not so caring?

Did you receive the email with the "survey" from the group calling itself “San Juan Cares”? Well I did and I’m so angry after reading it and looking at the phony survey linked in it that I'm doing something I don’t normally do - writing a letter to the editor.

The claims in the email and the survey are false and misleading. I clicked on the survey link as I was curious about what was in the “survey”. Among the false claims in the survey questions:

The same wealthy homeowners that have sued the city over water rates are attempting to recall Mayor Sam Allevato...” This is blatantly false. I happen to know that many of the residents who signed the original recall petition are far from "wealthy". Some of them who I know live in low-income neighborhoods and some are residents on fixed incomes who can hardly afford to pay their water bills thanks to this irresponsible council majority. I have one neighbor who moved awhile back, partly because she said her family’s water bills were too high.

Another example of a misleading “question” is the last one on the survey, which says that councilman Roy Byrnes accused his colleagues of acting like dictators because they were communicating with the residents about local issues. I heard what Councilman Byrnes said. He compared the tactics Allevato used to intimidate voters at the local supermarket out of signing the recall petition to the tactics of those dictatorial regimes. He did not say the councilmen were like dictators. The history books indicate that Byrnes isn’t wrong about how those regimes got started.

Was I at the supermarket to witness the alleged voter intimidation? No, but neither was Matt Gaffney who signed the letter from "San Juan Cares".

The worst part of this survey though, isn’t even that misleading question, it’s the 3 answer “choices”, which you are mandated to answer if you want to submit the survey:

-“Councilman Byrnes is over-the-top, needs to apologize and needs to stop using offensive hyperbole”

- “Councilman Byrnes should get some therapy”

- “Not sure”

These are not “choices” at all as they don’t allow the reader to answer any other way. I didn’t answer since this is obviously designed only to try and smear councilman Byrnes.

I have gotten the mailers from this group that personally attack residents and councilmen in San Juan. They are ugly, divisive and have no place in our town. I expect we’ll see more lies and ugly slime coming from this group. I reject it and I urge all San Juan residents who really care about our town to reject the personal attacks coming from what amounts to a hate group. Please remember this at election time.

Please don't use my full name if you print this; I don't want to be attacked by this group because I speak out about this issue.


- Jim S.
San Juan Capistrano

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