Letter to the Editor
Connecting the Dots...
Recently I came across a half page color ad in a local paper promoting the “Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo” held at the “Corner of Ortega Highway & Antonio/La Pata” - with no mention of it being in our city or the fact it’s OUR property! I thought the purchase agreement for this “Open Space” property required the property to be identified as the “Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park at San Juan Capistrano” in ALL advertisements?
Here, the real proof of where our council majority control comes from can be easily seen by the list of rodeo sponsors – Holy cow! Of the 25 sponsors listed, ALL BUT THREE (Cox, Mission Hospital, and The Ranch Restaurant) are developers, builders or key suppliers to builders! I think it’s pretty obvious how Sam Allevato’s anti-recall war chest filled as quickly as an Indy car gets in and out of a pit stop!
Even more suspect is the mention that “monies raised are donated to local SJC charities”, with no mention of which “charities” will benefit. Could the failure to list them be due to the fact that one of the primary beneficiaries of the rodeo revenue is Brad Gates’ Open Space Foundation? Gates was the “designated” (not clear by whom) lead negotiator for the purchase of the park with $27.5 million of our tax dollars (while, at the same time banning residents from using our property ~Great negotiation!!!). Gates also negotiated into the purchase agreement that “the majority of rodeo revenues” be directed to his Open Space Foundation and a couple of other pet charities.
The Open Space Foundation is also the group that’s burdened us with a $30,000 per month maintenance tab for the “Open Space / Reata Welcome Center” that serves mostly the new Ranch development.
In one fell swoop we have the same “Open Space Foundation” promoting an adjacent city, while burdening us with debt, increasing our property taxes and tying us to a highly expensive “Welcome Center” that no doubt they’ll use (for free) for staging the RMV Rodeo. Worse yet, they FAILED to abide by the minimal requirements of the purchase! Why again did we purchase this property rather than one of the originally promised properties in San Juan, such as the Armstrongs Nursery growing grounds, now slated for ultra-high density development?
It’s time to hold each council member accountable to their campaign promises to serve the residents that elected them into office ~ not back room interests clearly displayed here!
San Juan Capistrano