Letters to the Editor

August 23, 2000
It’s true - vote for all To the Editor:I overheard a conversation between two locals who were talking about the very small percentage who want to have the voting changed from being able to vote for all, as it is now, to be changed to vote for only one. It is costing the city much much money as was created by the very small percentage.It went this way. Miss Lotta Bull says that we need Latino voters and Latinos in the City Council. Miss Etta Kett says “Why? We have had Latinos in City Council for years and maybe ever since the first City Council.”And Miss Bull says, “But we need even more.”Miss Kett asks why. Miss Bull replies, “Because we can spend a lot of money to get the voting changed so that you will have one vote only. The Latinos will get more votes that way.” Miss Etta Kett says, “But what about the Italians, German, French, Asian, Norwegian, Canadian, Mexican and Polish who are all around American citizens who want to vote as they always have, fair and square no matter what nationality or religion?” It is the sensibility and for all of our citizens that counts. And to do “what is best for everyone,” not just a few.If the radical left would work to clean our town of graffiti, paint houses, stop dumping and be good to the town, things can work nicely. Will that happen???New out of towners are looking. Just looking.If we are an American citizen we can vote, no matter what nationality or religion. And vote for all we wish. Not just one.K. ZimmetSanta PaulaAll stirred upTo the Editor:Your letter today, in reply to Martha Harris, as well as Kay Wilson’s letter of a few issues ago, has me stirred up:Number One: I was present at the SOAR meeting where it was decided to accept your, and the City’s, inclusion of Fagan Canyon (and not Adams) so I know exactly why it was done. To be reasonable, Don, to give a fair chance for growth, Don, and to inoculate us from being attacked as NIMBY, no-growthers as was done in 1998 by Robin Sullivan in her anti-SOAR arguments in the ballot. That is why. There are no hidden agendas or secret developer deals on this side of the table. Are you and the City now saying Fagan Canyon wasn’t your idea? Are you saying we thought it up? Why did the City include Fagan Canyon? So you could bash us with it? Is that intellectually honest, Don? Answer this one, Mr. Editor, Vice-Mayor, straight on, please. No backing away allowed.Number Two: Look where I live, basically right on the corner of Peck and Foothill. It’s a nice, quiet place. You and your cohorts want to four lane Foothill and put, by the City’s own figures, over 20,000 cars per day in front of my house. Get real! And, Kay, what would my home be worth then on re-sale with that in front? You sold the home to me, you are well aware of its history, a Frank Lloyd Wright design built in 1963 by Wagner & Holmer, and what I have put into it by way of restoration and improvement. So what am I offered by the real estate powers-that-be in Santa Paula?Number Three: The idea that downtown can be revived by Adams Canyon is just plain ludicrous. All over the United States, downtowns are failing due to shopping malls, factory stores and the like. You must admit, we have enough 99 cent stores! And by the way, the stores of old haven’t failed because the people moved away, there would be lots of vacant homes if that were the case, so what has Adams Canyon got to do with anything? Oh, by the way, do you know Santa Paula’s sales tax revenue is nowhere near the county’s lowest - it is even with Hydra-headed Moorpark of all places!Number Four: Let’s face it. The arguments for Adams Canyon are all money driven and originate with the big owner up there. That’s the American way and it is also the American way that we who oppose it not be subject to innuendo!SOAR is not a perfect solution - but it beats the alternative being offered up by the pro-development forces based on what I’ve seen to date!Richard MainSanta PaulaSilly seasonTo the Editor:It is that time of year again...silly season. It’s time for all the political rhetoric to come out. Protect yourself and seek the truth.The Save Open-space and Agricultural Resources (SOAR) has sent out a letter to their supporters asking for contributions to help pass the SOAR in Santa Paula and Fillmore. In bold letters the letter says, “Passing SOAR in these two cities will be the most difficult challenge SOAR has faced.” Well, I’m sure it will be since two related ballot measures were defeated by Santa Paula voters in 1998. When will the people who do not live here understand that we have been faithful stewards of the no growth plan for so long that we are now suffering from it? The letter is signed by eight individuals, none of whom live in Santa Paula or Fillmore.The letter also goes on to state: “With SOAR, the expansion of these cities cannot happen unless approved by the voters.” This is not true as the SOAR measure itself allows for growth into two areas WITHOUT voter approval. It makes me wonder if there is an agenda that we do not know about. Why have they chosen these two areas for their blessing and not the other two? Why not make all areas subject to voter approval if that is truly what you believe?The most disturbing comment in the letter is, “In both cities, council members beholden to developers are waging a massive campaign of misinformation.” I am amazed that a statement which talks about a massive campaign of misinformation is, itself, full of the same. I know of no council member that has any connection or is “beholden” to a developer. This is just not true and is meant to inflame the public. The people behind this letter should come forth with any information to the contrary. Also, I think it is incumbent upon them to tell us what the misinformation is that they are talking about.The city of Santa Paula has worked very hard over the past 6-7 years to propose a new General Plan for the city. Numerous public meetings were held and the plan developed slowly. Yes, the plan triples the physical size of the city. No, it does not triple the population of the city. At build out the population is projected to be about 38,000, not 75,000 as some are saying. I note that most of the opponents never attended any of the meetings where the plan was drawn. They wouldn’t help shape the future of our community but waited until the plan was done before they decided to attack.The plan keeps all residential development off the agriculture rich valley floor and puts it back in the canyons where it belongs. It keeps the valley floor for agriculture and tourism. This seems to be the plan favored by the public and the majority of the City Council.Don’t let the carpet baggers from other communities tell you how to live. Those decisions are best made locally by the very people most affected. You defeated like measures twice before. I ask that you defeat it once more.Jim GarfieldSanta PaulaHidden agendas
To the Editor:In response to your letter of August 18, 2000 on the subject of Measure I.“What is planned for Fagan Canyon?” Well, let me refresh your memory. Page 2-16 of the hallowed book called GENERAL PLAN UPDATE or Final Environmental Impact Report says, second paragraph from the top, second column from the left, 450 dwelling units, 5 acres/neighborhood comm. (Commercial pg. 4.3-8) of 76,230 sf, 7 acres/active parks, park/recreation. 208 acres/passive open space. That’s part of what’s planned for Fagan Canyon, remember Don? You asked: “Is there something out there supporters of Measure I don’t want the voters to know about?” I just told them some of what is planned for Fagan. Can you fill in the rest, as you said you would, if someone asked? O.K. what else is planned?You asked, “What is the agenda for Measure I supporters?” That’s a very good question, although I know of no one that has a hidden agenda. I would like to answer that for myself. No hidden agenda here, I don’t want more floodwaters than I already have coming out of Adams. Your own city department heads cannot figure out how to get the water under SR 126 without it blowing out all over my property. Does that sound like a hidden agenda? Did you honestly think that you could just slip this project by without it being noticed? I’ll ask you, just how in the world do you think the mitigation measures will handle this? And at what cost to the citizens of Santa Paula? Reminder, Mr. Johnson, I own a good portion of the Adams Barranca south of 126, not the city or the county. When it comes time for the 404 permit, I certainly will have the opportunity to object to a plan that moves an excessive amount of debris flow adjacent to and some of it on my property.It would have been nice for a new neighbor (city) to let fellow neighbors know what is being planned. I guess you thought I wouldn’t notice. Did the city ever notify me of the development in Adams? No, I learned about it from local people, the same people who came up with Measure I. Will Measure I help save us from the disasters that will undoubtedly happen? I don’t know, but I would much rather take my chances with the honest, hardworking voters of Santa Paula than I would with a council of four dominated by real-estate interest that will obviously profit from development. Now you know my agenda, and it’s not hidden. What is yours?Is Measure I the answer? For some people, it might be. If the city wants to bring back the plans for Adams, which I’m sure they will, the people will decide if they want it. As it stands now, under the current structure of the city, only a few have that decision-making power.LAFCO has not heard the arguments for the annexation process yet. When that time comes, people who wish to save Fagan Canyon from development will have to speak up loud and clear. When 400+ cards opposing Adams Canyon were delivered to LAFCO, only a small handful wanted to exclude Fagan Canyon. This is not to say that Fagan is not important. I, personally, would like to see it left alone. LAFCO will decide about the annexation, they have the power to grant it or reject it. So, again, I would say to the people of Santa Paula to look at the EIR, and if you don’t like what you see, speak up. Attend the LAFCO hearing and let the board know how you feel. Maybe this time around, the cards won’t be as stacked against us, notably the lack of Former City manager and possibly one city council member. Don’t let all this rhetoric sway you, learn the truth for yourself. Apathy is not a good thing.Joy ChapmanSanta PaulaSOAR subjectTo the Editor:The way in which Measure I (aka the Santa Paula SOAR initiative) has been simplistically mischaracterized as a “No Growth Measure” has become a SORE subject for me. Please allow me to clarify....Although SOAR stands for “Save Open-space and Agricultural Resources,” in reality it gives no true guarantee that either of these things will be “saved.” What is lost in all of the rhetoric of its opposition is that SOAR, IN AND OF ITSELF, DOES NOT AND CANNOT STOP GROWTH!As a matter of fact, SOAR does nothing at all to change the initial process by which proposed land use decisions are brought to the table. The only salient change that SOAR brings about is one that comes at the end of the existing process in which the City Council and LAFCO go through traditional procedures that result in mandates for development. It is at this point...and only at this point, that SOAR allows Santa Paula voters the right of final approval.Because of this, it is very misleading for SOAR opponents to use specious arguments like: “The sacred property rights” of landowners “as guaranteed by the Constitution” will somehow be controlled or usurped by SOAR. This task has always fallen to the City Council and LAFCO who dictate decisions on zoning, General Plans, sphere of influence, and annexations. Like it or not, the simple truth (as it stands now), is that we do not have an inalienable right to do whatever we please with our property. This was true long before the advent of SOAR. It’s just one of those pesky nuisances that comes with living in civilization. The only remedy that could truly grant “sacred property rights” would be the abolition of the aforementioned governing bodies that are now empowered to make decisions on land use. (I would not embrace the ensuring anarchy.)There are only two spokesmen who have come forward to oppose SOAR by virtue of writing and/or signing the Arguments and Rebuttals that will appear in the Voter Information Pamphlet for the upcoming election. They are the Mayor and Vice-Mayor of Santa Paula.My message to them is this: IN THE FINAL ANALYSIS, MEASURE I DOES NOT PROHIBIT GROWTH... ALL THAT IT DOES IS GIVE THE VOTERS OF SANTA PAULA THE RIGHT TO VALIDATE THE WISDOM OF YOUR DECISIONS.It logically follows that the only valid argument you can make against the Santa Paula SOAR is that the issues at hand are too complex to be understood by the Santa Paula voters or that they are incapable of making intelligent decisions at the ballot box. The dilemma you face in opposing SOAR is that you must choose to make a compelling case to prove the incompetence of the local electorate, but by the same token, you must also be willing to accept the irony that these are the same people that voted you into office in the first place.John MeltonFormer Mayor and CouncilmanSanta PaulaAttention City Council...To the Editor:CONTIGUOUS: “Adjoining, adjacent, touching”No way can Adams Canyon be considered contiguous to Santa Paula, “Sphere of Influence” approved or not.A black line on a flat map avoids the truth. Especially misleading is it when the black line on the Planning Commission’s map shows the black line taking a wrong turn.There’s a mountain between the city and the canyon for heaven’s sake! Plus considerably additional land. Santa Paula’s takeover of Adams’ 5,413 acres would be a giant leap over a high ridge with an accompanying mound of expenses for Santa Paulans.It’s time to examine the three dimensional quality of a topographical map and stop playing leap frog.Clara WhiteSanta Paula

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