Letters to the Editor

August 19, 2005
EIRs only measure part of the impacts To the Editor:Environmental Impact Reports, or EIR’s, only measure part of the impacts that result from new growth and development. The other half of the story is told by the Financial Impact Report (FIR), prepared for the City by independent consultants to measure the economic benefits of growth. The FIR for the proposed new neighborhoods in Fagan Canyon, available on our City’s website at http://www.ci.santa-paula.ca.us/fagancanyon/ demonstrates the economic benefits for existing local businesses, estimates for job creation as a result of Fagan, and what the estimated additional revenues for our City will be. Those who would say that we just don’t need Fagan need to consider what it will mean for our local economy and the opportunity it will create for all Santa Paulans.Based on the data in the FIR, Fagan Canyon residents are projected to have $85 million to spend each year on goods and services. Of that amount, $12.3 million will be spent at existing Santa Paula businesses, generating an additional $125,000 in sales tax revenue for our city to use for essential services such as fire and police, and repairs to our city’s crumbling infrastructure, including our schools, parks and roads. This buying power will allow local businesses to expand and new businesses to be created to keep even more Fagan Canyon dollars here in Santa Paula and to strengthen our local economy. In addition, the FIR estimates that nearly 5,000 new jobs will be created as a result of the new neighborhoods in Fagan Canyon. Some of them will be construction related jobs, and many more will be created to meet the demands of the new residents for services and goods for their homes. Given our high unemployment rate this will also help to strengthen our local economy by providing opportunity to those who need it most. We support the proposed new neighborhoods for Fagan Canyon because of what it will mean for our City, providing economic opportunity and strengthening our local economy. We would encourage those who oppose it to take a look at the numbers, and to consider what is best for ALL of Santa Paula.Steve and Pam ColvardSanta PaulaSanta Paula desperately needs the economic stimulusTo the Editor:Santa Paula desperately needs the economic stimulus that Fagan Canyon will provide. Our City is suffering from severe budget shortfalls, our police and fire departments lack the resources they need, our roads, parks, and schools are in disrepair, and recently, a tax increase was required to upgrade our sewer plant. In addition, our economy is stagnant, and our local merchants are struggling to survive.Those who would oppose Fagan Canyon should look at what is best for our town, because if we do not embrace growth, we will simply continue to languish as a community. Ask any local small business owner what they think of the prospect of new residents with a combined $86 million annually in disposable income; ask anyone who is unemployed or underemployed what 5,000 new jobs for our community would mean to them; ask any police officer or fireman if they presently have the resources they truly need to do their jobs, as they put their lives on the line for our community on a daily basis; ask any teacher or school administrator if there is currently a lack of funding for essential repairs to our crumbling schools, or if additional resources might be part of the solution in raising the academic performance of our schools. It would seem to me that the vocal minority of residents who are so adamantly opposed to this project are simply not considering the needs of our community as a whole, and I would simply ask them to make an honest assessment of whether those needs will be provided for without Fagan, given the harsh economic reality that Santa Paula currently is facing. As for those who would cast doubt on the numbers I have cited, as Yogi Berra once said, “You could look it up”; the Fiscal Impact Report prepared for our City by independent consultants is available on our City’s website, at http://www.ci.santa-paula.ca.us/fagancanyon/ .Janet GrantSanta PaulaClarificationTo the Editor:Let’s have some clarity regarding the Initiative petition:
Regarding your article on the “disputed petition”, Santa Paula Times, August 17th, We CARE - Santa Paula wants to thank Ms. Kelly for asking for a quote from us this time before writing about We CARE. The quote was at the very end of the article and on the back page, but at least she included it.The article itself was a bit convoluted, and it would be hard to discern the facts if you didn’t know the whole court history to this point. One of the main issues of this case is that as of the time the article was written, Judge Steven Hintz would not acknowledge the reason for the California Supreme Court decisions on Proposition 77 AND on Proposition 80. The court ruled that these Initiatives were not to be withheld from the voters because of legal technicalities. In both cases, the appellate Supreme Court ruled that voters should decide first at the voting booth, and that any legalities were to be worked out afterwards. It is interesting to note that Judge Hintz failed to mention Prop. 80 at all, which was cited in our legal brief, and in which the Supreme Court ruling definitely cuts in our favor. He also reduced the significance of Proposition 77 to minor errors in punctuation and grammar. The fact is that significant paragraphs were omitted from Proposition 77 entirely, which is not the case with our petition. It is all there. Though we will respect the judge’s decision, whatever it may be, we do not have to agree with it. Because the recent rulings from the Supreme Court are so clearly applicable to our petition, and they cut so much in our favor, we plan to appeal if the ruling is not satisfactory. Because of the delay by the court, it now may be necessary for us to circulate a Referendum to stop action on the Fagan Canyon development. It is really too bad the city just doesn’t get the message set forth by 2,790 voters and let the Proposition go on the ballot.By the time you read this letter, Judge Hintz may have made his ruling on Santa Paula’s Initiative to give voters the right to decide on larger developments. He is scheduled to make the ruling on Friday, August 19th. We CARE - Santa Paula is no more than a representative for the people of Santa Paula who are scared to death about the Fagan Canyon development. Because we take this responsibility and the trust that people have placed in us seriously, no matter what the outcome today, We CARE - Santa Paula will continue to work through the legal process for the people. We continue to ask the question: Why is our city government so vested in not allowing the people to have their right to vote?We CARE is not the one who will prevail - it is the PEOPLE who will prevail now, or later, in the appellate division or Supreme Court - and we think that the attorneys for the city probably know this to be true.Larry SagelyCo-ChairmanWe CARE - Santa PaulaSanta PaulaEncouraged by the Council listeningTo the Editor:A number of my Oaks neighbors stood up at the August 1st City Council meeting and voiced their concerns regarding Sparkuhl Ranch development. An earlier development in the Oaks turned out poorly and we want to make sure that we don’t get stuck with another, and larger mediocre development. Residents are making themselves heard now because we know once construction starts, it’s too late.I was encouraged by the Council listening to and heeding these concerns and requesting that the developer go back and make changes. The Council is right to perform the due diligence necessary. Let us hope that they apply the same degree of diligence to Fagan Canyon, only a hundredfold more. There are after all a HUNDREDFOLD more homes proposed.Not to diminish the concerns about Sparkuhl Ranch, as they are significant and worrisome, but at the same time, let’s not strain at a gnat and swallow a canyon.Dion AndersonSanta Paula

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