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|ISSUE: Voting on incorporation of Carmel Valley
ISSUE: Voting on Community General Plan
ISSUE: Withdrawing Pebble Beach Co.'s Measure "A" Initiative
ISSUE: Voting on incorporation of Carmel Valley
Read recent Letters to the Editor of the Monterey County Herald
From the Monterey County Herald
|December 23, 2006
And now for C.V.
Now that the supervisors are moving toward putting the general plan on the ballot, maybe there's a chance that LAFCO could let the proposed Carmel Valley incorporation go to a vote in June. After all, two supervisors sit on the LAFCO commission.
That decision, of course, would involve putting aside the trumped-up call for an EIR (when there's no environmental impact from changing the form of government from county to town), the phony claim of distinct social boundaries between the lower, mid and upper valley (when we have friends, join clubs and spend our money everywhere), and the misinformed charge that the fiscal data are flawed.
All that needs to be done is to acknowledge the merit of the extensive report from LAFCO's staff and legal counsel recommending approval back in October.
|December 22, 2006
Reasons for Incorporation
With so much talk about whether we will get the chance to vote, it might be time to review why we should vote for Carmel Valley incorporation. Here are three reasons.
It will give local citizens more control to slow development rather than allowing five guys in Salinas to push their pro-development agenda. Local citizens will get to vote on their own city council.
It will give local citizens more control over local environmental issues. It has been clearly established that the administrative act of establishing a municipality will not in itself have any environmental impact. It will allow us to establish a local layer of environmental rules and to make local decisions sensitive to local concerns.
Third, it will put our taxes to work to support local priorities. For many years Carmel Valley has paid more in taxes than we have received from the county in services. That is why the fiscal analysis shows that incorporation will not increase our taxes but will result in a surplus.
|December 11, 2006
Ignoring own experts
Government officials or members of a governmental board, such as the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO), are normally immune from being sued for their decisions, as long as the decisions are within the purview of their governmental duties and there is some rational basis.
However, if their decisions can be shown to be arbitrary and capricious, their decision may be litigated and the individuals may be held personally liable. The most obvious type of situations where this might obtain would be something like taking a bribe or hiring a relative.
How do you suppose a jury would deal with LAFCO's recent decision to require an environmental impact report before allowing the public to vote on Carmel Valley incorporation? The decision reversed an earlier decision that an EIR is not required. It is based on no new information and it ignores legal counsel and California precedent. Most important, it ignores a detailed study performed by LAFCO's own experts, a study that found no environmental issues that required analysis.
It is very likely that LAFCO members could be held personally liable for their decision, the violation of our voting rights and the resultant costs to the taxpayers.
|December 9, 2006
Land-use process hijacked
Thank you for the editorial expressing the same frustrations Monterey County voters feel as they observe our Board of Supervisors subverting the democratic process and denying us the opportunity to vote on a general plan developed through public participation.
Watching Jerry Smith and Lou Calcagno leading the charge to deny Carmel Valley voters the opportunity to vote on incorporation serves as yet another object lesson in what happens when developers purchase the fawning allegiance of public officials. As a result, intelligent land-use planning is hijacked by the disastrous decisions of rubber-stamp stooges.
Fortunately, we will soon have the opportunity to vote these hand puppets out of office and replace them with competent leaders who truly represent the public interest. I, for one, will be delighted to volunteer my time to replace Jerry Smith with Jane Parker in the upcoming election.
|December 9, 2006
Grinch steals C.V.'s soul
It's hard to duplicate, but the Board of Supervisors has done a yeoman's job imitating the Grinch and stealing away the heart and soul of Carmel Valley residents.
No wonder they are sued so often when they strike down firm recommendations from their own staff and every commission and panel that tirelessly works to push the county forward.
The only motion here is the lateral most supervisors give to deep-pocket supporters who then sprint to cash in, even when there's no water.
Eventually, even the Grinch had a change of heart.
|November 30, 2006
Mind made up
I have lived in Carmel Valley 18 years. I vote here. Regarding the incorporation question: I've always thought it was a choice of being severely violated occasionally by people I don't know (supervisors) or being mildly violated often by people I do know (city council). Until now. Now my mind is made up.
I was driving by the unnecessary storage industrial facility in Mid-Valley this morning and noticed the ugliest mechanical contraption possible. It's like a pipeline or gas main or something else dangerous. I'm now in favor of an architectural review board, planning commission, and city council to evaluate such mechanical intrusions into rural life. We citizens must be allowed to vote and I'm voting for incorporation.
John Barry Smith
|November 29, 2006
Answerable to whom?
I see that friends of Tony Lombardo have begun a letter-writing campaign trying to depict supporters of Carmel Valley incorporation as power-crazed government lovers. This is a gentle reminder that however a vote might turn out, Carmel Valley is going to be governed by someone. The issue is whether it will contninue to be five guys in Salinas—four of whom rountinely ignore the valley’s representative in favor of big-money developers—or people answerable to the voters of Carmel Valley.
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