The New Face of San Juan Cares

Matt Gaffney takes over for Rob Ferguson.

Matt Gaffney, as pictured in a recent email. Courtesy of San Juan Cares.
Matt Gaffney, as pictured in a recent email. Courtesy of San Juan Cares.

There’s a new face to San Juan Cares, the group that’s been responsible for some controversial mailers as of late.

Rob Ferguson, a member of the Open Space, Trails and Equestrian Commission, was the group’s first front man. He said his goal was a neutral third party in the midst of two warring factions in town, the council majority and a group of disgruntled citizens looking to recall one of them, Councilman Sam Allevato.

Since then, San Juan Cares produced a flier with caricatures of majority opposition that raised ire in two towns

But during San Juan Capistrano resident Kim McCarthy’s recent address to the Rancho Santa Margarita City Council -- where the group's lawyer, Steve Baric, serves as a councilman -- it was revealed that Ferguson was no longer with the group.

Now comes Matt Gaffney, a former member of the city’s now-defunct Transportation Commission.

Here’s the email blast that went out today:

Dear San Juan Neighbor,

My good friend Rob Ferguson has decided reduce his role in San Juan Cares and concentrate on some personal health and family issues that many of you are aware of.

I appreciate Rob’s service in shedding light on policy issues that are important to our community. He has been informative, providing documents and verifiable facts that have left some a little uncomfortable.

His commitment to transparency will be followed as I take over San Juan Cares.

San Juan Cares will continue to inform residents on our important issues. We encourage a healthy debate and want you to use this web site and our Facebook page to comment.

For the last few years we have sat on the sidelines and watched our political environment turn toxic.

We will talk about many issues, water rates, and the Groundwater Recovery Plant. We will talk about our water future and how to pay for it.

Who should pay? Should large water users pay more than others?

We will talk about the misguided recall and its cost to taxpayers of at least $100,000, less than a year since our last election.

Recall leaders have proposed shutting down Groundwater Recovery Plant. Do we default on the $30 million in bonds? Or, who pays off the bonds? Taxpayers?

That’s like walking away from your mortgage. The city’s credit would be ruined for decades, and bankruptcy would be on the horizon.

San Juan Cares will bring you factual information – not politically driven editorial designed to tear our town apart.


Matthew Gaffney

Tornado Johnson February 05, 2014 at 11:01 PM
Me hat is wrong with the truth Shelly? People have a right to know what they are dealing with.
shelly February 05, 2014 at 11:22 PM
Tornado, The truth? Call him and find out the truth. For every truth there is a human story. I can read what the city is dealing with. Vindictiveness, unfriendliness, unkindness, no civility. On all sides.
Tornado Johnson February 05, 2014 at 11:27 PM
Are you saying the bank lied when they filed the Notice of Trustees sale Shelly?
shelly February 05, 2014 at 11:27 PM
Tornado, I do not know Matt Gaffney or his story. I do not know what you post to be true. I do know the economy's implosion hit many people hard. People lost their jobs, their homes, experienced pay cuts.
Tornado Johnson February 05, 2014 at 11:31 PM
For the record Shelly, I am not on any side.
Tornado Johnson February 05, 2014 at 11:41 PM
You can look up all the information at the Orange County Recorders Office Shelly. People need to know the background of the people before they make a contribution to a charitable organization. Don't you think so? One month Rob Ferguson is being sued for not paying his American Express bill. The next month he sets up a charitable organization where you can contribute up to $2,500.00 at a time. I don't know about you, but it leaves a pitt in my stomach.
Whiskey Bent February 05, 2014 at 11:49 PM
shelly I agree that it is wrong to attack people for their personal situation. I think the problem is Ferguson and Gaffney attacked people harshly for their personal situation. Throwing stones in glass houses. I do wish everyone will just stop.
Donna Fleming February 06, 2014 at 12:44 AM
Liberty.... Those flyers, the full color cartoon characters, making fun of people like Clint Worthington, John Perry, Jim Reardon, Kim McCarthy and Debra Pauly, enraged people. San Juan Cares, created the flyers and mailed them to every citizen in San Juan Capistrano. People have been hurt and ridiculed. Citizens started taking action, digging up answers to all the unanswered questions. Why the water rate appeal? Why the land deal? Why was CCS banned from public property? Why the law suits? It is as if you are suggesting we stop a forest fire with a bottle of Evian. The situation is too hot.
Garry Meeker February 06, 2014 at 12:51 AM
I think Mr. Matt Gaffney should be investigated; since I had a bad experience with my home owners Insurance policy that I thought I was covered, I later found out that I was not covered. The only way I discovered that I was not insured was the fact another Insurance agent came knocking at my door drumming up business and asked how much was I paying for my home Insurance policy; at that time Matt Gaffney charged me ($2,200) for one year policy, The agent was surprised; He told me that he could give me the same policy under Farmers Ins. for ($868.00) per year. As soon as he said that, I called the main office thinking I was insured, I was really shocked what the main office said to me; Mr. Meeker we don't have any record of you being insured by us, I soon notified Mr. Gaffney, of course his response was I'll look into it. To make this story short, Mr. Gaffney wrote out a check paid me in full refund. ($2,200) Mr Gaffney lost his house or sold it because of lawyers fee's and accumulated personal debt regarding his legal transactions and lost his Insurance broker license; He then went to work for Jim Holbert in San Clemente, Ca. Now after all that, Other individuals have said to me that same thing happen to them. All this info. should be in the court house records. I was asked if I wanted to press charges, at that time I refused since he lost a lot already.
Donna Fleming February 06, 2014 at 02:06 AM
Thank you Garry. This is something residents need to know, if someone is the head of a non profit organization in town. I presume Garry, that you are saying that on more than one occasion Matt Gaffney accepted premiums from a homeowner for insurance and did not forward them to the insurance company? This happened to more people than you? Surprising too that the lender on the home never notified you or others.
Tornado Johnson February 06, 2014 at 10:36 AM
The court judgement from the insurance company is in the court records Garry Meeker. I had not yet researched the lawsuit to find out why the judgement was awarded to the insurance company. With the the kind of first hand experience that you had, it make you wonder why in the world someone should be allowed to head up a charitable organization such as San Juan Cares. It is very disturbing.
Tornado Johnson February 06, 2014 at 11:08 AM
The State of California filed a Tax Lien against Robert W. Ferguson in the amount of $63,731.88 with the last known as address being in Sam Allevatos neighborhood. Certificate number 09097482234. You can verify this information yourself.
Tornado Johnson February 06, 2014 at 11:14 AM
The American Express case against Rob Ferguson was filed at the Harbor Justice Center (Newport Beach) case number 30-2013-00650555. The documents in support of notice of entry of default judgement were filed on August 13, 2013. If he could not pay his American Express bill, why is he raising money through a non profit organization?
Tornado Johnson February 06, 2014 at 11:20 AM
The Rancho Madrina Community Association filed suit against Rob Ferguson in 2012 for non payment court case 30-2012-00576463. This was not the first lawsuit by a HOA for non payment. There are other lawsuits from HOA's for non payment.
Tornado Johnson February 06, 2014 at 11:33 AM
Rob Ferguson lists himself as a Principal in MorCap Financial Group, LLC and listed as Chairman of the Companies Board of Directors. Case number 30-2010-00425742. The suit alleges Fraud for failing to "acquire the 72 properties" which you can find on page five of the complaint.
Vladimir February 06, 2014 at 11:54 AM
"San Juan Cares will bring you factual information – not politically driven editorial designed to tear our town apart." Please. Couldn't you even start out the "new face" without something so obviously and demonstratively false? "We encourage a healthy debate." Specifically, how do your coulrophobic flyers and insulting comments move us towards that goal? Perhaps you could be the leaders you claim to be and take the first bold step towards a "healthy debate."
Tornado Johnson February 06, 2014 at 12:22 PM
If it is not politically driven, then why has this information not appeared in the San Juan Cares mailers? Why does San Juan Cares not attack both sides? Just the act of omission of doing so is demonstrative of this. Don't you think so?
Matt Gaffney February 06, 2014 at 12:45 PM
Any of you people who believe anything that comes out of Garry Meeker's mouth obviously don't know him. I've been continuously licensed in California since 11 September 1976. Meeker's a worm, ask any of the old timers in Capo. you know how to get a hold of me Garry.
Tornado Johnson February 06, 2014 at 01:07 PM
Interesting that the President of San Juan Cares, Matthew William Gaffney is calling someone a "worm". Maybe it is just me, but a family such as the Meekers going back nine generations certainly usurps living here all your life. In fact, the Meekers so to speak have nine lives.
Donna Fleming February 06, 2014 at 01:48 PM
Mr. Gaffney... your closing comment, "San Juan Cares will bring you factual information – not politically driven editorial designed to tear our town apart." is not true. San Juan Cares is an organization born to fight the recall and keep Sam Allevato in control of our town. You have been appointed as the new head of a non profit organization. Tornedo and others, have done a lot of digging into the Appeal, the Recall and the Non profits and their controllers. The Open Space Foundation. and the SJC City Council and Sam Allevato. We are living through a recession/depression. Lost jobs, banks failing, retirment accounts devalued, lots of lawsuits. But, when one become a civic leader you can expect to be scrutinized. I do not know you or Mr. Meeker personally, but his allegations need to be reviewed. For you to say, "Meeker's a worm, ask any of the old timers-" is a childish response. Meeker is not the head of a Non Profit orgainiztion. Remember Mr. Gaffney, Woodward and Bernstein were just reporters for the Washington Post back in 1974. They uncovered layer after layer, by following the money.
Fr. Serra February 06, 2014 at 02:41 PM
Good Lord! OMG!!!! Just saw the mailer art work! Nearly choked seeing the gut on CW and the jester's shoes! Is a larger print available? The artist captured their essence! People who spin conspiracies, hatred of minorities, those with much idol time looking for dirt must understand they will be looked at too. Tornado does have quite an obsession with people. Has she called Mr. Gaffney...probably not! No communion for you!
Tornado Johnson February 06, 2014 at 02:43 PM
Just how is it Matthew William Gaffney as President of CARE, how can a animal rescue give funds to the Open Space Foundation? My research shows that is not legal. One cannot expect to give funds to one non profit for animal rescue and have the funds end up in another non profit supporting open space? It appears Matthew William Gaffney that there are some legal issues there.
Tornado Johnson February 06, 2014 at 02:59 PM
Interesting that Fr. Serra would say "Good Lord" and "OMG". Can't imagine why he is not a Saint.....
Donna Fleming February 06, 2014 at 03:36 PM
Tornedo...Maybe it was confession day.
Tornado Johnson February 06, 2014 at 03:38 PM
I think you are right Donna Fleming.
Donna Fleming February 06, 2014 at 03:51 PM
Tornedo...Fr. Serra has dropped his priestly front....Post from the Zoo vs. Circus blog. Fr. Serra? You have changed you priestly, "now my child", manner of speech? Much like the painting uncovered in the Chapel in the mission, lift the top layer and you will find the true artist, or at minimum, the inspiration for the San Juan Circus flyer.
Tornado Johnson February 06, 2014 at 03:59 PM
No need to call Matthew William Gaffney Fr. Serra. The Trustee Sale documents, court judgements, state and federal tax liens, speak volumes without saying a word. Fr. Serra, I did not realize that the Catholic religion allowed you to decide who received Communion or not? Are we all not God's children? Is Mechelle Lawrence Adams over at the Mission aware of your posts?
Donna Fleming February 06, 2014 at 04:25 PM
Tornado... Bernstein and Woodward just uncovered a link. Not for this blog.
Donna Fleming February 06, 2014 at 06:32 PM
Tornedo...Re your comment above. "Just how is it Matthew William Gaffney as President of CARE, how can a animal rescue give funds to the Open Space Foundation? My research shows that is not legal. One cannot expect to give funds to one non profit for animal rescue and have the funds end up in another non profit supporting open space?" The non profits have to have the same mission statement to allow one non-profit to donate to another. Animal Rescue and Open Space is not the same mission. A person donating to Animal Rescue may have no interest in donating to Open Space or an events park. And, vice versa.
Sunshine February 07, 2014 at 01:32 AM
I have to say, Girls, these guys around town have been getting away with murder. They have gotten so used to doing whatever they please, however they please that they don't care if it's legal or not. No one has been noticing or calling them on their behavior. Now that some residents have woken up, started revealing the corruption, and are uniting, they are as angry as heck and stepping on our Constitutional rights to intimidate us and quiet us. When all of this gets properly documented, it will make a great story for John and Ken on KFI. So went the corrupt leadership in the city of Bell, so will go the corrupt majority council and their minions in SJC. Fight on, Girls!


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