BLOG: A Comment on Laura's Article

A point-counterpoint conversation makes its way to the blogosphere.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This blog is a a reply to City Councilmember Laura Freese's .

Last month, I published an . This was a “report card,” which called out many areas where they participated in major “goofs,” inflicting harm upon the community and its citizens.

On that basis, I suggested that they should not seek re-election.

The list of major policy "goofs” was limited to major items that were clear cut and obvious with lots of supporting evidence – such as the mismanaged, expensive Water Reclamation Plant or the deceptions involved in the purchase of the Riding Park from the Mission Viejo Ranch Co. for $27.5 million; (you know, that's the crony deal that will cause you to spend over $60 million over the term of the bond for open space parkland that you can't even enter – except for a few promotional hours each year) .

Yes, the list of major policy errors by Sam Allevato and Laura Freese is extensive. Neither Laura nor Sam have offered any explanation nor even a denial. How can one deny facts?

But a few days ago, in Patch and Coffee Chat, Laura chided me for changing my mind, regarding the $550,000 she advocated that we should spend for a .

Laura was correct. Yes, for years, I have questioned this project because it represents inappropriate, top-down, City Hall planning that government usually does very poorly. I felt it would do violence to the historic ambiance of our downtown area, converting “Village San Juan” into “Anaheim South.” Yet, at a council meeting in April, I spoke out in support of her plan. And, in July, I condemned the plan!! Laura pointed to this shift.

However, there is a factual explanation. At that meeting in April, I listened carefully to comments from Councilmember Freese, other council members and individuals from the publlc. Their statementss caused me to reverse my view, and I spoke out in favor.

In the ensuing months, I realized that the information provided that evening by Freese and others was inaccurate. Hence, I have returned to my original view that this plan is inappropriate; it should have been rejected.

One thing sticks out in this entire affair: The policy mistakes and errors which Mrs. Freese and Mr. Allevato have made while on the council are numerous and serious. Yet, they've offered no explanation, clarification nor defense. It's impossible to defend the indefensible.

Yes, I made an error. I forgot a rule that I've often said to others: ”Don't believe all that you hear from the dias in a City Council meeting.”

I am ashamed that Laura keeps talking about “TELLING LIES.” We are discussing objective facts here, not character assassination. Their numerous major policy “goofs” which are listed in my original letter, are fit subjects for evaluation in the report card, but it does not mean that Sam or Laura are “liars” – I consider that they are pleasant, upstanding folks, whom I highly regard.

Similarly, I object to being called a liar –   I've already admitted to being too trusting and too accepting of what I was told in that council meeting in April. Call me naïve, trusting, or even stupid, if you wish.

Pleeeze, Laura, don't resort to name-calling. Stick to issues. Remember: He (or She) who throws mud, loses ground.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Janice Pickartz August 10, 2012 at 03:07 AM
Well said, Dr. Byrnes, well said.


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