By Craig Alexander, Dana Point
I read with interest Gary Clark’s letter to the editor (DP Times, Dec. 21 – 27, 2012) in which he claims there may be a conflict of interest among city council members voting on the vacation rental homes issue. As a resident of and homeowner in Dana Point, I can say that in my neighborhood I have never had a problem due to vacationers staying in any home near me.
I oppose any further regulation of homes in our city regarding vacation home renting—we have enough regulations already. If someone is not using a rented home under existing laws such as making too much noise, the police can come and stop that. If the home is in an unsafe condition (whether it is being used as a vacation home or not) the city of Dana Point has the right to enforce its building codes.
Also, there is nothing illegal about a city council person voting on a matter where someone gave him or her a campaign donation and the donor happened to own a vacation home in Dana Point. It may be unlawful if the council person owns a vacation home, but I would assume he would recuse himself from that vote under the government code. Plus you can always go down to the city clerk’s office and pull the campaign contribution forms each council person is obligated to file and see who donates to them.
I do not always agree with all of the council members and their votes. For example, I am against the plastic bag ban. And there are likely many issues where Mayor Weinberg, Councilman Schoeffel and other city council members and I disagree. However, I have never found any evidence of any of them being dishonest.
The discussion over the vacation rental homes is important because individual property rights are very important. The issue should be debated from all points of view but in a respectful manner. I don’t see the need to cast doubt over people’s honesty without real evidence no matter what their point of view is on this subject.