By Mayor Debra Lewis

Glancing through entire threads of online comments, no matter how mundane the initial comment, a troubling pattern often appears. A commentary that starts out harmless enough devolves into what Stephen Colbert calls “truthiness.” What is “truthiness?” It’s the concept of the truth you know not with your head, but with your gut. And once the gut takes over, well, all sorts of offensive noises can emerge. And they do.

Invariably, some intrepid writer ventures in, trying to calm the passions. Rather than soothing, the attempt seems to do just the opposite. It feeds the beast, producing even more unpleasant gut reactions, with the most unsavory racket coming from those hiding behind fake names and pseudonyms.

Recently, an unnamed writer personally called me out in an online rant, chastising me for failing to address his/her/its “facts.” I must admit I had dismissed the assertion on its face and believed a response would only further enrage the anonymous poster. These “facts” supposedly proved that a disproportionate amount of the city’s money was spent in Capo Beach over the last 10 years. The author’s persistence in repeating the misinformation as incontrovertible fact got my attention. I offered to engage in a direct dialogue on the subject if he/she/it would identify him/her/itself and talk to me. My offer was declined, or rather more accurately, ignored.

It is true that the city had previously maintained a spreadsheet for internal use to track approximate capital project costs over 10 years, including a column for Capo Beach. This spreadsheet had issues however. It included millions of dollars in outside grant money awarded to the city to underground utilities in Capo Beach, skewing the results against Capo Beach. Also, the project costs did not align with the city’s public financial reports.

Recently, the new City Manager instructed the Public Works department to prepare a more rigorous Capital Improvement Program (CIP) historical summary of projects completed within the last 10 years, separating outside funding and city funding and delineating projects by geographic area. Turns out, of the $71,452,347 total project costs spent over the last 10 years, $18,165,323 of the city’s money was spent in Capo Beach. That seems reasonable. Not 42 percent. However, unlike other areas where spending for beautification, trees, medians and the like is visible, much of the spending in Capo Beach has been underground, making it literally invisible.

A final word. The city spends its money maintaining city improvements, such as streets, storm drains, parks, facilities and developing new projects solely on the basis of need, not location. Since there are more places to spend money, than money to spend, the city prioritizes spending giving preferences to must do’s, then to need to do’s and finally to want to do’s. We all want the city to look its best and be attractive to our residents and visitors alike.

“[F]acts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” – John Adams, December 4, 1770, successfully defending the British soldiers on trial for the Boston Massacre.

Wherever we live in the city, we are one Dana Point.

The summary document can be viewed at www.danapoint.org/home/showdocument?id=23703.

The Citywide Project map can be viewed at www.danapoint.org/home/showdocument?id=23693.

PLEASE NOTE: In an effort to provide our readers with a wide variety of opinions from our community, the DP Times provides Guest Opinion opportunities in which selected columnists’ opinions are shared. The opinions expressed in these columns are entirely those of the columnist alone and do not reflect those of the DP Times or Picket Fence Media. If you would like to respond to this column, please email us at editorial@danapointtimes.com.

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comments (36)

  • Dear Mayor,

    In my opinion, your onion in September 1st 2017 DPT is a perfect description of FACTS now, if only we could get the people to comprehend a FACT.

  • Mayor, $18,165,323 of 52,632,733 is 35% (city spent). So truth be told. Also, my stats, provided by the city, are from 2005-2017, so 12 years. And it shows, $35,207,923 spent on Capo vs a total, in all districts, of $83,724,427 or 42%. (they probably are totals spent from other agencies, including the city, I will give you that) You are also missing the point on a few items:
    1) The biggest complaints over the last few years has been that Capo is under appreciated. Really?
    2) Road surrey is a large part of the cost, most of MB and LD are in HOAs and pay that cost thru dues, not property tax.
    3) The median property tax in 92624 is $1,000 lower then the rest of the city and does not have a $3,000+ extra HOA dues (using median makes a better apples to apples comparison)
    4) The bullying you and Save DP, as well as Capo Cares have unloaded on council members; Tomlinson, Vizerorek,Muller and past councils is so hypocritical, they do and have supported Capo. Proof is in the pudding. In fact, one of our neighbors spoke at the last FRC and was questioned the next day on where he received the information from above. Like the information is non-public?

    Some us feel that your non-stop political games are tearing this city apart. You have either tried too ram stuff through or you end up on the wrong side of every debate, usually on the losing side. Your political team boycotts businesses that didn’t vote in favor of H and on line attacks have been non-stop. Show leadership mayor and work for all of Dana Point, not just those that voted for no-growth!

  • I enjoyed reading this short item. Thanks for taking the time to address this in a clear manner.

  • Mayor, I have lived here for 10+ years and since you have arrived, Save DP and Capo Cares, have been saying that that the city does not appreciate the Capo areas. Well when one part of town is receiving 35% of the benefits and only provides 15% of the revenue, proves that your non stop attacks against past councils, and the three current council members you oppose, and saying they don’t care is a bunch of false arguments. The truth is this town has always worked as one, until your mean spirited, anti growth agenda rolled into town. The truth, is we are looking at past numbers, and you just joined the council. So, yes the rest of DP cares about Capo, so have your Resist Army stop the complaining at every council meeting. The truth, is you haven’t accomplished anything, except our homeless population has boomed on your watch.

    • To MB Cares;
      Try to make sense and be remotely factual on your next post.

    • To MB cares,

      I have read your comment twice and I still. I cannot get to the fact(s) you are trying to make.

    • MB Cares, I’ll offer you the same thing I offered our other anonymous poster, Long Term Resident. While it’s very easy to demonize people or groups from behind a false name, sometimes if people agree to meet and discuss things in person they find they have much in common..

      I suspect you love our town of Dana Point as much as I do and I think we likely have many shared dreams for our City. If you will contact me at capocares@gmail.com, I will be happy to meet with you and correct your obvious misimpression of Capo Cares and Capo Beach, answer any questions you might have, and share our visions for Dana Point.

      I think Monarch Beach, like many areas of our town, is beautiful, and I want you to know that although I live in Capo Beach and advocate for this particular community, I also care about Monarch Beach, Lantern District, the harbor, and every other area of our town. I would not dream of denying any area necessary road or sewer repairs or anything else they need. In fact, I believe the City should do exactly as the Mayor stated in her article, spend money first on “must do’s, then on need to do’s and finally on want to do’s.”

      If you analyze the City’s data detailing completed capital projects over the past 10 years (see link in the article) you’ll see that almost all of the money spent in Capo Beach was spent on “must do’s” — sewers and roads. Public Works officials explained to me that this happened because the County had not adequately maintained our infrastructure, and there were some serious sewer and road issues to contend with. It seems that we’re almost at the point where our roads are on a par with the rest of the City. I look forward to the day when some of our “need to dos” (like revitalizing Doheny Village) and our “like to do’s” (like lovely medians and park improvements) can be addressed. This in no way means that I resent the improvements in your area or others. I think they’re gorgeous, and I’m happy for you and your community and grateful that you didn’t have the infrastructure issues we had in Capo Beach.

      I am extremely grateful that most of our roads are now up to par and am also grateful that we have 4 major hotels that help fund city expenditures. I recognize that only one of those major hotels is in 92624 and that yes, more revenue is coming from the hotels in other areas. It never occurred to me until you and others started posting, that some people might actually think that money should be allocated by the City according to where it happens to be earned instead of on a prioritized basis recognizing the intrinsic value of all areas and all citizens.

      I hope you’ll contact me. Please bring your reference on the 15% figure. I don’t think it’s relevant, but I’m curious as to your data source.

      Best regards– really!

      • It may not seem like it, but I do honestly think the CAPO CARES group has a good heart, and good intentions at the end of the day. However, I just cant read this sort of response and not highlight these items:

        From the CAPO CARES WEBSITE: (09/04/2017)

        “With long term reserves virtually gone after more than $20 million invested in Town Center, there is no money left for Doheny Village. Particularly galling is that part of the Town Center improvements were funded with the sale of $3.6 in Capo Beach park land in 2014.”

        Extract from the reply above.

        “I am extremely grateful that most of our roads are now up to par and am also grateful that we have 4 major hotels that help fund city expenditures. I recognize that only one of those major hotels is in 92624 and that yes, more revenue is coming from the hotels in other areas. It never occurred to me until you and others started posting, that some people might actually think that money should be allocated by the City according to where it happens to be earned instead of on a prioritized basis recognizing the intrinsic value of all areas and all citizens.”

        Seriously? Really?

        what a joke

        • Michael,, my goodness! It seems I should have invited you to coffee as well. I can’t believe how you can so misinterpret my comments. Don’t you get it?

          10 years ago, Dana Point was a very wealthy city with significant fund balances over and above emergency and cash flow reserves, We had plenty of capital to leverage improvements in the entire City, including adequate parking and infrastructure in both Lantern District and Doheny Village. Instead, the Lantern District was funded by using all the available savings, including $3.6 million from the sale of Capo park land. The plan was executed in such a way that we now have serious parking issues and no funding to solve them. I wasn’t around for most of that planning period, so I’m at a loss to understand exactly how that happened, The Town .Center Plan clearly called for one or more parking structures but parking was somehow forgotten, and now everyone’s pointing fingers instead of focusing on real solutions. So yes, I find it galling that Capo’s land sale proceeds were spent all in one place too.

          I know that Doheny Village was on the table some years ago and then swept off in favor of Lantern District.. That would have been fine if some long range Planning had been done.and some funds reserved for DV. We have two areas with considerable potential. Why plan for only one? Instead, we have the worst of both worlds: no funding to complete LD, solve parking and perhaps incentivize further development there, and no funds to do even minimal cleanup in Doheny Village. It was extremely disappointing to realize that savings are depleted and now that it’s almost DV’s turn, there’s no money set aside for revitalization.

          I’m not sure that DV will get going in the next decade. Have you been down there lately? The area is basically a broken window, and we don’t have the funds to fix it. Whether people like it or not, this area is part of Dana Point, and some of the businesses down there have trouble keeping transients from soiling their doorsteps, and our sales tax continues to leak to other towns. Forgive me, but yes – I find that pretty galling, but mostly just sad. What a shame that City leaders could not have planned more carefully. I truly believe we could have had both areas moving forward by now if we had simply leveraged investment to match outflows to inflows over many years.

          The 5 year forecast contained in this year’s budget allows for minimal capital investment for necessary road repairs and facilities maintenance only. It also reveals a $2 million structural deficit and if we don’t plug the hole, actual reserves will start to be drawn down in a few years as well. Dana Point could have benefited from the sales and property taxes that would have come from two revitalized commercial areas. After necessary accessibility improvements in DV, this beach close area could have become a vibrant contributor we could all be proud of. At this stage, I’ll be grateful if we just get zoning in place and a decent parking plan. And who knows? Maybe developers will get interested even without any lipstick on the area.

          Do you know what’s also galling? That some of the sharpest minds in our City, instead of putting their heads together to solve some of these very solvable problems, are instead engaged in petty blame games and partisan politics. Please. Give it up. It’s tiresome and unproductive and we have problems to solve,

          There are some bright notes on the financial horizon with some new hotels coming, a one time cash infusion from last year’s overly conservative budgeting, and there’s some interest ( I pray) in reigning in spending. Dana Point needs a free and open exchange of ideas to develop some good strategy for our City. I’m doing my best to help, but forums like this are very discouraging,

          If you are interested in helping to find common sense, achievable solutions, I’ll be happy to hear your ideas. . Otherwise, I’ve had my fill of this forum.

          • Toni-

            I actually offered to sit down with you when I replied to a letter you wrote on July 3, 2017 at 3:03 pm. Within that same reply I offered a couple development oriented ideas to fund Doheny Village quickly. I received no valuable response.

            Please don’t leave this forum because I highlighted an inconsistency within your argument. (For the record- I never offered my interpretation, I simply copied and pasted)

            You should be able debate the direction of the community within this forum. For me specifically, I have never attacked anyone for any subjective statements. I have highlighted where you are inconsistent and where people don’t reference the correct analytics. (The Mayor’s letter)

            As for moving forward, I would like the FRC to request from staff a document much the same as this CIP Analysis. I think the community should clearly understand where our revenue comes from, (both revenue type and location).

  • Thank you to the mayor and the staff for putting this together. This was something which should have been put together a long time ago. And if not accurate, it opens yourself up to criticism, which is admirable.

    I am however disappointed with two things:

    1) The Mayor falls victim to the very thing she highlighted in her own letter. “Truthiness” Anyone with 1/2 brain knows the statistic which is under discussion is the relative % of “City of Dana Point funds” spent within CAPO BEACH. Referencing “Total Project Costs” is either an accidental error, or an attempt to reduce the negative impact this analysis has to her most ardent supporters . I don’t know where MB Cares came up with a couple of those items- but he/she was dead on with 35%. (18 Million / 52 Million) And that number sure doesn’t match the narrative from many people.

    2) The letter also misses the opportunity to clearly highlight that Monarch Beach (and the private developments of the two hotels) have indeed allowed for a disproportionate amount of the city’s money to be spent in both Capo Beach and Lantern District. Take a look at the spreadsheet. Even without layering in Revenue- it is clear that Monarch Beach supports both CAPO and Lantern District. And frankly, the “facts” in this letter actually highlight the imbalance in CIP spending. With all that said, she should have taken the time to be clear that this is ok, and really an example of the value private development brings to Dana Point..

    Mhf
    Lantern Village

    • What utter nonsense. It is interesting to take a look inside the writers thinking and brain. He/She writes just like our current US President. I do not understand almost anything our President says. So I guess that says it all for me.

    • MHF: Good catch, This isn’t the first time the Mayor’s made numerical errors in one of her posts. It’s not clear if she is being intentionally disingenuous, or is simply innumerate.

      In her April 7th editorial she stated,

      3.7 percent: City’s total cumulative revenue growth over the past ten years
      Approx. 40 percent: City’s cumulative operating expenditure growth over that same period

      when the actual numbers for operating revenue and expenditure growth were 31.2% and 37.5%.

      • Long Term Resident, I would love to discuss your numbers with you. I’ve looked at the City’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for 2016 and the Mayor’s figures look fine for total revenue and total operating expenses (before capital outlay) on a total government basis.

        I don’t like to respond to anonymous posts, but these things tend to get repeated. Please contact me at capocares@gmail.com and I’ll be happy to meet with you in person or discuss this by phone.

        • Ms Nelson:

          I was giving the Mayor the benefit of the doubt, and assumed that when comparing “revenue growth” to “operating expenditure growth” over the last decade, she meant “operating revenue growth”. I already explained how to get the correct value in this post from another thread:

          http://www.danapointtimes.com/letter-regarding-citys-finances-2/#comment-1718721

          • LTR, I really encourage you to come out of the shadows and reveal your name. No one will bite — promise. I am answering you here only because I think it’s important to discuss this issue.

            I believe if we’re looking at a change over 10 years, we should be looking at FY 2007 vs. FY 2016 (see page 84 of CAFR not FY 2006 . I agree that if you look at the general fund only, the increase in operating revenue in the general fund (which is not what was referenced in the article) would be 17% and not 4%, over the 10 year period, but that ignores revenue activity in other funds.. The article referenced a growth of 40% in operating expenditures which grew on a total government basis, itemized by department, actually by 44.4% over the past 10years (take total expenditures on page 84 and back out capital items). Whether you use 3.7% or 17%, if expenditures consistently and grossly outpace revenue, it’s a recipe for serious fiscal problems. The total government perspective provides a better picture of the growth in non-capital spending in all departments across the entire entity. The article was comparing apples and apples – both total revenue and total non-capital expenditure on a total government basis.

            The difficulty with looking at the General Fund alone is that one can miss the story of what is going on fiscally with Dana Point as a whole governmental entity. I believe it is exactly this emphasis on solely the General Fund, along with no discernible cautions or warnings from City management, that caused successive Councils to keep spending, while being unaware of the fact that they were seriously eroding savings that were being drawn into the general fund every year to fund annual capital expenditures. Whether you want to focus on one fund or the whole entity, Dana Point as a whole logged large deficits (i.e. spent more than it took in) in 8 of the past 10 years. That had significant consequences and if we don’t look at the whole entity we end up in exactly the situation we’re in right now with a serious structural deficit and difficulty funding any capital expenditures beyond those necessary to maintain existing infrastructure.

          • LTR-

            Perhaps a class on Cash Flow vs Income Statement is needed? And what is used to gauge operational effectiveness?

            Actually, in all seriousness- I do see that a person is required to go to both the 2006 report and a 2016 report to analyze changes in the income statement. Why is that? Page 84 does help provide a cash flow perspective, but people will and do get these confused. Go out to any 10k and the first summarized financial table will be an income statement for the last five years.

            Overall- I just wish people referenced the correct metrics when making their arguments. And you know what? I agree- its not good for expenses to be outpacing revenue.

          • Long-Time Resident

            Ms Nelson:

            I only got as far as your first sentence in the 2nd paragraph and stopped reading. A change from FY 2016 to FY 2007 is 9 years not 10. Count it out on your fingers if you don’t believe me (1 = 2015, 2=2014, etc.)

    • Michael, kudos for having the courage to use your real name (at least I hope it’s real) and trying to stay fact based. As long as the Dana Point Times continues to allow anonymous postings and refuses to vet for personal attacks, this is a foolish place to spend my valuable time. At this point I’m getting whiplash from turning the other cheek as attacks on Capo Cares and on my personal integrity, motives, and even, unbelievably my citizenship are lobbed by anonymous trolls with hidden agendas. I have a lot of work on my plate and (aside from trying to set the record straight so that erroneous claims don’t stand undefended in cyberspace) I think it makes much more sense to raise these issues in a public setting where names must be submitted.

      I will look at the post you referenced and if you contact me at capocares@gmail.com I will give you my cell phone and we can chat. FYI for the trolls, I raised the issue of looking at revenue enhancement and specifically developer incentives and economic development as a whole several times at FRC. There are many other things on the agenda right now, but I suspect this topic will be introduced again in future meetings.

      You are, of course, free to ask Council to put anything you want on the agenda, but as far as spending more valuable staff time to prove the obvious, I disagree. Unless there is a possible positive outcome to be derived from tracking revenue and expenditure by neighborhood, I worry that your analysis will only waste staff time and create more divisiveness when we sorely need unity.

      Our community as a whole needs to solve some important problems. If some neighborhoods need to be acknowledged because hotels in their area contribute more revenue, I think that’s already obvious but I’ll acknowledge it here. All DP property owners are paying property taxes, but only 7.6 cents of each dollar ends up in City coffers. I suppose you can argue that areas with more high value or newer properties contribute more, but what’s the point? Capo Beach actually has a slightly higher median value than the rest of DP per Zillow if the trolls are checking, but so what? We certainly don’t feel any more entitled than any other area. If commercial areas like LD and DV can’t get funding to help make them viable, how is this perceived or likely real inequity ever fixed? How does Capo Beach entice development and contribute more TOT, sales and property taxes if we don’t even have sidewalks on one side of PCH and DV continues to look as it does? And how does LD fill those lots and get to full build-out? I urge you to focus on unity, not division and ask staff to work on things that will help derive good financial policies and strategies to meet our challenges.

      I look forward to hearing from you, Michael.

      • LTR – Please look at the “LAST TEN YEARS” of results in the CAFR. They show fiscal years 2007 to 2016 and I counted 10 periods on my toes.

        • Ms Nelson:

          We’re talking about growth. You need (N+1) periods of revenue to calculate an (N) period growth rate.

          The 3.7% revenue growth rate is almost exactly $39.473m/$38.064m, those 2 numbers being revenue from 2016 and 2007. That’s 10 periods, but a 9 year difference, and therefore a 9 year growth rate.

          To keep it simple, please explain how you would calculate a 1 year revenue growth rate with 1 year of revenue data. This should be interesting.

          • Mr. Resident – Thank you. As I just said, I got it and I still get it. I understand the math and you are correct. The change between the ten periods shown in the CAFRs is 9 years not 10. My bad. Go to the head of the class.

            I am clearly error prone like most humans and I apologize if this caused any consternation. I should have been referring to a 9 year change but I think most understood we were looking at the difference between results for FY 2016 vs. FY 2007 as shown in the schedule.in the CAFR showing results for the last ten years. Perhaps you would have had the time and energy to add another year and column from
            another CAFR but I did not. I think most would have used the period shown in the CAFR for ease of use. I don’t believe this changes anything significant about the financial condition of the City but I will be sure to refer to a nine year change or say “between FY 2007 and FY 2016, revenue grew by x percent”. I’m sure you’ll catch me if I don’t.

            Now I’m off DP Times’ website for good unless they change their policies. You boys have fun among yourselves.

            You know how to reach me and as always I’m willing to talk to anyone not wearing a mask.

      • I will copy my ideas and email to you. And if you really did identify in the FRC some development focused ideas, good for you and thank you.

        As for the revenue analysis, I don’t want to create divisiveness in the community but I think part of your responsibility is to communicate where and how we have been able to spend 52 million dollars the last ten years alone. Most in CAPO and Lantern District.

        Nobody wants to admit this- but it is the big bad developers and small quant town killing tourists who have funded our community- and they are the only folks who will fund your/our Doheny Village.

        One last item- and nobody ever comments on this. I believe we should immediately engage the owners of the Doheny Hotel and work with them to develop that property under a product program close to what they proposed a couple years ago. (Yes the property which currently houses drunks and shopping carts) We should then identify and sell the PV of the expected TOT from that project and fund Doheny Village improvements as soon as possible.

        But nah, lets save 5k with one less concert

      • LTR – Please look at the “LAST TEN YEARS” of results in the CAFR. They show fiscal years 2007 to 2016 and I counted 10 periods on my toes. You are technically correct that it marks 9 periods of change from the end of one fiscal year to the next, but really?

        We can argue semantics, but the article you reference was clearly discussing changes between fiscal 2007 and 2016 and the CAFR clearly intends to show results for each of 10 fiscal years. If it makes you feel better to say this is technically a 9 year change and not a 10 year change, ok, be a smarty pants, but this is clearly the schedule being discussed.. If you account for the fact that fiscal 2007 starts with July 1st of 2006, we clearly have ten full years of results we’re comparing and few (including the City’s auditors) would include 2006 in this ten year analysis.. If you want to make an 11th column for 2006 and stand on semantics, go ahead. The point is still pretty obvious and most people looking at 10 periods would interpret results on that basis. Bottom line — expenses are still growing far faster than revenue; spendable funds are eroding; and we need smart people like you focusing on solutions, not nitpicking those doing their best to help. Mea culpa. Further proof we’re all human.

  • Are talking about budgets past and future being biased to Capo Beach or future here? Does CC need a majority or supermajority? From what I have seen the CC is hardly rubber stamping proposals with their votes so this will be discussed and corrected I assume. It’s not like nobody’s watching.

  • As made clear in my article, these are not the “Mayor’s numbers”, these are the City’s numbers. Please reread where I clearly state that the City Manager instructed staff to conduct a rigorous CIP review. The staff took a great deal of their time making sure the data was accurate. They sat down with me and detailed their methodology and results. The City determined the best presentation for the results of the CIP review to most fairly represent the data and results. I appreciate their time and attention to detail. I know these staff members to be thorough, honest, diligent and extremely motivated to produce only accurate information. I encourage anyone holding a belief that city data is either “intentionally disingenuous, or simply innumerate”, contact the city and discuss their concerns directly with the city.

    I encourage all Dana Point residents to simply move forward. We need to all work together to address the difficult and complicated issues facing us, to properly manage our money from here on out which will fix the $2,000,000.00 structural deficit (meaning recurring, not one time) that city staff, all members of the Financial Review Committee and all members of City Council acknowledge will be our reality in 2020 if we keep spending the way we have these many years.

    There is more power in unity than division.

    • Mayor Lewis:

      The mistake you made was in these sentences:

      “Turns out, of the $71,452,347 total project costs spent over the last 10 years, $18,165,323 of the city’s money was spent in Capo Beach. That seems reasonable. Not 42 percent.”

      As pointed out by Mr Frost, it should be obvious that the topic being debated was the ratio of DP funded Capo expenditures to total DP funded expenditures, giving 35% ($18.2m/$52.6m).

      Or if it wasn’t obvious, then you could have compared Capo expenditures to total expenditures, regardless of source, Doing that would have given 33% ($23.9m/$71.5m).

      But comparing $18.2m to $71.5m like you did, and which gives 25%, is nonsensical. So yes, you just used the numbers from the report, but you didn’t use the correct numbers.

    • I read all of this and shake my head. First, Im outraged that one of our government officials would call somebody a troll. That is embarassing. That is totally uncalled for and is nothing short of bullying. Why we allow this is beyond understanding, whether from the President or a local official.

      Truthiness, really? How about sophomoric and deceitful. Years ago we supported getting wires under grounded in lantern area streets and the city instead spent most of it in capo beach – why you say that it doesn’t count as more being spent on capo beach than somewhere else in town is either a lack of understanding on your part, or worse, deceitfuliness.. How much more of the money was spent in capo beach on the spreadsheet that could have been spent somewhere else in town? How about we have a reporter ask questions and write an unbiased article?

      • Ruth, great points, seems like Buck, Toni and Debra can do what they want and spend on their places (RR crossings for Buck, Pines Park for Toni and being the leader of the Resistance for our mayor, who hasn’t accomplished anything) Sad thing is spending on one area of town is at 42%, real numbers, not the phony number Ms Lewis is using. And, that area does not have HOA or anything to cover their cost. But the rest of the town is taken advantage of, then they do the anti growth H (thanks Buck) and want to still take more. In the end Capo needs to get their own roads fixed and start a HOA or a tax agency (I live in niguel shores and we take care of our own road). In my two short years here, I am stunned at the lying from our mayor. Read the article again and look at the numbers, she can’t add or is blatantly lying. I can see why she only lasted a short time of the RSM City council. Not surprised.

        • New in DP – Your repeated attempts to impugn the reputations of Toni, Buck and Debra wont work. The measure they stood behind and Wyatt/Lewis candidacy for council were obviously hugely popular, You can expect more of the same in the next election. The vast majority of DP voters wont read this thread. but they are aware of what a great job Debra has done as mayor and want more of the same.

      • Ms Bradley:

        I did a little research into utility undergrounding, and found the following (edited*);

        “The CPUC has a set of policies know as “Rule 20” to convert overhead electric equipment to underground. Rule 20 determines the level of ratepayer funding for the following 3 arrangements.

        Rule 20A: This approach provides for City-directed projects which are paid for by SDG&E …”

        So you are probably correct in saying that these expenditures should not be excluded in calculating the ratio of city-funded Capo Beach expenditures vs total city funded expenditures. DP apparently gets to determine, with some restrictions, which parts of town get the funds. So a more accurate estimate of the % Capo gets would take these numbers into account, and might increase the 35% number.

        Unfortunately I couldn’t figure out which line item(s), if any, from the Mayor’s spreadsheet referred to replacement of overhead cables per Rule 20A.

        ( * http://san-clemente.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=36574 )

  • Toni Nelson,

    Firstly, I completely agree with you about the DP Times web site. Unless and until the the DP Times changes the way it runs the sites I will not be reading the DP Times at all,, either print or web site. Thank you for your well thought analysis, Time to change the editor. My guess is that the editor is wined and dined by various council members in out area.

    I can better spend my time away from some of the insane trolls who are following The DP Times newapaper

    • How is your comment any different than these supposed trolls? Your “guess the editor was wined and dined” comment is bottom of the barrel. You are insulting people and trying to bully them with your threats, just because you don’t like the community discussion? The DP Times allowed Mayor Lewis to give her “opinion,” just as the commenters here are allowed to state their opinions. There is nothing unfair about that. I personally could care less if people write with a screen name. I don’t need, or want, their full name and home address! What they are saying is way more important. Frankly, I’m grateful we have a newspaper in town that actually covers our town. I LOVE the DP TIMES!

      Who cares if more money is being spent in one part of town than another? It’s all part of the same city so the money should go wherever its needed most. It’s only natural that some areas will need more than others,

      Nobody likes a NIT-PICKER.

  • I hope you don’t leave. Seriously. This forum is actually fantastic for people to debate issues and hold everyone accountable for referencing the correct financial/accounting metrics. Not everyone can make a city council meeting- so this is it.

    FYI – I didn’t see any personal attacks on this thread, but if I see any on others I will help call it out.

    Look, everyone (but especially elected and appointed officials) must reference correct facts and remain consistent on those facts when making arguments. And if incorrect- they should acknowledge and move on. (Toni did this, the mayor did not) The hypothesis from that baseline of fact is very subjective from that point- which is fine and great and then we can disagree.

    Metrics:
    We have spent 52 Million the last ten years. A disproportionate amount has been spent in CAPO BEACH (MUST HAVE) and Lantern District (NICE to HAVE). Basically the same %.

    My Personal Hypothesis:
    Unfortunately for CAPO BEACH, most of the CIP funding has been underground. However, the specific use of the funds in my mind is irrelevant. And it is very fair to say that CAPO BEACH has not been neglected. Frankly, if anyone has been neglected it is the Monarch Beach area. But with all that said, it does visually appear to me that any new significant city funded infrastructure and development should still be focused on improving Doheny Village.

  • Reading thru all of this makes my head spin. I did speak at the FRC last week and brought up some concerns brought up earlier by one, unnamed, person. I think Toni has done a good job trying to explain things and give her credit. Can’t say I agree with everything she said but I think she is on top of it. The one item I see through out the DP Times main stories (I stay away from threads like this) is the tone the mayor and her allies use, the bullying, etc…. That needs to stop. Why all of the negative articles about past councils? They seem to support all areas of town, but if you read the opinion pieces by the mayor it seems Capo is unappreciated when it is not, and she makes it sound as if past councils are criminal, when in fact they focused on the needy areas..

    As I stated to Toni Nelson in my call after the FRC meeting, we better deal with our growth, or lack of growth, issue. SB 35, SB 2 and SB 3 might change zoning laws, which will allow Sacramento to put in an eight story low income project in the middle of LD, without any input from the city. so, H/I will be a mute point. So, council, get together and work on a growth plan, finish improving DV (like Mr. Frost said) and focus on increasing our revenue sources (more building in the TC). Do it before Sacramento does it for us. Let’s dictate our zoning laws and not have a bean counter do it for us. Lastly, we get 3 minutes to speak at FRC and CC meetings, use it.

  • If I only had these letters to go by, I would never move or open a business,here. I may still move, not that anyone other than me should care. On a brighter note…….uhhhhhh….can’t think of anything…..oh wait…..one thing…..TRUMP WON! That’s for the genius that brought his name up in one of the stupidest discussions about local budgeting I’ve ever read in a newspaper. I’ll see myself out now.

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