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Lillian Boyd, Dana Point Times

After more than a month without Dana Point City Council open-session meetings, the city’s locally elected officials will meet on Tuesday, Sept. 3.

The sole item listed on the agenda, added by Councilmember Debra Lewis, calls for discussion on the advocacy of city positions.

“I am writing to express my concern with the violation of City of Dana Point City Council Policy 214 (“Policy”), a policy that has been in effect since 7/13/1993,” Lewis writes. “The Policy is intended to leave no doubt in the mind of anyone receiving a City Council Member’s communication as to whether or not that Council Member is speaking in his/her official capacity or merely as an individual.”

Councilmember Debra Lewis

The document goes on to state that councilmembers were not aware of the letter, dated Aug. 2, that was sent to Supervisor Lisa Bartlett regarding homelessness in Orange County.

“At least some councilmembers were entirely unaware of the (letter’s) existence, much less its contents, until August 14, 2019,” Lewis said.

The letter in question was signed by seven South County mayors in hopes of setting up a meeting with Bartlett while proposing the elimination of Service Planning Areas (SPAs)—the county’s region-based method to offer services for health care and homelessness.

The SPAs currently divide the county into three regions: north, central and south.

In the letter, which was sent to Bartlett’s office on Wednesday, Aug. 14, the cities of Aliso Viejo, Dana Point, Laguna Hills, Lake Forest, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano lament the use of SPAs, stating that homelessness is a “Countywide issue and the County needs to address it as such.”

Bartlett responded to the letter on Aug. 15, contending that the SPAs don’t prevent homeless individuals in South County from accessing services in the north and central regions.

City council will meet on Tuesday, Sept. 3 at 6 p.m. at Dana Point City Hall, Council Chambers, 33282 Golden Lantern, Dana Point.

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