MICHAEL FROST, Dana Point
For background: I certainly don’t like wasteful spending, whether at the federal, state, regional or city level. But it appears to me that Mr. Payne didn’t watch the April 2 city council meeting and doesn’t know the facts. The “City of Dana Point” contributes no taxes to the TCAs. Dana Point builders contribute development impact fees, which are only assessed on new development and essentially paid for by the development owners. In order to pull building permits, the owner must pay multiple outside agency fees, including school fees and TCA fees. The $6 million he mentions are development impact fees (from developers) that went only to the 73 Toll Road (otherwise known as the San Joaquin portion of the TCA).
The Los Angeles Times article that Mr. Payne references is really about San Clemente’s fight with the TCA over the 241 extension (otherwise known as the Foothills portion of the TCA). In over 20 years of the TCA’s existence, Dana Point builders have contributed roughly $50,000 in development impact fees to the 241 extension. I believe getting into San Clemente’s fight over the 241 extension is a distraction from the real issues and improvements right here in Dana Point.
In light of the fact that there is already proposed state legislation to stop the TCA from building new roads like the 241 extension (AB 1273), that the TCA boards had already placed the issue of audits on their agendas, and that Congressman Mike Levin had already sent a letter to Governor Newsom asking for oversight of the 241 extension, Councilmember Federico advocated for measured patience and moved to table Ms. Lewis’ resolution until we received the Governor’s response. The fact that Councilember Lewis (and Councilmember Wyatt) voted against exercising patience proves that her resolution was more about good theater than it was about good policy.
Just like he did as a candidate for city council, Mr. Payne perpetuates Ms. Lewis’ talking points without researching the facts, or intentionally misleads readers for political gain; I am still not sure which it is.