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Like many of our residents, I was shocked and concerned about recent revelations of apparent financial mismanagement at the TCA—especially because over $6 Million in Dana Point tax dollars have been transferred to the TCA.

So I was optimistic to see our city council considering a resolution to support an independent audit of the TCA, similar to one just passed by San Clemente. We should all agree that our residents have a right to know how their tax dollars are being spent. It seemed like an easy thing to endorse. But our city council refused.

We can all guess why Mayor Joe Muller and Councilmember Richard Viczorek, who also sit on the TCA board, don’t want outsiders looking at their books.  It’s harder to guess why Federico, who ran promising transparency and accountability, would vote against those ideals.

Is Federico protecting his buddies who sit on the board of the TCA?  Or is he protecting the special interests that paid for his council seat?  One thing is certain: he isn’t protecting the taxpayers of Dana Point.

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comments (4)

  • You lost. Move on and stop the talking points given to you from the United Progressives. You picked the wrong team to join, you still have time to save your reputation. Admit your leader is wrong and come to the normal side. Listening to Kathy Ward (SC), Katrina Foley (Costa Mesa) and Jose Moreno (Anaheim) and their follower, our councilwoman, won’t help you. They don’t care about you, DP, or anything, except power. They even provided you with the wrong stats, taxpayers don’t pay a fee, developers do (and The United Progressives do not like developers).

    You have potential, a lot of us liked you, but you are hurting yourself by aligning with those that only tear down people, only want power and fail to see what is in the best interest of our town. The election is over, Mr. Federico has done a great job, he reached out and put Paul as Mayor Pro term, he ask great questions and, like most of the council, is an independent thinker. Again the election is over, come together and let’s all work on making this town the best it can be. Please

    • Hello again Brandon; That’s the second time in as many weeks you’ve attacked me personally with at best misinformation, at worst outright lies. It makes you seem dishonest. I’ve never met or spoken to the three individuals you named, and my ideas are entirely my own. I understand that you’re just defending your friends, but be truthful about it.

      Further, your response indicates a limited understanding of economics. So I’ll educate you. A business (including a developer) does not and cannot be made to pay taxes. The owner of the company may write a check to the government, but that cost is ultimately passed onto and paid by the consumer. Here, that consumer is anyone who buys a home in Dana Point. So our residents do ultimately pay that cost. In fairness, that’s not originally my concept, that’s Milton Friedman’s. You can look him up or even buy one of his books. Hazlitt’s “Economics In One Lesson” would also be a good read for you.

      Further, in an arrangement such as the TCA, which continues to sink deeper into debt with no apparent way out, eventually creditors will no longer allow them to refinance or extend them additional credit. When and if the TCA goes bankrupt, the taxpayer will ultimately be held responsible and will bear the cost of their debt, currently approaching $5 Billion.

      I’m not against the toll roads. I use them regularly. I am against government waste, cronyism, and government agencies that operate as though they aren’t accountable to the taxpayers. The point of my article was that three members of our city council are enabling rather than acting to curtail this kind of waste and cronyism. At least one of them, Federico, promised the exact opposite when he campaigned.

  • Excellent points Charlie. TCA deserves investigation. How did they turn their initial debt in 1999 of $2.7 billion into $4.6 billion and not build a mile of road in the meantime. Where is the money going and how will it be paid back? Muller and Viczorek are obviously representing the interest of someone other than DP taxpayers.

  • Thank you, Mr. Payne, for your letter on the need for transparency and accountability in local government. Your points are well taken, and shared by many in Dana Point.

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