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By Allison Jarrell

The Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees voted 6-1 on Wednesday, June 28, to adopt a resolution that opposes any toll road extension alignment that would adversely affect district school sites and students. Board President Martha McNicholas, who was not in attendance but participated over the phone, was the sole no vote.

The item, which was brought before the board by Trustee Patricia Holloway, of San Clemente, drew dozens of community members to the meeting. San Clemente Mayor Kathy Ward was one of the public speakers who spoke in support of the board’s resolution.

“I applaud you. Just as we have to protect our citizens, you also have to protect your students,” Ward said.

Trustee Jim Reardon said an important part of the resolution is the request for the county and OCTA to reevaluate the need for toll roads in South Orange County. Reardon went on to call the Transportation Corridor Agencies a “bully” and a “zombie.”

“They’ve played this game in South County for years and years, and they’re back,” Reardon said. “When TCA signed that agreement with the environmental groups, it put itself out of business.”

“Because the toll road is a county approved project, it does not involve any district approvals, easements or agreements,” CUSD officials said in a statement. “Before TCA can construct the ultimate toll expressway extension to Interstate 5, it will be required to identify, and environmentally review, a new alignment for such a project.”

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