Michael Weinbaum, San Clemente

With emotions running high concerning the toll road extension, it is important that those who purport to educate the public do so accurately and with intellectual honesty, particularly as relates to the lawsuit San Clemente has filed against the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA). Unfortunately, the letter to the editor in the Sept. 7-13 San Clemente Times by Council member Chris Hamm contains information that does neither.
Hamm stated that the lawsuit “does not challenge the Save San Onofre Coalition (SSOC) settlement agreement (with TCA); it challenges the agreement that binds Caltrans to the settlement agreement and removes all traffic solutions except a toll road through South Orange County.” Huh? A lawsuit that challenges an agreement binding a party to a settlement agreement is a challenge to the settlement agreement; that’s a tautology. Moreover, the protective agreement to which the quoted statement opaquely refers is provided for in the (not being challenged) SSOC settlement agreement. To pretend these are two unrelated agreements or phenomena is disingenuous. Residents are footing the bill for this lawsuit; we at least are entitled to clear, accurate explanations about what this lawsuit is about and seeks to accomplish.
The same can be said about the SSOC’s full-page ad in the same SC Times edition. The SSOC says that its settlement only says where a road cannot go, through San Onofre State Beach, and that a range of other options can be explored with full community participation. But the SSOC then states that the city’s suit attempts to force a destructive toll road through the state beach. That is as untrue, as the city’s overheated claims about what the settlement does; the city’s suit simply does not seek to have the toll road go through the park.
The toll road and the lawsuit are two different issues. One can quite rationally object, as do I, to a toll road that either impairs San Onofre State Beach or bisects San Clemente, while also being disappointed that San Clemente has filed yet another dumb lawsuit it appears its own City Council either does not understand or can’t clearly and accurately describe. And the SSOC owes a special obligation not to overstate its position in opposition to that suit. It’s hard enough to become informed on complicated issues without all the hysterical rhetoric and misinformation.

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comments (4)

  • In Michael Weinbaum’s “Misstateemnts” letter, he avoided the obvious points of concern regarding the TCA – Surfriders settlement and the city litigation.

    First, The settlement does include a commitment by Surfrider to Not Oppose Any Toll Road through Any Other Part of San Clemente. If Surfrider publicly opposes the 6 lane concrete road through our canyons, they would forfeit the $30 million in available funds.

    Second – The settlement that gives free reign to the TCA to invade our other canyons and ridges was done without the involvement, inclusion nor even notification of the city of San Clemente. The first time the San Clemente representative on the TCA board heard of the settlement was when it was published in the paper.

    The city is committed to halting the Toll Road’s attempt to carve through San Clemente. The first two legal actions were filed now because we were nearly out of time to get these actions filed due tor the statute of limitations for those specific causes of action. Additional filings may be done as and if needed.

    Since the Save San Onofre Coalition (SSOC) has agreed to not fight the TCA on any of their other proposed routes, maybe the SSOC should stay out of the way as the city and a great majority of its residents fight the battle to keep our town whole. The SSOC, along with donations from many of the same San Clemente groups joining with the current city efforts, did save their corner of our town… Now the rest of us need to fight to save the majority of San Clemente from being carved, flattened and paved by the TCA..

  • You can argue semantics or you can read Mark McGuire’s article about the TCA overreach. This is an extremely complex situation made easy by one question–would Orange County be better off if the toll roads were free and the TCA disbanded? I think the overwhelming majority of all OC residents would say YES. And if so, let’s stop with the overreach and get to free as soon as possible.

    • As much as we all want the nightmares proposed by the TCA to go away we need to be mindful of reality. Given the fiscal mismanagement by the leadership in California, the lack of business acumen and lack of profitability by the TCA, the state legislature has no way to justify the dissolution of the TCA. Our state leaders are pretty lame, just not that lame.

  • Folks, spreading paranoia and rhetoric just clouds the issue. We need focus to win this for our town and to build relationships within our city and neighboring cities.

    The City and Residents do not want any toll roads through San Clemente. No one wants to overturn the settlement. What is being challenged is the gag order.

    Let us move on now to more productive efforts to stop ill-conceived proposals that do nothing to address the root cause of the off-peak Friday, Saturday, and Sunday traffic juggernaut that needs to be addressed.

comments (4)

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