By Councilmember Gene James
The San Clemente City Council has no higher duty than to provide for the safety and security of our residents. We can delegate the duties of providing for a safe and secure San Clemente to the sheriff; however, the responsibility remains with the elected City Council.
The taxpayers of San Clemente deserve world class protection. Up to this point, despite the efforts of a few, the City Council and city management have failed miserably at shielding our residents from the impact of crime.
I need to recognize the good citizens who work tirelessly every day to promote safety in San Clemente. Now is the time to address crime threatening our quality of life in San Clemente. Any discussions regarding mental health programming, addiction recovery, or access to housing, need to be rejected, as it is simply not the purview of the city.
These services and programs belong with the County of Orange and the State of California. It should be noted that the failed policies of Democrats in Sacramento have not only created this crisis but have intentionally fueled it.
Councilmembers need to stop blaming Martin v. Boise for the ever-increasing rate of nuisance crime on our streets, beaches and in our precious open space. Council should direct the city manager to take additional steps to protect our city.
I will no longer stand by, tolerating those who are defecating on our streets, urinating on our sidewalks and performing lewd acts such as public indecent exposure. No longer should City Council tolerate bicycle chop shops, drinking and smoking on the beach, and the trafficking and use of illicit narcotics in the presence of families.
Thefts, assaults and threatening behaviors must come to an end; however, it will require a majority of council to act in the interest of San Clemente homeowners and taxpayers.
Additionally, the risk of fire from those living in our open spaces who are being provided food by certain nonprofits poses a significant risk of fire to life and property in San Clemente.
It is imperative we have a competent team in place in order to combat the nuisance of crime. I am quite confident, under the leadership of our new city manager, Andy Hall, in conjunction with our new chief of Police Services, Jay Christian, we can anticipate great results.
The key is for a majority of City Council to become committed in ensuring an acute level of public safety in our city by directing city staff. Our laws in San Clemente apply to everyone regardless of status, and the citizens of this wonderful city deserve to have a city free of crime, threatening behaviors and uncouth activities.
Those posing as advocates need to be rejected, as they have ulterior motives that are not in the interest of our city.
The safety of our families and children should not be a political issue. San Clemente residents should be safe and secure in their homes, at the beach, on our trails and on streets. I care; let’s do this together.
Gene James was elected to the council in a 2019 special election and reelected in 2020 for a full four-year term.