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Jim Smith, San Clemente

The guest column about the toll road, open space and Measure V by Council member Lori Donchak was a real head-scratcher. She uses hundreds of words to describe all the benefits of Measure V but oddly neglects to even mention the name of the person who created it. I was there and these are the facts. Charles Mann was the author of Measure V.

The battle began when a majority on the 2007 City Council voted to allow 300-plus houses to be built on land zoned as open space. Charles Mann and a few colleagues organized “Save San Clemente Open Space” and successfully overturned that City Council’s decision. Charles had the foresight to see that a future City Council could create the same problem all over again. That’s why he created Measure V. He believed only residents should be trusted to make the final decision on protecting open space in order to preserve San Clemente’s character and quality of life. He organized and led the campaign that put Measure V on the ballot where it was approved by 72 percent of voters.

Hopefully regarding the Toll Road, his gift keeps on giving back to the community. We are fortunate Charles lives here and has worked tirelessly to make San Clemente a better place for all.

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comments (7)

  • So strange you should mention Charles Mann. Mr. “Open Spaces” has been silent during this whole toll road fight. But he has been doing things. In fact, two city council members in San Juan Capistrano who he helped elect are trying to get rid of the equestrian stables via law suits. Rancho Mission Viejo has first right of refusal to that land, and they could use it as “mitigation land” for the toll road. So is he FOR open space or against it?

    Charles Mann has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars getting his people elected to office, and to slander anyone who goes against them. How much has he spent to keep the TCA out of SJC and San Clemente? Right now it seems like be might be the “NO OPEN SPACES” guy…

  • Not to mention he does not live here. He lives in Nevada. I don’t believe he is even a registered voter in the state of California.

  • I’m not going to debate the merits of Measure V or Mr. Mann’s motivation with respect to its passage, but he is not a resident of San Clemente- he is in Incline Village, Nevada. He has been silent during our battle against the toll road, but certainly comes out in full force during campaign seasons, which landed him in hot water not too long ago and forced him to make a public apology and admit he had egg on his face. (His words, not mine.) He is linked as landlord to a notorious cash only massage parlor in San Juan that appears in the seedy backpages of publications and backs candidates in San Juan who appear to have made it their mission to destroy the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park, a staple in that community. I’m not about to give him the keys to San Clemente …

  • Folks,

    Notice that there’s no mention of Jim Bieber in the comments. He’s the one who nuked our mailboxes with hate mail filled with misleading messages that was employed by the two newcomers in the election. He’s not left out by accident. Its partisanship at work.

    If we want to win this toll road battle for San Clemente we need to do it by building relationships and not by tearing each other apart.

    Thankfully, election season is over. Let’s leave the political rhetoric from the last elections out of it and work together to find ways to address traffic issues without putting a toll road through San Clemente.

  • public vote public protection ,,,measure v should be expanded to protect public treasures of all kinds ,,, like beach parking ,, parks,,the beach and trails ,,,public right of ways ,,,and equel treatment and wrights for all

    • Thanks for confirming my point.

      See Folks,

      The above comment confirms the partisanship, demoralizing, and politicization at work. Notice in completely ignores Jim Bieber and gives his tactics a pass.

      We need to get as much support as possible from residents and neighboring cities. This divisiveness is childish and hurts our efforts to find a traffic solution that does not put TCA’s roads through San Clemente.

      We are better than this…

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