Mary Franta, San Clemente
What an interesting revelation to learn from Mayor Pro Tem Tim Brown of the deal struck between Save San Onofre Coalition (SSOC) and the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA), as mentioned in the Aug. 3-9 edition of the San Clemente Times. The settlement agreement reimburses SSOC’s legal expenses, so they will forgo further opposition of any other alignment of the toll road.
SSOC will be awarded $28 million for their coalition fund, if/when a toll road is built anywhere outside of their “Avoidance Area.” This “award” for silence is hypocritical for an “environmental” coalition to sell-out to a private agency. SSOC needs to fight for the environmental impacts that affect others in their own city.
And how is it that the TCA, a quasi-governmental agency, company has gained the powers that it has, with such little oversight? Where are the checks and balances provided by the most basic of the municipal, county and state government when it comes to the TCA?
Government officials work for us; we may not agree with their decisions—we have the voting booth to voice our displeasure. The TCA board of directors work for the agencies’ shareholders’ own interests, and there is no public remedy against board decisions that negatively impact a large swath of the public.
Mike Kraman, the CEO of the TCA, stated on July 19 that, “It’s unfortunate that the city of San Clemente is choosing litigation over collaboration. This isn’t the way the public expects government agencies to solve issues.”
No, Mr. Kraman, that’s exactly how the public expects its government to deal with private agencies, when private agencies have turned a deaf ear to the public’s strong disapproval to your proposed toll road.
Kraman has done everything in his power to attempt to silence us by using suppressive tactics. This is not what we expect of a person supposedly working for the entire public’s best transportation interests.
Friends, please support your Council members in their toll road fight, inform those unaware of the negative impacts any toll road through San Clemente will bring and, whenever possible, make your voices heard loud, and clear that any toll road through San Clemente is unacceptable, no matter where Karman, and the TCA board try to put it.