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LAURIE GOOCH, San Clemente 

In a June 9 Los Angeles Times article about Amazon’s proposal, Arrow Santos aptly observed, “What a lot of people don’t realize is this really is San Clemente’s last vacant land for all time. Once this is constructed, this is it for the future of San Clemente.” 

Our “last vacant land for all time.” Is it wise, then, for us to spend it on a Distribution Center, a 1970 business model? A single-task facility, a transit hub for goods as they change the modality of transport? A facility with few job types, limited career advancement locally, and a one-size-fits-all salary? 

Our city leaders, besotted with quick cash and obsessed with an outcome Amazon has fed them, appear willing to do anything to make sure it goes through. When they start to see red flags about traffic, noise, and pollution, will they choose to ignore them? Will they examine the enduring economic ramifications of selecting this facility above all others? 

Do our city leaders have the strength of character to defer gratification, to be forward thinkers? To make tough decisions based on what is best in the long run for us socially, physically, and economically? Courage to keep our options open until we attract businesses based in innovation rather than operations rooted in the past, businesses that will award us a true advantage in the future? Will our city leaders set us up for a lasting success? 

In a May 6 San Clemente Times article, Norb Garrett wrote, “And while Pronto Italian Deli is, indeed, brand-new, the seeds for Adriano’s dream date back to the early 1980s, when his grandfather, Vincenzo, bought the property on Avenida Del Mar as a gift to his grandchildren, who weren’t even born yet.”

Quoting Adriano’s mother, Donatella, “He bought this building, because he wanted to leave a legacy for his grandchildren.”

We call for long-term, future-oriented decision-making like Vincenzo’s. City leaders, take note. Better yet, follow in his footsteps. Step one: vote no on Amazon’s proposal.

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