JIM SMITH, San Clemente

I moved to San Clemente for its beauty and first-rate quality of life. That was 20-plus years ago.  Over that time, out-of-town interests have tried to damage those things for their financial profit. Amazingly, they’ve usually been helped by some locals and city council members.

Six examples come to mind: Out of control sober living homes, plus vacation rentals and a homeless shelter; build homes & condos on open space; close hospital and convert it to an “appointment only” surgery center; buy part of the North Beach parking lot from the city and put in a strip mall; build toll road through Talega & Rancho San Clemente to I-5 at Pico; construct huge freeway signs for the outlet mall.

City Councilmembers Kathy Ward and Chris Hamm have helped stop or stall most of these awful projects. That takes real courage and leadership, particularly with big money North County interests attacking them both. Further examples of Kathy Ward and Chris Hamm working to improve our safety and quality of life include:

Opposed storage of nuclear waste at San Onofre; completed beach trail from Calafia to Harbor;

established the Quiet Zone for rail traffic; completed the La Pata extension; buffered La Pata traffic from Talega; added two sheriff’s deputies cut by prior councils; stopped three-story building on Del Mar.

Please keep their accomplishments in mind. They represent how positive things happen when leaders actually work for the good of San Clemente residents and not outside interests.

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