By Eric Heinz 

Computer screen shots provided to the San Clemente Times show that comment cards with personal contact information from people who submitted them to the Transportation Corridor Agencies’ (TCA) during the third public forum on June 5 were published online by the TCA.

The forum regarded the proposed toll roads TCA has planned to go through San Clemente and nearby areas.

When people submitted their comment cards, the TCA had them sign a disclaimer indicating that the entity could use their comments and to produce them, distribute the comments and to do so in any medium the TCA deemed appropriate. It also stated the TCA could publish their names.

But the disclaimer didn’t say anything about giving the TCA the rights to publishing their emails and phone numbers.

Jeff Corless, a spokesperson for the TCA, told the San Clemente Times on Monday that the agencies took “every effort” to make sure this was corrected. The information on the scanned comment cards has since been redacted on the website and that they were redacted “immediately.” On Wednesday, Corless said that the TCA has provided more public comment opportunities on the projects than is typical.

“At the June 5 South Orange County Traffic Relief public forum, the TCA received over twelve hundred public questions and comments,” Corless said in an email statement. “In the interest of maintaining complete transparency throughout this robust public engagement effort to collaborate with the community on traffic relief, we kept our commitment to post all questions and comments entered into the public record on GetMovingOC.com.”

TollRoad3-1280x853
TCA, Caltrans and Orange County Transportation Authority officials speak during the June 5 forum about the toll roads and traffic in South Orange County. Photo: File

The redactions that were intended to take place were missed on a few of the cards that were published online on the Get Moving OC website.

“Prior to notifying participants by email of their full posting on the forum website, we discovered a few redactions of contact info did not appear correctly,” Corless stated. “We quickly resolved this technical error and apologize for any inconvenience.”

Some people claimed that the redactions were not made until about a month after the forum. Corless said his staff went through some-1,200 cards in order to ensure the information was no longer online.

According to the National Environmental Protection Act and the California Environmental Quality Act, comments made from the public will be published with their names and sometimes area of residence in environmental impact reports, but they do not usually publish emails or contact information from the commenters. The TCA will eventually initiate the environmental impact process related to the 18 toll road proposals in the near future.

Another issue has broached the TCA in recent weeks. Many people who opposed the toll road proposals have also claimed the TCA searched and seized their property prior to the event, mostly with regard to advocacy signage.

According to South Orange Community College District, only campus materials may be posted in “exterior” areas of its facilities, which includes signs, but it doesn’t mention anything about carrying the signs in tote.

“Our staff and security officers followed South Orange County Community College District’s Administrative Regulation 8000 and other rules stipulated by the campus which were distributed to all RSVPs, posted on GetMovingOC.com, and posted at the entrance to the forum,” Corless stated.

The next TCA meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 10, but the agenda for the meeting has not yet been published.

To see the master list of comments from people at the third forum, click here.

Article has been updated to reflect the opinions of people claiming the redactions were made about a month after the forum. 

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comments (11)

  • Lies, Lies and More Lies!

    How can you even publish this, so not true!

    You just print whatever someone tells you without verifying it? Wow, way to report. You have zero credibility!

  • Abolish the TCA

  • They were not redacted immediately and they were not a few. We made screen shots of every single card that I can send to you Eric. they are MULTIPLE. Have Jeff Corles correct the record.
    They were not SIGNS, they were our own personal NOTES and Questions and stickers affixed to our personal property.. Have them correct that as well.. We have 30 testimonies that we can publish here if you let us. from people searched and their possessions thrown away.
    Even Supervisor Todd Spitzer had a cow when he heard about this.
    http://notmytollroad.com/videos/

    • This is clearly an intimidation tactic to silence any opposition to the TCA’s agenda of building a for profit road. The release of personal information was done with the sole intent to publicly shame those individuals for exercising their opinions through free speech. The TCA’s is in violation of Privacy Laws covering Personally Identifiable Information (PII) release. PII as used in information security, refers to information that can be used to uniquely identify, contact, or locate a single person or can be used with other sources to uniquely identify a single individual.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personally_identifiable_information)

      The TCA had the responsibility to protect their personal contact information and this release would indicate a careless disregard and negligent attitude toward such information and these individuals safety.

  • Where is the apology to the parents of the of minors that had their information was compromised? You need to interview the citizens of San Clemente that had their rights violated including our own Mayor’s husband. Don’t just publish the TCA’s side without verifying it. The information was out there for 5 days and they were hundreds of names.

  • This is ridiculous! My UNDERAGE daughter’s personal info was released. The TCA is corrupt and should be abolished.
    Never believe a word they say.

  • Eric Heinz please tell me who stated the following statement? “When people submitted their comment cards, the TCA had them sign a disclaimer indicating that the entity could use their comments and to produce them, distribute the comments and to do so in any medium the TCA deemed appropriate. It also stated the TCA could publish their names.”

    People who submitted these comments did not sign a disclaimer. This is false.

    You are not writing the truth. Mr. Spitzer spoke about the Civil Rights Violations at the June 8, 2017 Board of Directors Meeting. Eva O’Keefe posted video above to further support our claim of our Civil Rights Violations, First and Fourth Amendments.

  • As quoted from the article, “On Wednesday, Corless said that the TCA has provided more public comment opportunities on the projects than is typical.”

    It doesn’t matter how many public comment opportunities the TCA provides if they are ONLY done in the interest of checking off that requirement, but NEVER conducted with the intent of actually listening to what the people have to say. If the TCA continuously manipulates, intimidates, and dictates to the public, it doesn’t really count as genuine public input. Overwhelmingly, the people attending the June 5th public forum said, We do NOT need, nor do we want another toll road extension through ANY area of south Orange County.

    Concerning video comments from the public, the disclaimer said:
    Get Moving Orange County and the TCA could “use, produce, modify…, in whole or in part, without restrictions or limitation for any purpose the organization and its agents deem appropriate.”

    Sorry that doesn’t sound very transparent or genuine to me. This has been a manipulated and flawed process from the start.

    • The consent was only for people that were going to submit a video comment.

      Mr. Spitzer is on record of admonishing Mr. Kraman about this consent since it violates our First Amendments Rights.

      This consent did not apply to comment cards and questions that were submitted.

      The TCA violated our Civil Rights at the Public Forum. Mr. Kraman tried to blame Saddleback College for some of those violations, but it was the TCA, Get Moving OC, and Venture Strategic that should be held responsible for violating our rights.

      Additionally, the they did not obtain consent from the parents of minors that were present at the Public Forum. Then the TCA posted the minor’s private information over the internet. This is definitely a violation of privacy laws.

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