Santa Paula Times

Leters to the Editor

August 04, 2000
Just the facts To the Editor:Re: Justin M. Ruhge, President, Concerned Taxpayers, I.N.C. letter on 28 July, 2000.I have watched with great interest in the development of Measure “I.” Though I have not participated in this issue, I feel that it is time that I did.In my opinion, Mr. Ruhge's remarks are nothing more than a form of extortion. I have read both arguments for and against Measure “I” that are to be placed on the ballot, and I am quite mystified at how this letter and the argument against Measure “I” are similar. Mr. Ruhge, from Goleta, appears to be helping the city, this is great, the City needs all the help it can get, from wherever it can get it.The tactics that are employed by Mr. Ruhge's statements and the city's argument against the measure threaten the people of Santa Paula. Mr. Ruhge asks, “Where will your children and grandchildren live - in ghettos or in family housing like we have today?”It is a sad but true statement that the majority of the residents of Santa Paula are not high-income families. They are not likely to afford a $500,000 home, which is what the city wants to build. So what happens to the citizens who live paycheck to paycheck when they are taxed to help build these homes? Would it not be better to help the residents rebuild their homes in town? It also appears that something has been forgotten within Measure “I.” Fagan Canyon is conceded so that the city does have room to grow. Let's see homes more in tune to the residents of Santa Paula and not to just the rich.Mr. Ruhge was correct is stating that the average person does not have time to read land use planning, probably because they are too busy trying to make ends meet. What is important is that both sides must argue the issue to the voters. Issues like increased taxes, possible flooding dangers, financial gains, better parks and like issues will be brought to the voters to decide if they really need any proposed development.Another disturbing, but true statement made by Mr. Ruhge is that only 25% of the registered voters actually vote. This is not anything that one person can do something about. I know that Santa Paula City Councilwoman Espinosa has organized a meeting to educate people on the importance of voting and how that one vote could be the deciding vote. My praise to you Ms. Espinosa!I am not here to tell anyone to vote yes or no on Measure “I,” which is not listed as “SOAR” but as “MEASURE TO ESTABLISH A CITY URBAN RESTRICTION BOUNDARY (CURB).” What I would like to see is for the citizens of Santa Paula stand up for whatever side of a factual argument your feelings place you and vote that way on November 7, 2000.Let the arguments for and against the measure be fair and honest. Let's not threaten the people of the city with wild speculation, or outright lies, but instead present the facts that help the people of Santa Paula make the appropriate vote.Michael L. ChapmanSanta PaulaLittle League thanksTo the Editor:Santa Paula Little League is concluding its 44th season of play and would like to thank everyone who helped us bring a summer of teamwork, sportsmanship and fun to the 300 youths in our program. As an all-volunteer organization, we rely on our moms and dads to scorekeep, run our snack bar, manage and coach teams, umpire, groom our fields, clean the stands, and run our Board of Directors. Many grandfathers and grandmothers, uncles, aunts and Little League alumni help out as well, and we thank them all.Santa Paula Little League has one of the lowest player enrollment fees in Ventura County. For this, we thank the Harding Park Trust Advisory Committee and the City of Santa Paula for the use of facilities, and we thank the businesses, individuals and organizations that support us, including a gift from Mr. John Sedlak in memory of volunteer Lillian Sedlak and a gift of two player fees from Family Resource Center.This year, the following businesses, individuals and organizations sponsored Santa Paula Little League teams: Cover Pro Pool Safety Cover Systems, Councilwoman Robin Sullivan, Round Table Pizza, Jaz Products Racing Products, Weyerhaeuser Containerboard Packaging, Santa Paula Chevrolet (2 teams), Mission Produce of Oxnard, Nutra Chem, Optimist Club, McCoy's Automotive (2 teams), Frank's Paint Center, Kiwanis Club, Mercer Prieto VFW Post 2043, Lions Club of Santa Paula, Rotary Club, M-IV Equipment, Inc., Mendez Concrete, Inc., Jerry Burns, Lindsey Excavating & Grading, Embroidery Plus, and the Limoneira Company (team plus grant). In addition to providing the standard equipment issued every season to each team, this year, the contributions of our sponsors enabled us to purchase all new catcher's equipment for every team.Santa Paula Little League also appreciates the businesses and individuals who advertised in our season brochure and defrayed the cost of publishing our schedules, rosters and other necessary information.In just a few months, the Santa Paula Times and Channel 10 will carry notices of our Annual Meeting to organize the Year 2001 Season. Parents of new and returning players are invited to attend, elect directors and plan the coming season. Until then, I leave you with the Little League Pledge:I trust in God. I love my country and will respect its laws. I will play fair and strive to win. But win or lose, I will always do my best.Rita Graham, SecretaryOn behalf of the entireBoard of Directors of Santa Paula Little LeagueFull-time ChiefTo the Editor:I understand our Santa Paula Police Chief Robert Gonzales is considering running again for his seat on the Community College District Board of Trustees. I hope he reconsiders this action.Santa Paula is in need of a full time Chief of Police. Santa Paula would also be well served with a full time trustee representing our interests on the Community College Board.Now that Chief Gonzales has served his full term on the College Board it is time for him to address full time the law enforcement needs of this community.There is a qualified candidate willing to serve Santa Paula and other cities in the District - Ruth Hemming has years of experience as an employee of the District, and plans to take retirement from her current position so she can devote herself to the needs of her constituents.I hope Chief Gonzales sees the wisdom of focusing his attention on law enforcement, and passes the baton to a new trustee, Ruth Hemming.Suzi SkutleySanta PaulaNo on SOAR means Yes for kidsTo the Editor:
To the supporters of SOAR and those who favor development in Fagan Canyon first, please advise if the land in the canyon is for sale.If it isn’t, you might as well put our town to sleep and out of its misery. Take a drive up Highway 150 from the 10th Street exit off 126 and tell me what you see. Holes and ruts in the road, a condemned house or two, clothes drying on chain link fences, at least two cars on many lawns, weeds in the parkway and in the lawns - all signs of a poor town without hope.Then, let’s ask the owner of Adams Canyon if his property is for sale.Is he willing to toe the line from our City staff, our consultants and outsourced staff functions? Can he stand the pressure of public hearings and inquiries? Can he provide good data and reliable pro formas? Is he willing to pay the fees and costs attached to provide housing, recreation and opportunity? Does he share the dream of a community that meets the housing needs of those who can afford the modest, the moderate and the ultimate?If he is, I want to see his plan. I want to evaluate the EIR and I want the chance to speak my mind in public places.I want to join hands with Laura Espinosa, Joyce Carlson, Martha Harris, Connie Tushla and Dora Crouch. I want to know what they think and what they worry about. I want everyone to have clean and safe housing, whether they rent it or own it.If this developer can’t meet our criteria, we will move on to someone who can and so will he or she.If Fagan Canyon is not for sale now or any time soon, I will cautiously move towards supporting Adams Canyon for development. It is our only economic hope. I once favored supporting anything but Adams Canyon. I now see that it may be our only hope.I want to see every good idea brought to the table. I want the chance to debate every idea. I welcome public hearings and public notices advertised in my hometown newspaper, not theirs. I want a lot more than what we’ve got now.If you think development in Adams Canyon would change us beyond recognition, look at how fast and dramatically we have changed by doing absolutely nothing. Remember a town with Wood Jewelers, Hack’s Men’s Store, House of Hutchins, Jay Hight TV, Cauch’s Drug Store, Irene’s, Campus Shop, Kaplan’s Shoe Store, Moore’s General Store, Moore’s Furniture, Sears Catalog store, and so many more. When we lost shoppers, we lost them.Vote NO ON SOAR...No on Measure I (eye). It will keep many ideas from ever coming to the table.Why would anyone be afraid to hear about a good idea?Kay Wilson-BoltonREALTOR® and StakeholderSanta PaulaMore on SOARTo the Editor:It was just two years ago that the wise citizens of Santa Paula soundly defeated the SOAR initiatives that would have so severely stifled the future prosperity of our city. Now they are back and the hyperbole, scare tactics and threats have started for Measure I on the November ballot.As I read the ballot argument in favor of Measure I, it is disturbing to see the same tired old arguments used that have already been turned away by Santa Paula voters. Outsiders, including the usual low income housing developers, are once again trying to tell us how to live our lives.Folks, this city is in serious trouble and our problems are not going to be solved by locking our borders and jamming the city full of high rise, high density, low income housing as has been suggested.At the start, let me say I am not in favor of uncontrolled growth, but I am strongly in support of a properly managed program of growth for our city. I still can’t figure out why these folks are in favor of developing Fagan Canyon, but not Adams Canyon. We need to offer both options and let potential developers do the homework needed to present a plan for development. These canyons offer ample space for parks and open space that simply won’t be available to us with the property under private ownership.We’re not going to get any new parks for our kids to play in, or schools, major police improvements, or secure our hospital’s future until there is a new source of revenue. And those things won’t happen without some growth in our city.If all the development currently being considered were to be completed, it could add 10,000 people to the city over 20 years, not tripling the size of the city as it was proclaimed. Or perhaps we are being misled into thinking that tripling the area of the city would triple the population.The argument proclaims that taxes would rise. Don’t these folks remember their civic lessons? You can’t raise taxes without a vote of the people. Property taxes can’t be raised. Remember Proposition 13?The SOAR proponents again claim that residential development doesn’t pay for itself but what they forgot to mention, once again, is the commercial development that will pay for the project with clean businesses in the form of golf courses, hotels, and retail stores with tax revenues that will go on for years.Fellow citizens, when you read the proponents’ arguments, ask questions. There are issues to be considered with any expansion, but if the developers are willing to pay to mitigate them, follow the city’s general plan, and provide an orderly expansion, then it should be allowed.Look at who is supporting Measure I and put their claims in perspective. Let’s vote it down once again to save the city and make it a better place for our children.Craig MaillouxSanta Paula