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Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Pools no problem

Dear Editor: Noticing comments from a pre-

vious reader planning to attend the Tustin Water Expo with a T- shirt reading, “You can build and fill a new swimming pool but you can’t keep your landscaping from dying. Is that fair?” I must take issue. It has been proven that pools

use less water than traditional lawns that use, on average, four feet of water yearly. Adding to that are the decks, obviously re- quiring no water. Add a cover to prevent evaporation, and pools can use less than drought toler- ant landscapes. We have both, a saltwater pool, and native plants completely covering our front where the water-wasting grass once was. Having foreseen the drought, I did this seven years ago. Not only have we saved substantially on our water bill, but we now have a proliferation of birds, bees and butterflies. Our rain barrels, along with various water-saving devices installed within the home, have added to the savings while benefiting our all too important environment.

Steve Tyler Orange

Over taxed

Dear Editor: Included among the cryptic as- sessments on my 2016 property tax bill is the expensive $213 ac- ronym “RNCHO SANTIAGO COM COLL.” In 2012, 45,981 of my 710,000 neighbors eligible to vote in the Rancho Santiago Community College District (RSCCD) voted in favor of Mea- sure Q. That is, 6.5 percent of my neighbors forced the other 93.5 percent to pay their “fair share” of $49.7 million in interest payments





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and $71 million in improvements for the “Series A” issuance from this measure. In addition, just two years into an eight-year projec- tion, households are already pay- ing 39 percent more than what Measure Q proponents originally estimated. This bond and its trustees in-

cluded an oversight committee requirement consisting of a tax- payer association member and six community-at-large (CAL) rep- resentatives, all of which except one CAL position, remain vacant three years later. Of the five over- sight meetings, only one, a year ago, shows evidence of any actual oversight. Two consecutive meet- ings worth a full year of over- sight have been cancelled due to a failure to reach quorum (insuf- ficient committee members). The February 2015 meeting minutes are missing from the website, suggesting a continuing lack of oversight. Construction contin- ues, however. I also noted on my property

tax bill that I am not really pay- ing my fair share. People give lip service to the word “fair” by de- fining it as unfair to their advan- tage. A minority of my neighbors have unethically offered up my family’s house as collateral for a debt that they do not desire to pay themselves, and in the event I choose to default on their debt I must concede the loss of my pri- vate property due to the coercive force of this small “public” plu- rality. One wonders, in the end, if any property can truly be private when the public wields such au- thority over it. Moreover, I must pay twice as

much in taxes as the majority of families within the scope of this measure (with those outside the RSCCD paying nothing), many of whom will enroll multiple children into the RSCCD to my one, or none, because I suffer the ambiguous penalty of owning a house that is worth more than theirs. Orwell once noted that “some animals are more equal than others” so it would appear too, that some fair shares are more fair than others. So to explain this unethical col- lectivism to my daughter, I have decided on an equivalent anal- ogy. I will simply tax her college savings account to subsidize the construction of a playground she

Foothills Sentry

may or may not ever visit at a tax rate twice as high as most of her friends pay because her bedroom is twice as large as theirs. If not reason, then the devil.

Scott Logue North Tustin

Sewer sides

Dear Editor: Of all the organizations com-

peting to be a service provider for my area of North Tustin (“Locals Aim to Keep Control of Waste- water,”) I favor the Irvine Ranch Water District for three simple reasons: 1. It will save taxpayers $3 mil- lion dollars a year, a savings un- matched by the others. 2. IRWD has five decades of ex- perience – more than any other agency being considered – and a track record of quality service. 3. IRWD is the only agency that has any sewer service equipment and the only one that can perform this service in-house. East Or- ange County has stated they will contract out all the work. Our health and safety are too impor- tant to let an agency with only five full-time employees with no service experience contract out emergency responses to unac- countable contractors. It should be a slam-dunk deci-


Gary C. Lawrence North Tustin

Dear Editor: We are presented with the capa-

bility to operate the Area 7 sewer system by somewhat near equally qualified suppliers. From the data it appears the surrounding munic- ipalities support the idea that wa- ter supplier East Orange County Water District can provide sewer support services. EOCWD will provide services

from within the service area in- terior as it has done with both wholesale and retail water. It con- tinues to do so during this serious drought, and the attendant finan- cial stress that exists now and in the future. Both IRWDandEOCWDseem

to be able to operate the function at near the same current costs. The major difference appears to be the method of management of financial reserves and how the reserve treatment is charged to customers. The community is faced with

an opportunity to expand the business and capability base of a very local and low overhead mu- nicipal activity. It is seldom that these situations occur.

The entry of IRWD into this

arena will reduce the capacity of area management skills and con- centrate the resources into one (or a few) business enterprises. An effort to expand the capability base and diffuse the skills might just be in order.

Bruce Junor North Tustin

Fine tuning

Dear Editor: Chapman University had asked that the Foothills Sentry print a clarification of what Kris Ol- sen, vice-president of campus planning and operations, said in Danny Langhorne’s article on the Killefer Square project (October). This request was declined, so

we have submitted this Letter to the Editor as clarification. Here is the quote as written: “While Kris Olsen, vice presi-

dent of campus planning and operations at Chapman, empha- sizes that the proposal for Kille- fer Square is purely a develop- er-driven project, he also said

cil welcomed two county guest speakers to its Oct. 27 meeting, and followed their informative talks with a small shot of conflict. Orange County Sheriff San-

dra Hutchens shared insights on crime (it’s trending down); con- victions (it would be more ben- eficial to treat those with drug and mental illness issues, rather than to incarcerate them); license plate readers (beneficial on large, busy areas with lots of crime, stolen vehicles, and open felony warrants); and school traffic (a concern in every city); city-wide security cameras (controversial). She applauded Neighborhood Watch and cautioned that it may be a challenge to keep people in- volved. OCTreasurer Shari Freidenrich updated the city on the status of its investments (good), and noted that property tax bills were sent out one month earlier than usual, allowing the city to receive its

Villa Park Towne Center, will do- nate 20 percent of all purchases

Page 7

the university supports it. ‘We welcome non-single-family-resi- dence student housing solutions, particularly in areas that do not disturb our neighbors’ quality of life,’ Olsen said in an email.” Olsen stated that the Univer-

sity supports the general idea of “non-single-family-residence stu- dent housing solutions, particu- larly in areas that do not disturb our neighbors’ quality of life.” But the preceding indirect quote – “he also said the university sup- ports it” (referring back to Kille- fer Square) – makes it appear that Chapman is supporting Killefer Square specifically. That is not, in fact, what Olsen said. Chapman University does not support any such specific projects by developers, contractors, etc. that are not engaged by or other- wise affiliated with the university. Olsen did not say Chapman sup- ports Killefer Square, a project upon which Chapman maintains a neutral position.

Mary Platt,APR Director of Communications Chapman University

VP Council hosts and roasts The Villa Park City Coun-

funds at an earlier date. The rest of the meeting was

marked with some contention. Robert Collacott moved to pres- ent a resolution to Bill Nelson, lauding him for his appointment as president of California Spe- cial Districts Association. There was no second, until Nelson him- self stepped in. The vote failed, 3-2, as Rick Barnett explained, “I commend Bill, but we are not here to commend ourselves.” Collacott, in a move that stunned some, publicly named present and former councilmem- bers who had been delinquent in reimbursing the city for their health insurance premiums, but refused to indicate how he had gleaned the information. He re- peatedly quizzed City Manager Jarad Hildenbrand as to the city’s internal accounting practices and late fees. Hildenbrand assured the council that reimbursements have always been made, and there have been no defaults.

Shop for Women's league The Green Pear, located in the

made between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 6 to Villa Park Women’s League.

Dear Editor

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