Dana Point voters’ approval of Measure H over Measure I (by a huge 17% margin) is a watershed moment in recent city politics. The significance of this vote reaches beyond the town center plan.
It is a loud “no confidence” vote in the majority city council members: Olvera, Viczorek, Tomlinson and Muller. Dana Point voters also issued a firm rejection of the misguided practices of the city manager and the city attorney who appeared to support Measure I over the wishes of the residents they serve.
The struggle between Measure H and Measure I, as well as the Strandsgate issue, expose how far out of sync the council majority and staff leadership are with Dana Point residents. Trust in our local government has been severely damaged.
Many concerned citizens have been writing letters, participating in public events, speaking at council meetings, and taking legal action (with the Surfrider Foundation) against the city for years now. That is what responsible citizens do.
Largely, those citizens’ efforts have met with resistance, obstruction, friction and contempt from city leaders.
This is what motivated voters to put Measure H on the ballot in the first place. The fact that the council and staff tried to defeat citizens’ Measure H was only a small symbol of that contempt. There were more.
The level of discontent with our current council majority and the top leadership on the city staff has finally reached a tipping point. Now, Dana Point has voted loud and clear.
Measure H wins, but more importantly, Dana Point wins.
Dana Pointers will not tolerate collusion between developers and city leaders, political and economic bullying of constituents, misinformation, intimidation or the unbridled disrespect shown by some council members for their own voters.
As a Dana Point resident, I am proud of the success of Measure H. Residents banded together, like the neighbors we are, out of affection for the community we treasure.
With this resounding win, residents rejected the heavy handed politics of developer money. We voted — by a large margin — to bond with our neighbors to demand better governance.
Ross Teasley, technologist, marketer and environmentalist living in Dana Point, CA. CEO of Casa Dana Group, Inc.
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