UPDATED: San Juan Capistrano Recall Effort is About Political Power, Not Water

Derek Reeve, San Juan Capistrano City Council

Derek Reeve, San Juan Capistrano City Council

You’d think Tea Party conservatives would care more about water than power but that isn’t the case in San Juan Capistrano where a recall effort of moderate Republican council member Sam Allevato is the issue at hand.  The recall effort is being led by Derek Reeve, a so-far-to-the-right-he’s-nuts council member who even Bill O’Reilly called a pinhead, and Villa Park’s Deborah Pauly.

Both share a false sense that no one can be as patriotic as they are and both have displayed atrocious behavior towards OC’s Muslim community (Reeve named his dog, a female, “Muhammed”).  Pauly is a regular at SJC city council meetings which is a bit of a hike from Villa Park.  We’ll also note that Reeve left his job as an instructor at Concordia and Saddleback College after a plagiarism scandal and he has a bankruptcy to his name.

They, along with Clint Worthington, John Perry, Kim McCarthy and Jim Reardon are seeking to recall Allevato over the city’s proposed  water plant, a Groundwater Recovery Facility, that treats the city’s groundwater to make it potable and for the same price as purchasing MWD water.

Allevato has supported a “tiered pricing” rate structure that way Edison or Sempra does so the more water a resident uses, the more you pay. This is expensive short term prospect but will be much cheaper in the long run, and makes enormous sense for a city that doesn’t have its own water supply.  The people most against this proposal are the ones who own huge, lush lots of land that use a lot of water.  Under Allevato’s proposal, they’d pay more for using more water.

The recall is not about stopping what recall proponents say is an expensive public works effort but its about getting a third Tea Party vote on the council.  The water plant issue is a straw man.  Its that simple.

Allevato is trying to help make SJC independent of the Metropolitan Water District.  The proponents of the recall have until March 7 to get the signatures they need to take full control of the city council.

If you are a voter in SJC, before you sign a petition for an expensive special election, consider the folks behind the recall.  We have some fliers to share here and here.  Educate yourself and consider the fairness that those who use more water…a precious resource in OC…should pay more for it.

Oddly enough, I got a letter from Assemblyman Don Wagner today urging me and my family to conserve water along with tips to do so.  Perhaps the Tea Party right-wingers can take some advice from a fellow conservative.

UPDATE: According to a report in the Orange County Register, the recall organizers on March 6th notified the San Juan Capistrano City Clerk that they had ceased collection of signatures for the recall petition.

Supporters of a failed attempt to recall San Juan Capistrano Mayor Sam Allevato from office have turned their attention to this fall’s City Council election.

“Residents for Honest Government is going to continue to talk to people and talk about issues and look for the best people we can find that would really take the city out of the special-interests arena,” said John Perry, who helped organize the recall effort along with Clint Worthington.

Perry notified City Clerk Maria Morris on March 6 that recall supporters had stopped trying to gather the 3,503 signatures – 20 percent of San Juan Capistrano’s 17,511 registered voters – needed to prompt the city to hold a recall election. Supporters had been gathering signatures since November.

Perry declined to say how many signatures were collected.

  1 comment for “UPDATED: San Juan Capistrano Recall Effort is About Political Power, Not Water

  1. Robert Lauten
    March 6, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    After a http://www.google.com search “San Juan Capistrano water rate court decision”
    I found this:
    “The nonprofit group, founded in January, contends that importing water from the Metropolitan Water District, rather than using the city’s groundwater recovery plant, would save San Juan (and its ratepayers) close to $2 million a year. It claims the city’s water rates violate Proposition 218, a statewide initiative passed in 1996 with the goal of curbing perceived abuses in the use of assessments and fees that raise money for general government services, according to the state Legislative Analyst’s Office.”
    “Last September, some ratepayers, including Worthington, requested a refund on grounds that the city had raised water rates to finance $18 million in new bonds for groundwater and recycled-water projects BUT DID NOT ISSUE THE BONDS.”

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