491 Missing Letters?

During the July 25 Mission Viejo Planning Commission meeting, which was open to public comments, the commission and public saw and heard a high-density, low-income housing proposal by UDR/Pacific developers for the property on east Los Alisos Blvd. Nineteen speakers made public comments during the meeting. Seventeen of the 19 speakers opposed the project.

On Aug.17 the commission made a summary presentation and video presentation of the city council discussion of the project. The public was then allowed to make a three-minute-per-person presentation, and follow-up summary was invited. Seventeen homeowners attended, and all speakers spoke in opposition to the project (except one non-resident, paid partisan attorney who spoke in support). While under questioning, a member of the planning commission repeated several times that 500 letters of support for the project had been provided to the commission.

The next day I requested and on Aug. 29 received from the records management coordinator all correspondence, e-mails and communication in support of the UDR/Pacific project. I received copies of nine letters: one from the water district, one from Mission Hospital Foundation saying 800 of their 2,000 employees needed low-income housing, one from the Palmia Homeowners Association president, one from Saddleback Valley Unified School District, one from Carrion Ltd. -- the Mission Foothill Marketplace owner, two from Keystone Pacific Property Management, one from Ayres Hotel Group and one from CMC Management Group. Where, you may ask, are the other missing 491 letters of support? There are none!

On Sept. 17, 1787, Benjamin Franklin, on leaving the Constitutional Convention at Independence Hall was asked, "Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” ”A republic," Franklin replied, "if you can keep it."

Matt Corrigan
Mission Viejo