Just say no to extortion

Letter to the editor

I could not agree more with Larry Gilbert's letter in the Jan. 13 Saddleback Valley News. Anybody who has been involved with the City of Mission Viejo and who is committed to Mission Viejo is aware of the games Steadfast has played concerning the Aliso Ridge development. Steadfast kept changing the project. They were playing bait and switch. They presented one project to staff and the ad hoc committee and then would present a totally different project in open session. Like my father said, they were playing the shell game of hide the pea.

As I stated during public comments before the Planning and Transportation Commission, the affordable housing numbers are ADVISORY. Repeat, ADVISORY. How are these numbers developed? SCAG – Southern California Association of Governments – develops these ADVISORY numbers.

Anyone knowledgeable of SCAG's questionable past performance knows just how flaky SCAG is. Does anyone remember the numbers SCAG developed on daily trips involving the proposed El Toro Airport? Those numbers were completely discredited. Just ask Chuck Wilson of the City of Mission Viejo about some of SCAG’s flaky numbers presented to the city in the past. When I called SCAG – four times – no one could or would define their methodology for developing the ADVISORY affordable housing numbers. The SCAG numbers on affordable housing could not hold up to scrutiny in court – period.

The time has come for the city council to say no to the extortionists: The Public Law Center (self-appointed and self-anointed), The Kennedy Commission (with very questionable motives) and their developer friends.

Joe Holtzman
Mission Viejo