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Archive for December, 2007

    I am amazed and frustrated by the city’s lack of cooperation with reporting the information to MV citizens (Re: Cover-Up At City Hall). It is a step back to former City Councils when I first moved to MV in 1994. The government secrecy and lack of communicating with it’s citizens appears to be a trend in MV. Will we ever learn from past experiences or will the beat just continue?

Norm Rosenkrantz

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    This whole deal (Re: Cover-Up At City Hall) smacks of a big cover-up by certain city staffers, and some, if not all of the City Council members. We should determine which specific city council members and which city staff members, by name, knew and caused or allowed this whole debacle to proceed without informing the citizenry of Mission Viejo or at least allowing the information to be reviewed by interested citizens. Each council member who actively participated, or allowed the cover-up to proceed without advising the public should be recalled immediately from office. The trend of this city to conduct its business without the knowledge or ‘interference’ of an informed public is clear and distressing.  There needs to be a new paradigm in Mission Viejo government – Proactive Open Government.

Don Wilder

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    It seems to me our Mission Viejo City Council decided well over a year ago to protect Southern California Edison above their own citizens’ health and welfare (Re: Cover-Up At City Hall).

    Our council used taxpayer money to hire Sage and Associates from Santa Barbara to take EMF readings at the urging of myself and 3,000 other concerned citizens in 2006. The results have been in the council’s hands for well over a year. The results were not made public before last year’s elections and still remain secret.  Disclosure probably would have had an adverse effect on the incumbents’ re-election.  Southern California Edison donated large amounts of money to their campaigns – to keep these results quiet, in my opinion.  If others had been elected, those results might have been made public as soon as they took office in January 2007. 

    All associated with this cover-up in Mission Viejo should be removed from office, and the truth revealed.  I wrote to the city attorney and city council earlier this year, advising lawsuits were headed their way if these numbers were kept hidden, based on the health and property values of affected residents.  I was simply thanked for the warning and told that the council would not allow the disclosure of the readings.

    All citizens of Mission Viejo will end up paying for this cover-up one way or another. I think some are paying with their lives and health. Others are paying with property near the power lines that will not sell. And we citizens will end up paying with our taxes to cover the lawsuits.

Diane Greenwood

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    For several months the City Council has been hiding a consultant’s public safety report.  The report could hold findings on electromagnetic frequency radiation (EMF) arguably harmful to the health of some local residents. 

    Prior to hiring the consultant, the City learned that overhead electrical lines installed in North Mission Viejo were emitting higher-than-expected EMF radiation.  Southern California Edison stated these EMF levels would be lowered through a technique referred to as “rephasing.”  

   The City’s consultant took EMF measurements, perhaps to confirm SCE achieved the reduction.  But that was almost a year ago, and thereafter the issue was hushed and relegated to closed sessions of the Council.  Did the Council think it needed protracted secrecy to buy more time for SCE’s attempts to remedy the problem?

    A copy of the consultant’s report was requested by this reporter in April.  The City initially denied the request, claiming the document did not exist within City Hall.   It was revealed that a highly unusual procedure was used to hire the consultant through the City’s outside law firm, even though there was no litigation.  The procedure minimized the chance information would be leaked.

   A second request for a copy of the document was made directly to the law firm.  The firm’s attorney for Mission Viejo, William Curley, refused to provide a copy, citing limited confidentiality privileges for municipalities under state law.  It appears the privilege arguments, e.g. listed here, are a smokescreen, and not legally valid. 

    Furthermore, these confidentiality privileges do not provide a legal requirement for documents to be kept confidential.  Even under a relevant privilege, the City Council has full authority and discretion to release documents to the public.  

    The Council is familiar with the consultant’s report and refused to authorize disclosure. Why? It raises suspicions EMF readings were elevated.  If so, questions are posed regarding the Council’s duty to warn the community and its courage to face public reaction.

    Last week the Dispatch uncovered and reported other secrecy actions at City Hall.  Those actions prevented advance public disclosure of a new slogan and logo for the community.  These two recent cover-ups are ominous signs City officials may be increasingly inclined toward secret government and a lack of respect for residents.    

Click here for a listing of latest studies and views of EMF exposure . . .

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MV High Schools – Basketball – Boys

MV High Schools – Basketball – Girls

MV High Schools – Soccer – Boys

MV High Schools – Soccer – Girls

MV College Basketball – Saddleback College Men

MV College Basketball – Saddleback College Women

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    Residents can plan bus or metrolink travel via the following link.   Click here to view or use trip planner . . .

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      Curbside Christmas tree disposal will be available on regular collection days in Mission Viejo between December 26 and January 11.  Two Christmas tree drop-off sites will also be available during those dates at the Youth Athletic Park and the Mission Viejo Animal Services Center.  Trees over six feet in height should be cut in half.

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