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Archive for February, 2008

    Recently the cities of Westminster and Cypress adopted resolutions placing the national motto “In God We Trust” prominently in council chambers.  On Monday evening Mission Viejo Councilwoman Gail Reavis will ask the Council to direct City Staff to investigate the trend and prepare an appropriate resolution the City, which could be adopted at a future meeting.  Sample Resolution

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    The City Council will conduct a public hearing Monday about placing a council-created initiative on the November ballot.  The initiative would ask voters if they want the power to approve or disapprove the conversion of Open Spaces to Non-Open Space uses.  Open Spaces includes park, recreation and open land uses.

    The draft initiative ordinance carves exceptions to voter approval if:

  • The Council determines a using an Open Space is the only feasible way to meet state or federal housing requirements.
  • The Council determines a denial of a proposed conversion to Non-Open use would constitute an unconstitutional taking of private property.
  • The Council desires the conversion for construction, maintenance, and use of public roadways, public utilities, interpretive centers, amphitheaters, museums, public art, public facilities (including but not limited to structures for police and fire), active or passive recreational facilities, and facilities ancillary to the permitted Open Space Uses, including but not limited to, parking facilities, lighting, signage, and public restrooms.
  • The Council determines the conversion is necessary to stabilize, repair or restore public or private buildings adjacent to the open space.
  • The conversion is for 1 acre or less and the Council determines the conversion is necessary for a landowner to develop the balance of his property.
  • The conversion is for 1 acre or less and the Council determines the proposed non-open space use is a superior alternative benefitting the public.

    At the last meeting the Council implemented a moratorium on converting open spaces.  Although it is initially in effect for only 45 days per state law, the Council could extend the moratorium for at least another 10.5 months, pending completion of revisions to the City’s General Plan.  It is therefore possible the requirement for voter approval could be in place before a proposal to develop a portion of Casta Golf Course is formally considered. 

    If the council places the initiative ordinance on the ballot, and it is approved by voters, the power could only be repealed or modified by voters.

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    This week Saddleback Superintendent Fish released priorities for cutting $19 million from next year’s budget for its district of 33,500 students.  Last week the Capo District announced plans to cut $27 million for its 50,000 student system.

      Saddleback’s plan would include over $11 million in “non-school” cuts and $8 million in school level reductions.  Non-school items include eliminating busing (exc. special ed.), implementing hiring and expense freezes, and cuts in administration, special education, materials, and maintenance. 

    School level reductions include:

  1. Eliminate classroom and choral music.
  2. Eliminate funding for Junior Varsity sports, International Baccalaureate, Field Studies and LAAP programs.
  3. Eliminate High School Librarians, Clerical and Activity Directors.
  4. Reduce Elementary and Intermediate Asst Principals and Psychologists. 
  5. Share elementary principals.
  6. Reduce High School Asst Principals and Athletic Directors.
  7. Reduce High School graduation requirements by 10 units.
  8. Increase number of students per teacher (Classroom Student Ratio) for grades 1-3.

    The overall result would include the elimination of 240 positions and layoffs for 287 certified and 100 classified employees.  A large share of teacher reductions, equivalent to 130 full-time teachers, would be at the elementary level due to the change in the Classroom Student Ratio for grades 1-3.

    The radical budget slashes were triggered by the state budget crisis which led the governor to suspend Proposition 98, which provided a guaranteed share of state revenues to schools.  The $19 million in cuts will be a 7.3% overall reduction.

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    On Sunday former Trabuco High football star Trevor Mooney was cited in Pullman, Washington as a minor in possession of alcohol.

    Mooney graduated from THS in 2006 and accepted an offer to play football at Washington State University.  He was red-shirted as a freshman.  At 6 feet, 6 inches and 250 pounds, he is considered a top talent.  Scout.com rated him as one of its top 100 prospects for the seven Western states.

    Trevor’s talent is enhanced by his academic ability.  At Trabuco High he was a 4.0 student and earned an SAT score of 1900 on the 2400 scale.

    According to the Daily Evergreen, the tight end is still a member of the WSU football team, although he has been suspended indefinitely.

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    At last night’s special budget meeting, Trustee Larry Christensen said he was looking into selling the District’s new administrative offices.  A sale could provide approximately $34 million, according to Christensen.     

   CUSD is currently slashing $27 million from its annual 2008-2009 budget due to revenue cutbacks.  Julie Collier, Executive Director of the Mission Viejo Parents Advocate League, attended the meeting and reported action and suggestions by the Board.    

    A hiring freeze, no-travel policy, and other cuts in expenditures have been implemented.  Board members cut their own monthly stipends by 50%, from $750 to $375. 

    The Board eliminated the Class Size Reduction program for grades 1-3, and voted to increase class sizes by one student for grades 4-12.  Other cuts include busing, grounds keeping, district level jobs, other other support.

    Additional suggestions offered by individual Trustees included asking teachers to accept 1 day without pay, freezing the ‘steps’ on classified and certificated teacher salaries, and implementing a 5% pay cut throughout the District.  

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    “To understand a dead city, you must understand the illusion,” is the tagline for a new feature length film by Mission Viejo resident and Saddleback College student Killian McGregor.  The film is titled Chronicles of Memory Lake: Volume 2

    The budding film maker moved to California from Wisconsin to be near the movie industry, according to the Wausau Daily Herald.  His work on the film began is 2005 with $600.  The completed film now includes 300 digital effects and is the first installment of a trilogy.  The 38-year-old McGregor is writer, producer and director. 

    The ghost story will be shown in a charity screening at Saddleback College on Friday evening, February 29, at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30.  The event will be in the Science and Math Building, Room SM313

    Seating is limited, so RSVPs are required by emailing McGregor’s website. Admission is two cans of food per person to benefit the charity work of South County Outreach.

Click here to see two-minute movie trailer . . .

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February 20, 2008

Dear [Mission Viejo] Council Members:

    As a long time resident of Mission Viejo and General Manager of the Casta del Sol Homeowners Association, I am appalled that the City Council would even consider for a moment the re-zoning of the Mission Viejo Casta del Sol Golf Course.

    When this community was being designed, the Mission Viejo Company put a large emphasis on recreation and sport. Little League fields, Recreation Centers, the Nadadores Swim Team, Lake Mission Viejo and the Casta del Sol Golf Course. This golf course has served our community for thirty years and is recognized for providing youngsters, teens, retirees, school golf teams and anyone, regardless of their skill level, an enjoyable day on the links.

    It is apparent by the apathy that has been exhibited from at least one member of the City Council that they did not have the privilege of living in this community prior to our community becoming a city. I am asking the Council to please retain this property as a playground for those of us that enjoy playing affordable golf with friends and family at our Casta del Sol Golf Course.

Sincerely, Ken Josselyn

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