Letters to the Editor
Published: January 11, 2013
Re: Tax Year 2013
To the Editor:
Congratulations low information American voter you did a splendid job of electing and in most cases re-electing the same people that have manipulated you, trained you, bamboozled you and abused you into believing that you have been given the inalienable rights to make irrational tax increase choices for the overburdened taxpayer that subsidizes your share of the national tax burden.
To the public employee unions; touché, you have learned the art of seducing the nation as no “Casanova” could have imagined, “Marquis de Sade’ could have devised or Vladimir Lenin could have envisioned. Here’s hoping that some of my generation especially the ones that have the luxury of full retirement and are not enjoying the cornucopia of a healthy public pension and of course are not too much into themselves and “really do care if their grandchildren and their grandchildren future, get involved and turn this spiraling downward direction this country is headed towards.
It seems that many people are quick to climb on the train of the “common cause” where they also want to shine with outrage over a crisis just to showboat their “humility & decency” but never would entertain the thought of steering the “common sense” vehicle of individual integrity. We have an out of control problem with public spending that is disenfranchising hardworking individuals.
For example, a good friend of mine commented recently about a topic of conversation she had experienced with a group of friends: the “fiscal cliff”. The subject was having an unsettling effect on their daily life but the irony of this conversation was that all of them had had a choice over this matter however miniscule it be in last November’s election. Mind you, this group was comprised of university-educated women but the surprising matter was the appearance of clueless entertainers of thought, non-thinkers, or no-brainers if you will.
But then again tax rates or should I say the phony “straw man” that the focus of attention is given, all the while an irrational budget by the Senate, an over-submitted budget by the House, and a laughable budget by the President has lost credibility at arriving at a balance budget based on revenues versus expenditures. This does not require a university degree except those making the mathematical calculations for the legislators and for the president it requires common sense and integrity!
So for any bored university educated man or woman suffering from a need of a righteous cause: here it is! Actually, even we who didn’t obtain those credentials but are rich in skills and common sense; you can do it too!
Andrew F. Castaneda
To the Editor:
The reason for this letter is to alert all landlords in Santa Paula that do business with the Santa Paula Housing Authority to please have HUD develop an Exit Inspection. We have just gone through an undesirable ordeal. HUD tenants moved out and left the place a dump.
Concerns were brought to the attention of HUD but nothing was ever done. Yes, they do have an annual inspection but HUD notifies them when and at what time they will be there. The extra people and animals are never there when the inspection takes place.
They say everything is on the landlord. Landlords are to do reference checks and we all know that if someone wants someone out of their place, they will give a good reference. All HUD does is qualify families or individuals for funds. Well, we believe that if HUD demanded an Exit Inspection, fewer houses would be damaged.
We know that not all HUD tenants abuse the system or the rental agreements they have but those bad apples are out there. If HUD had an Exit Inspection program, those bad apples would not be allowed to move into another clean property until they cleaned up the current property.
We know that is what the deposit is there for but when you have to first call Edison to come and reinstall the electrical meter, then dump belongings they left behind, replace bedroom doors, replace light fixtures, replace kitchen cabinets, patch holes in the walls, replace carpets throughout the house, replace windows, replace door knobs in and out, disinfect the whole house, and paint just to mention a few things, the deposit does not go very far.
If HUD took a more active role, we believe the system would be more successful. Every HUD tenant should be required to maintain a healthy clean house at all times but especially when children are around.
According to local HUD representatives, they are following Federal guidelines. Well, they should speak to Washington and demand some changes that would better serve our citizens in need. We are fed up with all the waste that is going on and our taxes need to be redirected and spent correctly.
Once again, our intention is not to include the “Good HUD Tenants”, they are out there and they are appreciated. Landlords, if you recently took on some new HUD tenants and didn’t check their references, good luck!
In the meantime, we will start the cleaning process and wait until HUD makes some changes; especially adding to their requirements an Exit Inspection just like the initial inspection that is done prior to moving in. In order for our property to ever again take part in the Section 8 Housing Payment Assistance, this has to be done.
This is to somehow reach some Great Samaritan who found my cell phone on New Year’s Day and delivered it to the AT&T store in Ventura before even I could get there. Surprising that the store was open. I went there fully expecting to replace the phone. My Bluetooth kept kicking on while I was in the store and we discovered that the phone had beat me there. There was fair amount of energy spent in worrying about what to do, but some very nice folks saved the day. Don’t know who you are but I promise to pass it along.
Sphere of influence
To the Editor:
To LAFCO, Attn: Kim Uhlich
The undersigned has been involved in land development and land use issues for many years. My family was involved in development of home sites in the U.S. Virgin Islands and in Coral Gables and Naples (Port Royal) Florida in the 1950s through the 1990s. The Virgin Islands property near Christiansted, St. Croix, was mountainous (Seven Hills) about to the same degree as is Fagan Canyon. In the 1970s, the undersigned owned/controlled approximately 800 acres of mountainous terrain in North San Diego County (the Merriam Mountains) which adjoins I-15, north of Escondido and opposite the Lawrence Welk Resort. It stands undeveloped today. This is where LAFCO first popped up on my radar screen.
Several years ago I authored the “81 Acre” development limitation for lands in Santa Paula and then wrote the Referendum which reversed the City Council’s approval of a 2,000 plus unit planned development for Fagan Canyon, which was then ratified by the voters, and which was upheld by the Appellate Court when challenged in court. Had Fagan been development at that time, at the peak of the overblown housing market 5 years ago, we would now have a huge mess on our hands in Fagan Canyon, as Centex, the developer, went out of business and was absorbed by another developer, many projects abandoned and left in a state of complete disaster. That could be Fagan Canyon today.
We (our citizens group in Santa Paula) did support the plans for Adams Canyon to be developed into 495 “higher end” homes surrounding a golf course (Pinnacle Developers of Phoenix, Az.), and we still do support that plan. We also would support development in Fagan Canyon, but only at a level far below the 1800-2000 units that has been consistently proposed by developers. The developers always say that fewer units “will not pencil out”.
That may be true, depending upon the price paid for the raw land, the infrastructure costs associated with development, the state, county and local fees, the then housing market and economy, the amount of profit targeted, and a critical component, frequently overlooked, luck.
The voters of Santa Paula are not stupid. They know what they want by way of development. They do not want the groves, especially west of the city limits, developed into housing tracts. They have spoken multiple times in favor of rational, limited development in the foothills and canyons, and that is why LAFCO and the County should honor the vote of the people and make no significant changes to the City’s sphere of influence – at least that is my opinion and the opinion of all the people I have spoken with in Santa Paula.
Economically we are in an “intermission” in California. We do not know when the economy will grow in a significant manner. Sometime the best thing to do is – nothing. We (our group in Santa Paula) believe this is such an issue and such a time.
Richard Main, J.D.