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Losing small town, gaining city

Monterey Herald, July 14, 2009

Palos Verdes Estates is among the wealthiest incorporated cities in the country and one of the smallest, at 5 square miles. It has little in common with the more diverse, larger, 40-45 square mile, proposed Carmel Valley incorporation area. Here is a better comparison.

In 1968, we moved to a quaint, newly incorporated city, population 19,000 and about 55 square miles. Conceived in the 1950s as a small master-planned community, incorporation was proposed in 1964 as a way to gain control of issues and contain growth. It soon became obvious, post-incorporation, that the opposite was happening.

Services and maintenance contracts with the county, in the long run, were not working to any benefit and clearly had to be taken over by the new city, but the small population and business base couldn't afford to support the large area.

Enter developers and the "m" word, "mitigation." Roads improved, services improved, the bills got paid and the quaint community disappeared, replaced by a beautiful city.

Today, Thousand Oaks has 128,650 people. The annual budget in 2007 was $86 million.
The voters lost the small town that incorporation was supposed to preserve and got a real city. Think about it.

Marjorie Longo
Carmel Views

Last Updated: Jul 14, 09

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